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Training for Work

Brent Quill
Brent Quill
Smart50 rank: 40
Revenue: $1995953
Growth: 57.88%
Founders: Brent Quill, 30 KC McPhee, 27 Lee Lasaruk, 27
Head Office: Victoria
Employees: 14
Industry: Education

When they founded Training for Work in 2008, Brent Quill, Lee Lasaruk and KC McPhee anticipated there would be a growing demand from businesses for training organisations to assist in retraining and up-skilling their workforces.

The trio found the most challenging part about starting the business was balancing work and family commitments as they had a tendency to put work first and friends and family second.

“Over time we learnt to better manage our time, to delegate tasks to other staff and to set aside specific time for family and friends,” Quill says.

Like many companies, Training For Work has experienced challenges, such as staff resigning at inconvenient times, having other organisations copy their logo or name and managing non-payment by customers.

The company has seen the vocational education and training industry in Australia undergo significant change over the past three years and it foresees continued change.

Changes to date are the establishment of a national regulator for the industry, the introduction of an enhanced quality assurance and regulatory framework for training providers and changes to government procurement policies to allow high quality private training providers to access government funding and subsidies to provide nationally recognised training.

Quill sees the changes as positive for Training For Work’s business, for the industry as a whole, and for the broader community.

The business talks to clients and staff to identify areas of unmet demand within the marketplace, monitoring and reviewing the operations of key competitors, researching government policies and goals and considering what products or services government will need to procure to deliver on its objectives.

“Our most successful marketing effort in the past 12 months has been traditional word-of-mouth and face-to-face sales. However, we have also started to more actively market via social media and other online media channels,” Quill says.

Training For Work typically develops individual strategies to motivate staff dependent on their job role, personal aspirations and life circumstances.

“Examples of the strategies we have used to motivate staff include: financial incentives, career progression, flexibility arrangements, professional development opportunities and additional leave entitlements,” Quill says.

The advice Quill gives to fellow entrepreneurs is that “everything takes longer and costs more than you planned”.

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