A Teesside IT company that set up its own training academy to support apprentices is the latest business to back the BUSINESSiQ Awards in April.

razorblue, which provides IT support services across the country from offices at Catterick, Stockton and Newcastle as well as Manchester, Stirling, Leeds and London, is sponsoring the Training and Skills category at our big night on April 28th at Ramside Hall.

CEO Dan Kitchen told us the event was a perfect fit for razorblue: "We’re a proud North East business and are grateful for the opportunity to support an event showcasing fellow local businesses, so the category is important to us," he said.

Read more: Nominate a business for the BUSINESSiQ Awards

"We’re genuinely dedicated to training and skills development, so much so that we founded the razorblue apprenticeship academy based on our own model which aims to close the digital skills gap and keep North East talent right here in the region.

"We’re thrilled to be part of the first BUSINESSiQ Awards ceremony, and look forward to seeing the worthy winners and celebrate the successes of local businesses."

razorblue places a high value on staff development and actively encourages its employees at all levels throughout the business to undertake training courses, funded by razorblue, to support their career goals.

The Northern Echo: The razorblue brand is well-known across the regionThe razorblue brand is well-known across the region (Image: Press release)

"Training and upskilling represent a significant investment for us as a business, and we’ve developed the razorblue academy to train our own apprentices to a model designed to enable these individuals to experience all areas of the business in a hands-on way, rather than the traditional ‘watch and learn’ apprenticeships usually see," said Dan.

"Performance development reviews are part of our company culture in a positive way – we speak to our team regularly to understand their aspirations and how we can help them to achieve their goals via training, development opportunities and support from in-house mentors, so we’re delighted to be given the opportunity to showcase our passion for training and development, and hopefully inspire other businesses in the region to empower their people in a similar way.

"We see great value in championing our region – we have so much to offer and it’s key to ensure that the wider UK sees how valuable the North East is as a hub of businesses. That, combined with the wider Level Up campaign, make awards like this the perfect opportunity to put our region on the map."

The Northern Echo: Dan KitchenDan Kitchen (Image: Press release)

TV business guru Sara Davies will be our guest speaker on the night, and events legend Alfie Joey will be the host.

Nominations for all of the categories are already coming in so just CLICK HERE and it will take you right to the nominations form to let us know about the businesses and people who are helping to change our region for the better. We are looking for your nominations in:

  • Training and Skills Award
  • Innovation Award
  • New Business of The Year
  • Creative Business of The Year
  • Export Champion Award
  • Diversity and Inclusion Award
  • Employee Health and Wellbeing Award
  • Community Impact Award
  • Net Zero Award
  • Business of the Year.

Dan Kitchen says the ripple effect of winning a BUSINESSiQ Award could be vital for growing businesses.

"The awards can be a huge motivator for local businesses both now and in the future – winning is a huge accolade and brings with it significant exposure across the region in one of the most widely read publications, not to mention an excuse to enjoy a superb awards night!

"We are all aware that the North East, and wider UK, is facing a difficult economic climate which comes after nearly three years of upheaval following the outbreak of Covid-19 in March 2020.

"While there have been many casualties as a result of these events, we have also seen businesses thrive and that is testament to the resilience of our region.

"razorblue itself continues to grow at 35 per cent year-on-year and are on track to hit £20million turnover this financial year. We’re recruiting within the North East with the goal of creating at least 25 new roles within the next year and we are in the process of doubling the size of our North East office from 5658sqft, to 11,316sqft, which is due for completion in Spring.

"We are hoping to acquire two further businesses within the next 12 months, as well as growing our business applications division."

Read next: