Local firm is leading the way

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An ILKESTON training company is encouraging other local firms to follow its lead after it has begun to reap rewards of its efforts to find overseas work.

Upskill, run by brothers Frank and Mick Dunne, was set up in 2007 and has already had considerable success in the UK.

But the company, based in Wharncliffe Road, wanted to spread its wings, particularly with tough trading in the training sector at home, and has now secured a £60,000 deal for the Open University of Malaysia to use Upskill’s management development programmes across its 60 educational centres nationwide.

This has come after two years of hard work as Upskill set about trying to sell its services in different countries.

“We are delighted to have won these contracts because they give us a foothold in these countries on which to build and grow,” said Frank.

“We may be small, but we are competing on the world stage and would encourage other local companies to look abroad.

“We have had to make sacrifices with our home life but it’s an experience and, hopefully, will be worth it.”

Next month Upskill will go to Kuala Lumpur to launch a pilot development programme for 30 senior managers from the Ministry of Health.

The company will also be launching a joint training programme with the Open University for 20 managers from key Malaysian corporations.

Meanwhile the brothers have also won a tender from Al Futtaim Carillion – an organisation based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, to train senior managers on high-profile projects.