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Petroc wins bid to support local small businesses

Following a successful joint bid with industry experts and local business leaders, Petroc has been chosen by Innovate UK to run a research trial with local businesses to help boost productivity through the use of ‘new-to-them’ administration technology systems.

Petroc’s ‘Techknowledgey Transfer’ project will bring local small businesses together with college students to provide key technology support to businesses. Young people on a range of Level 2 and 3 Business, Administration, Enterprise and Accountancy courses will work within selected businesses to embed a range of models of business and administration technology usage, which will lead to genuine business efficiencies, with the aim of freeing up business owners and managers to increase productivity and profitability, and achieve a better work-life balance. This project will be truly collaborative combining each young person’s digital confidence and knowledge of the latest technologies and methodologies with the business’s own experience and expertise in their field to create lasting benefits for the business.

‘We are always seeking ways to support our local business community and are therefore incredibly pleased to have been awarded this project’ said Sean Mackney, Principal and CEO ‘there were over 100 applications to the Innovate UK call and our successful bid was 1 of only 6 chosen and is the only one of its kind, showing Petroc as a trusted organisation, committed to excellence through learning. Part of the success of our bid was our collaboration with a number of local businesses who will work as our partners in this project and are leaders in the field of business administration, further strengthening this exciting project for the local community.’

The successful bid sees an investment of over £300,000 from Innovate UK under the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy Business Basics programme, into the local area.

Participating businesses will initially benefit from a 1:1 diagnostic session to identify areas where technology could improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their business administration processes. This will be followed by up to two Masterclasses, to learn about relevant technology options, and network with peers. Randomly selected businesses will then go on to receive further one to one support through a student project.

‘This really is a fantastic opportunity for local businesses to receive invaluable support’ said Selaine Saxby, MP ‘Petroc working alongside its partnering businesses will truly help to boost and support productivity amongst businesses across our region and I look forward to hearing more about the project as it goes forward.’

Petroc will be working in partnership with Applegate Marketplace Ltd, Maynard Johns Chartered Accountants, Lineal Software Solutions Ltd, Lime Cloud Ltd and Barr Media who are all active in the field of business and administration technology. The partners will influence direction, support SME engagement, co-design and deliver masterclasses for businesses and students, deliver mentoring, and contribute towards the project evaluation, which will be undertaken by Kada Research.​

At this stage, the project is a research trial to test the concept, and if successful locally, it has the potential to be rolled out nationally, as there are students across the country seeking high quality, meaningful work experience, who could deliver this intervention on a low-cost basis with support from the knowledge base, represented by further and higher education colleges, and industry experts.

Petroc is looking for small businesses, who are interested in improving their productivity through the use of business administration technology. If you could benefit from being part of this trial, contact Petroc’s Deputy Delivery Manager, Emma, at emma.doble@petroc.ac.uk or on 07790 988183. For more information visit the Techknowledgey Transfer webpage. If you are a prospective student interested in enrolling with the college, please contact our Advice & Guidance Centre on 01271 852422.


20 September 2020


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