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Wolverhampton’s Gecko: Agile and Clever

DSCN0589From a business start-up in 2007 in Wolverhampton University’s Science Park incubation centre (SP/ARK), Gecko Programmes has developed into one of the UK’s largest contractors to the EU’s Erasmus Plus Programme, with an impact on business and people across the Black Country.

It has been a success story for this business, and the businesses and people that Gecko has reached.

From a small business that was providing a B2B services to creative and media enterprises in the Midlands, the step-up came in 2010 with a contract to create and support jobs for 225 workless graduates in the Black Country.  Having delivered this £1.3million contract in full – the satisfaction of the companies that took part and the great satisfaction of the young people who found employment for six months – Gecko moved on with contracts to deliver training across many sectors.

With also a training centre at the Custard Factory in Birmingham, Gecko continues to provide training to company employees and to those looking for work.  For the last three years, Gecko has been in the position to offer a package to businesses; having identified the training needs your organisation has to achieve business goals, Gecko can deliver training to owners, managers and staff, and also introduce new employees whom Gecko has also trained. And this complete package is free of charge.

As companies saw the benefit of this package, some were making work placements available, trying before buying!  This fraternity of Black Country business now offer work placements to both UK people looking to start employment and to interns coming for three months from Europe. 

The companies receiving the interns from Italy, Spain and other countries offer a bargain that is a win-win for both the company and the intern – the intern gets work experience and training, and the company receive vocational and language skills that support the daily business or even take them into new markets as exporting is explored.

And now Gecko has turned this arrangement on its head, leading a consortium of City of Wolverhampton, Walsall and Dudley Colleges, Gecko uses EU funds to send 150 young people every year to work experience in Spain, Italy and Germany, having become the largest contractor in the UK to send vocational learners for this experience. Gecko has achieved a total contract value of over €3million.

Pat Cross, the Managing Director of Gecko was asked why he called the company by this name.  He told us, “I chose ‘Gecko’ because of its agility, and ‘Programmes’ because we like to put all the pieces together to create a very special offer for businesses and people.

Gecko’s footprint clearly is one foot in Wolverhampton and other planted firmly in Europe.

Gecko, now employing over 20 people, is still at the University of Wolverhampton Science Park.  If you are interested in funded training for your staff, or wish to offer work placements for either UK jobseekers or EU interns, call Rachel or Mark on 01902 837402.

www.geckoprogrammes.co.uk

Last modified on Tuesday, 09 August 2016 15:44

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