The Southern Tech 100, now in its third year, is an annual listing of the top 100 private, independent technology companies in the south. To recognise the continued success of businesses on this list, GCS Recruitment Specialists has introduced a Training & Development Award open to all companies in the top 100.
After reporting a number of outstanding entries, GCS has announced that the winner is Ultima Business Solutions, a leading end-to-end IT infrastructure provider. Highly commended is Allied Worldwide, a leading global managed IT outsourcing services company.
Commenting on Ultima's win David Bloxham, GCS managing director, said: "There are very few professional development programmes that can genuinely claim to be best in class, but Ultima's approach to training and development is a textbook example of everything such a programme should be.
"Their employees feel engaged and positive about the support they receive and a staff turnover of just 14% is testament to how hard the company works to ensure it is an enjoyable and rewarding place to grow a career."
A huge emphasis is placed on internal communication within Ultima with regular newsletters, company meetings and a 'state of the nation' address from the owner ensuring transparency of collective purpose.
Ultima’s employees are supported by fantastic training that starts with a formal year-long programme including mentoring and shadowing in all areas of the company in order to encourage a thorough understanding of the business. Following this, there are ongoing assessments to establish what guidance and training each individual requires; e-learning and webinars are available on demand, as well as external training courses which add new voices and new skills to the development process.
HR manager Annette Shuff commented: "We are delighted that our efforts have been recognised by the Southern Tech 100 and GCS Recruitment Specialists. I genuinely believe that Ultima is a great place to work and that is a result of the emphasis we place in the supporting, training and development our own people and creating an enjoyable working environment."
Commenting on Allied Worldwide's success, Bloxham said: "Allied Worldwide provides an outstanding training and development programme for everyone. The company has worked tirelessly to raise the awareness of careers in technology and its apprenticeship scheme provides a fantastic opportunity for those looking to build a career within the sector.
"Allied Worldwide engages school and college leavers in a 12-month apprenticeship that provides them with first-hand work experience. Alongside the work experience is a buddy program, where senior members of staff mentor the juniors, as well as online training, quarterly reviews, ongoing advice from their CIO and permanent opportunities for those successful within the apprenticeship."
Managing director Meg Fisher commented: "We're delighted to have been highly commended by the Southern Tech 100 – we are incredibly proud of our apprenticeship scheme, so recognition for our efforts in training is both appreciated and satisfying. We've dedicated a great deal of resource to giving young people an opportunity to begin building their career at a company which is committed to professional development."
The top 100 companies in this year's list employ over 16,000 people in the region and generate a turnover of nearly £5.2 billion.