Matthew Brown, owner and manager of IT training company
by Matthew Brown
I spent 30 years working in the food retail industry as a butcher and, although we were a small, independent business, I was responsible for around 25 employees. I was involved in training and this was always a part of the job that I particularly enjoyed. I was also involved in developing a bespoke piece of Electronic Point of Sale (EPOS) software. My input was from the user perspective – I had no experience of writing code.
The food industry I had grown up with had changed. Supermarkets were becoming dominant and they gained a foothold in local convenience stores and competition was intense. In 2008, after both my father and my brother had left the family business I decided to change direction and move into IT.
After retraining, I was very fortunate to be offered a position at Cambridge Regional College as an IT Assessor/Facilitator. I was involved in training Microsoft Office applications, the internet and internet security, and laws and workplace guidelines. I primarily delivered and assessed the ITQ qualification and was involved with the delivery of Apprenticeships, teaching maths and English functional skills. My years in the retail industry taught me how to empathise with people and help them to feel at ease and this made me particularly suited to working on company premises with individuals and groups away from the college.
During my five years at the College I worked hard to update my qualifications achieving a Level 5 teaching qualification in Enabling Learning and Assessment.
In 2013 I took voluntary redundancy and set up my own training company, Lawrence Hadman Ltd. I get great pleasure from training people and a real sense of satisfaction from teaching. What I most enjoy about the work I do is seeing people progress and especially seeing those ‘aha’ moments – as one of my clients put it.
I have requests for different types of IT training so I regularly attend networking meetings where I can make connections and develop associateships. As an example, one of my associates has recently delivered a bespoke 7 day SQL training course to Health Education East of England.
I also enjoy writing training courses to help people progress in their careers, and I find demand growing in this area. It is interesting work and I think what clients expect from training is changing, so there may well be more opportunities for this sort of bespoke work in the future.
Running my own training company has been a vast change from working as a butcher. I moved from helping customers to helping all kinds of people to change and improve their lives. I have been so lucky to meet some fantastic people that have helped me on my journey.