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Bespoke Training for Industrial, Offshore and Logistics Companies: an Interview with Hugh Callaway, Director at Modal Training

2:38 pm, Wednesday, 31st July 2019 - 5 years ago

Hugh Callaway, Group Director of Marketing and Commercial Business at Modal Training, explains why South Humber is the best choice for business growth and collaboration.

Modal Training – bespoke and specialist

Modal is not your average training provider. For a start, it’s more than just a commercial business. Based in Immingham, Modal is part of Grimsby Institute, an Ofsted “outstanding”-rated further education college that provides Modal clients with a huge range of educational possibilities.

“We don’t just offer a set programme of courses to everyone,” explains Hugh Callaway. “Whether it’s a coaching-style relationship to improve management skills, a full-scale simulation of a disaster at sea, or anything in between, what we offer is based on the client’s needs. We can tap into a range of specialists at the Grimsby Institute, and we’ve got academic excellence as well as professional experience to offer our clients.”

What’s special about South Humber

“The area has a unique base of people,” says Hugh. “Hard-working, optimistic and collaborative. The location is important too. We’ve got the largest port by tonnage. We’ve got good road links, and there are lots of key connections within a 2-hour drive.”

‘It’s also a good place to live and work,” he continues. “Grimsby’s getting investment through the Town Deal, there are pockets of great stuff to explore like bars and restaurants, and areas of outstanding natural beauty nearby like the Lincolnshire Wolds. The cost of living is low, but you’re not far away from major cities. All in all, it’s a bit of a hidden gem.”

Growing industries, growing demand for skills

Hugh has seen a real appetite for skills emerging as the region’s enterprises develop.

“Logistics is a big growth area at the moment,” says Hugh, “with a range of education and training needs. Professional drivers are in high demand and there’s lots of work generated by the ports and manufacturers in the region, so we’re launching a driver apprenticeship programme in response.”

“Because of our connections within the region, we can go above and beyond the standard apprenticeship. We can work directly with employers to find out what they really need and then train new drivers to deliver it.”

Virtually aboard ship, in the UK’s finest simulators

“We use leading-edge simulators to train people in un-trainable situations, such as a crash on a wintry road or a crisis at sea. Our centre is one of 13 world-wide and the only one in the UK to offer this experience,” says Hugh.

“When you’re in the simulation it’s like being on board a ship or inside a lorry. That includes the weather, the equipment and the other people around you – it’s full-size, not just a screen and a headset.”

Exciting employment opportunities

“It’s clear that the South Humber area is growing at the moment,” says Hugh. “We’ve got the energy sector and the offshore windfarms, which is a big step and a challenge for the workforce – who wouldn’t want to say they’d worked on an offshore wind-farm?”

Another exciting development is the Merchant Navy’s Officer Cadet College, which is expected to be up and running in 2019. “Because the shipping companies will allocate people here, it will bring more white-collar workers into the area and help put it on the map as a desirable place to live and work,” Hugh explains.

Working together – the South Humber difference

Like many South Humber organisations, Modal’s approach is distinctively collaborative. Hugh recognises this philosophy as part of a positive local trend.

“It’s definitely an area that’s good at collaboration, and it’s a place where small enterprises can grow,” he says. “There’s a will among the movers and shakers here to build and generate collectively. You see it in private-public and third sector collaborations as well as business relationships.”

“At Modal we’re the same way, working with other training companies. We all recognise that it’s better to share our resources, and help each other succeed.”