Rugby business celebrates 40 years of helping people step up to skills table

Intec has been creating opportunities since 1982

Hubert Pruszysnki (Customer Service Apprentice) at Howden’s Joinery.
Hubert Pruszysnki (Customer Service Apprentice) at Howden’s Joinery.

A Rugby business that opened its doors amidst a huge rise in youth unemployment, celebrates 40 years this month.

Established in 1982, Intec’s mission was to create opportunities through vocational training.

From its early days teaching welding and plumbing, to the present when learners can study everything from customer service to retail to management skills, education has been at the business’ core.

Intec Business Colleges, Rugby

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It was originally founded as Intec Training Services by John Herman and Sodhu Mtharu in August 1982.

At that time, the Government was looking for companies who could teach young people the skills they needed to get into work, as well as being able to work alongside employers to provide on-the-job training. With 16 years’ experience in the education sector, Mr Herman and Mr Mtharu took on the challenge.

Intec delivered workshops in Rugby, including welding, motor vehicle maintenance and plumbing, but with the business’ success in getting learners into work Intec’s popularity grew.

The business expanded into centres in Nuneaton and Leamington, helping more young people into jobs.

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Mason Farrell (Supply Chain Apprentice) and Lee Coker (Mason’s Manager and Intec’s Mentor of the Year 2022) both of Whispering Smith.

Intec moved with the times, responding to changes in the economy and began offering a wider range of opportunities to learners, and by the end of the 1980’s the company had shifted its focus to delivering courses in business administration. Over the next few years the company grew, opening new centres in Lincoln, Milton Keynes and Northampton.

In 1990 the partnership was dissolved and Intec Business Colleges was incorporated as a limited company by John Herman.

In 1994 big change came, when the Government revitalised the apprenticeship system to introduce Modern Apprenticeships. In 2009, the National Apprenticeship Service was created. This change gave Intec room for more growth, with the business opening ten more training centres, from Bristol in the south to Glasgow in the north.

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In 2012, Intec launched their Apprenticeship Recruitment service which works with employers to recruit young talent into apprenticeship roles. Following on from its success, in 2013 they launched a range of traineeship programmes. Traineeships provide high quality pre-apprenticeship work placements for school leavers. Both services are still going strong today and have successfully placed over a thousand apprentices.

Intec has moved once more with the times, bringing more learning online and delivering courses suited to the modern world of business, focusing on creating employment and upskilling opportunities for people of all ages.

In 2017 the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy created demand for higher level programmes for experienced staff and in recent years Intec have expanded their services to offer CMI leadership and management, project management, learning and development and improvement practice programmes.

Chief Executive, John Herman, who is still at the helm of the company, 40 years on, said: “Looking back, I am very proud that we have helped give tens of thousands of people the opportunity to access education, gain new skills and achieve qualifications and, in doing so, to reach their potential.

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"Whether that was in the 80’s through skills workshops, or now in 2022 with Apprenticeship and traineeship programmes, it is so fulfilling to have made a difference to their lives and futures. Learners from over the years still keep in touch, and it’s a wonderful feeling to hear about where they are now.

“But it has to be said that we wouldn’t be where we are now without all the many talented individuals who have worked at Intec over the years. The very nature of what we do attracts truly dedicated professionals to Intec, who succeed in getting the best out of their learners.”

In 1983 the Rt Hon Norman Tebbit visited the Rugby centre. In 1985 HRH Princess Anne visited the Nuneaton Centre. The MPs Jim and his son Mark Pawsey both have been keen supporters of Intec’s commitment to train apprentices in their Rugby constituency. In 2010 The Very Reverend Christopher Cocksworth the Bishop of Coventry officially open the new Intec Head Office in Rugby.