A high flyer from Blackpool has launched her own business after rising through the ranks from apprentice to master.
Julie Hughes began her career as an apprentice travel agent before becoming UK Training Manager for a leading national company.
Now, with 30 years of experience under her wing and with a little help from Blackpool Council’s Get Started team, she’s decided to see if her own business will take off.
She’s now focusing on providing training support services to businesses to train the next generation.
Her company Julie Hughes Training Ltd will offer bespoke training courses for all kinds of organisations and businesses with an emphasis on ‘soft skills’ from telephone techniques and customer service to management.
Julie said: “It’s the best decision I have ever made.
“The Get Started team have encouraged me to pursue my training passion and turn it into a fully-fledged business.
“I’m starting with the core topics that every successful business needs - skilled, confident staff can make a huge difference to sales and customer retention.
“Investment in training is vital to stay ahead of the game.”
Blackpool Council aims to help aspiring entrepreneurs and, through the Get Started team, has helped more than 1,000 people start their own businesses over the last seven years.
The team – part of the Start Up Lancashire service supported by the European Regional Development Fund – offer one-to-one business support, advice and training on everything from book keeping to marketing.
Coun Fred Jackson, Blackpool Council’s cabinet member for urban regeneration, said: “The Get Started team is doing an excellent job and I would urge anyone interested in starting up a business to get in touch with them and make use of their expertise.
“Many people want to make a fresh start in the new year and I would urge people who want to make it their new year’s resolution to start a business to come and see us.”
Julie said: “I started in the travel industry then became a teacher trainer working for one of the biggest training organisations in the sector.
“We offer a whole host of training experiences from customer services, sales skills, negotiation and influencing skills to management courses not just travel related.
“We tailor the courses to the specific needs of the customer organisation and although we are based in Blackpool we are training employees across the UK and will even work overseas.
“In the past I have worked with the Bridge Water Academy in Nigeria, which is in the tourism sector, setting up training courses there.
“At the moment we are do a lot with training providers in the area and businesses picked up through networking.
“Many companies are hoping to keep hold of their staff at the moment and develop them. A lot of employers area looking at up-skilling.”