Lean Education & Development

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Lean Education & Development's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Lean Education & Development is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles


MaxineJones, Managing Director
Apprentice graduation
Having been established in 2008, now Lean Education
and Development Limited successfully utilise both
apprenticeship frameworks and the new apprenticeship
standards to help and support businesses in developing their
organisational cultures through the continuous professional
development of all their employees. Based in Hagley Mews,
West Midlands, they teach apprentices knowledge and new
skills that are transferred to their work, enabling them to achieve
quantifiable, bottom-line cost savings to their businesses.
Managing Director Maxine Jones tells
The Parliamentary Review
how she orchestrated a management buyout in April 2016 and
explains how they have since implemented a flat organisational
structure that maximises productivity.
At LEAD, we have successfully developed a high-performance organisational
structure that is supported by an open and transparent culture. We are strict
advocates of teamworking, demanding professionalism, quality and accountability
at all levels within the business. We have also effectively established a flat
organisational structure that allows and encourages promotion from within. Our
talent is acknowledged and nurtured internally and our business is dependent on
our staff at all levels performing to the highest standards.
The maintenance and implementation of robust internal and external
communication processes and procedures are a vital part of our success. Internally,
we use social media applications such as Yammer, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn
to provide employees with an appropriate platform to share organisational
»Managing Director:
»Established in 2008
»Located in Hagley Mews, West
»Services: Independent training,
specialising in the delivery
of business improvement
techniques and improvement
apprenticeships, along with
employee development
»No. of employees: 43
»Currently have one of the
largest national cohorts of
improvement apprentices,
entirely funded through the
apprenticeship levy
Lean Education and
Highlighting best practice
communications. The creation of a
timetabled company-wide programme
of effective and efficient meetings has
allowed us to achieve our objectives
and energise and motivate our staff.
These meetings improve all aspects
of communication throughout
the business and it is innovative
approaches such as these that truly set
us apart.
In April 2016, I oversaw a management
buyout alongside my colleague and
current Operations Director Phil
Walters. The previous ownership group
were looking to sell the company,
but we saw the ongoing potential
and decided to orchestrate a buyout
as a result. The company retained
a strong client base and we viewed
incoming legislation with optimism.
While the decision was seen as a risk
in some quarters, the success we have
experienced since has vindicated the
decision. The company’s potential has
been borne out and we remain hopeful
of further advances in the future.
High-quality provision
During 2018, we launched a new
interactive and highly functional
website which offers our customers
the best possible user experience. It
showcases our products and services
effectively, offering information about
our courses, training and staff. There
are also case studies and testimonials
from clients that we have worked
with in the past, which aim to inform
potential future customers.
We are a market leader and the
preferred provider of high-quality
improvement apprenticeships because
we offer our clients an outstanding
level of service and support. Our
apprenticeship success rates are a
measure of our excellence and we
celebrate the achievements made by
our skilled, competent and professional
delivery team.
We provide our clients and employers
with exceptional value for money
and the efficient and simple service
that they expect. We are dedicated
to supporting our clients and learners
with a tangible return on their training
investment and in the strengthening
of their staff development. By
developing collaborative working
relationships with employers, we
are able to create and refine our
apprenticeship programmes. Our
learning programmes set deliverable
targets, while our employers strongly
believe that investing the time with
us to develop their staff knowledge
and skills does result in positive
We believe that high-quality
apprenticeships are a crucial
aspect of the development and
upskilling of the national workforce
across all industries and sectors. In
particular, we understand that the
delivery of specialised improvement
apprenticeships is key to improving
productivity and social mobility.
LEAD culture
The key part
of our
delivery has
been the
positive impact
it has had on
our people’s
We will continue to build upon
our apprenticeship delivery models
and curriculum to ensure relevant
knowledge, skills and competencies
are being consistently taught, and that
we are having a positive impact on
apprentices, which results in a greater
number of highly trained staff and
added value for the employers.
Understanding and
overcoming obstacles
We understand the challenges
that we are faced with and we
have embraced the levy funding
processes and contracts. We have
made time for our employers to
assist them in understanding the
levy systems and the benefits of
funding apprenticeships in their
workplace. Our employer levy support
has helped unravel the contractual
funding complexities for many of
our employers, giving them the level
of detail that means there are no
surprises with regards to funding
apprenticeships for their workforce.
We have worked hard to successfully
develop a flexible approach to learner
engagement and apprenticeship
delivery models, in order to allow
employers to release their workforce
to attend planned off-the-job training
sessions. We have also successfully
developed and commenced the
delivery of the new improvement
apprenticeship standards. The low
funding allocations and bands have
resulted in a testing financial challenge,
when aligning high-quality delivery
and resources with the full 20 per cent
charge for end-pointassessment.
In the future, we envisage a situation
in which we are able to continue to
build on our incredibly successful Ofsted
monitoring visit and ESFA audit, in order
to develop our business into a truly
outstanding provider of apprenticeships,
thereby fulfilling our mission. We have
grown significantly since the buyout
in 2016, and we are now looking
to extend this progress through
the expansion of further innovative
approaches to businessdevelopment.
are delivered by
a team of highly
who understand
the development
needs of our
business and our
Teaching in progress


This article was sponsored by Lean Education & Development. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from The Rt Hon Theresa May MP.

The Rt Hon Theresa May MP's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By The Rt Hon Theresa May MP

This foreword from the then Prime Minister appeared in the 2018/19 Parliamentary Review.

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review. For Her Majesty’s Government, our task in the year ahead is clear: to achieve the best Brexit deal for Britain and to carry on our work to build a more prosperous and united country – one that truly works for everyone. 

The right Brexit deal will not be sufficient on its own to secure a more prosperous future for Britain. We also need to ensure that our economy is ready for what tomorrow will bring. Our Modern Industrial Strategy is our plan to do that. It means Government stepping up to secure the foundations of our productivity: providing an education system that delivers the skills our economy needs, improving school standards and transforming technical education; delivering infrastructure for growth; ensuring people have the homes they need in the places they want to live. It is all about taking action for the long-term that will pay dividends in the future.

But it also goes beyond that. Government, the private sector and academia working together as strategic partners achieve far more than we could separately. That is why we have set an ambitious goal of lifting UK public and private research and development investment to 2.4 per cent of GDP by 2027. It is why we are developing four Grand Challenges, the big drivers of social and economic change in the world today: harnessing artificial intelligence and the data revolution; leading in changes to the future of mobility; meeting the challenges of our ageing society; and driving ahead the revolution in clean growth. By focusing our efforts on making the most of these areas of enormous potential, we can develop new exports, grow new industries and create more good jobs in every part of our country.

Years of hard work and sacrifice from the British people have got our deficit down by over three quarters. We are building on this success by taking a balanced approach to public spending. We are continuing to deal with our debts, so that our economy can remain strong and we can protect people’s jobs, and at the same time we are investing in vital public services, like our NHS. We have set out plans to increase NHS funding annually by an average by 3.4 percent in real terms: that is £394 million a week more. In return, the NHS will produce a ten-year plan, led by doctors and nurses, to eliminate waste and improve patient care.

I believe that Britain can look to the future with confidence. We are leaving the EU and setting a new course for prosperity as a global trading nation. We have a Modern Industrial Strategy that is strengthening the foundations of our economy and helping us to seize the opportunities of the future. We are investing in the public services we all rely on and helping them to grow and improve. Building on our country’s great strengths – our world-class universities and researchers, our excellent services sector, our cutting edge manufacturers, our vibrant creative industries, our dedicated public servants – we can look towards a new decade that is ripe with possibility. The government I lead is doing all it can to make that brighter future a reality for everyone in our country. 

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review 
The Rt Hon Theresa May MP
Prime Minister