Husband and wife team Fran and Tom Maclean have something to celebrate this month as they mark their 30th year at the helm of their business that’s supported tens of thousands of local people to achieve their career goals.
They started business in 1987, from their first office in Castle Street where they conducted business with manual typewriters, to their High Street premises where they worked with electronic typewriters in 1988 (the first Pitman Training centre outside London to embrace the electronic age), to their current premises in York Place. The Maclean’s have ridden the wave of technological advancements over the years from their Edinburgh base.
Supporting people across Scotland undertaking training to help them get a job, or progress their career, the team has evolved from teaching Sir Isaac Pitman’s shorthand and typing, to offering courses in just about anything you might use in a modern work environment, and their approach to the development of their own business has also been progressive, as they’ve been quick to embrace new technology that provides e-testing, online learning and digital marketing.
In addition to assisting private individuals to achieve their career goals, Pitman Training in Scotland works with hundreds of businesses big and small to assist with their staff development aided by recent accreditation of most of their courses by the Continual Professional Development (CPD) Standards Office.
They consistently achieve a turnover in excess of £1 million per annum from their two centres in Edinburgh and Glasgow and provide support to the other training centres in Scotland. Employing 17 staff, having built the business from scratch, the married couple are an inspiration to others in business.
Mother of two, Fran, 59, never takes a day for granted after a fall on holiday saw her plunge 40 foot down a cliff and suffer a punctured lung, a bruised spleen and ten broken bones.
As part of their celebrations they are calling out for other local business people to showcase who have overcome adversity to achieve their goals, with the Pitman Training SuperAchievers awards 2017, featuring ‘Working Mum of the Year’, ’Working Dad of the Year’ (a new category), alongside Entrepreneur of the Year, Inspirational Achiever of the Year, PA of the Year, Boss of the Year and Pitman Training Student of the Year. Once entries have been submitted a shortlist is created, then the public have the opportunity to vote, alongside the judging panel.
Fran and Tom have been pioneers for a number of Pitman Training initiatives that have made a difference to the wider network, including payment plans for students and flexible diploma courses; Edinburgh was also the first centre to host exams, which now accounts for around 10% of Pitman business nationally. They also contribute regularly to regional meetings, work closely on developing staff throughout the network and are members of the Pitman Training Advisory Council.
Claire Lister, MD of Pitman Training Group said: “It’s fantastic to celebrate Tom and Fran’s success as they make such a notable contribution to the group as a whole, as well as having built up a great business in Scotland. Their business acumen, hard work as well as support from their family and staff are all elements that have driven them forward. We’re very proud to have them as a part of our team.”
Fran said: “Pitman is a brand which has been trusted for generations and it’s great to be able to still work within this British heritage brand that’s progressing with the times. It has been important to have an open mind to developments and changes and to adapt to these and not to get stuck in a rut - this flexibility I think is one of our secrets to success over the last 30 years and something I’d advise all business owners to embrace”.