Award-winning UK learning & training provision - Enquire today 0115 967 1513 or Email Us

ILM Level 3: Benefits to your business

Sending your employees on an Institute of Leadership and Management course is your ticket to getting yourself a first-class manager, who will reward your investment ten-fold with loyalty and newly learned skills. Here, we focus on the benefits of the level 3 course.

One of the biggest challenges in any growing business is getting great staff and holding on to them once you do. Recruitment is a major headache and one to be avoided as far as possible, but there’s a limit to how many expensive perks and benefits you can offer to keep your employees from straying without breaking the bank!

That’s where it really pays dividends to send your staff on an ILM Level 3 course at Infused Learning. Training is probably the best investment you’ll make as a business because it will make your great staff feel valued more than any amount of free lunches or extra days off will, and it will mean they’ll come back to the office with a fistful of skills enabling you to push your business on the path it deserves to go on: upwards!

So who’s the ILM level 3 best for?

The course is really aimed at people who you may have already promoted to being managers but don’t yet have the formal training that will equip them for the job. Your fantastic new team leader who has been with you for a few years, that you really want to push up to the next level – they’re ideal for ILM Level 3.

It’s also ideally suited for those people who may be a rung or two up the career level, ie: people who are managers but are now looking – or you would like to promote – into becoming leaders of your organisation. The ILM level 3 course also covers the principles of leadership that will be really invaluable for those people who you hope may take the business on to their shoulders in five to ten years.

When’s a good time for staff to complete an ILM level 3 course?

If your organisation is about to go through some sort of change – either significant growth, or, on the other side of the coin, perhaps a time of having to reduce staffing costs – this is a great time to give staff this training, as the ILM level 3 teaches people how to manage times of pressure.

During the course, delegates will also learn how to motivate and inspire people within their teams to go that extra mile towards achieving a business’s goals. This kind of positive communication can be rare in management roles with people who have been promoted into senior positions because they have specific skills beneficial to an organisation – ie, a strong knowledge of IT or engineering – but have not learned the ability to communicate their knowledge to staff working below them.

So go on, find out more about our ILM level 3 course today!

Promoting staff to be managers? Why investing in an ILM course to train them in team leadership will pay back dividends – a guide for employers

Promoting your best staff to better paid jobs higher up the management structure is a great way to run any business: it will create real loyalty and also promote a message that hard work in your organisation will be recognised and rewarded.

Those more senior roles will very often involve managing other people, and it’s at your peril that you as an employer neglect the fact that the skills of leadership are not necessarily acquired without some training. Management is often much under-valued in the workplace but when done badly, it can cost a business thousands of pounds in high staff turnover and even poor customer service – for example, if messages on a company’s strategic direction are not correctly filtered through to the entire workforce.

And that’s where an Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM) course comes in – by sending recently promoted staff on one of our courses, you will reap great benefits for your organisation by ensuring that everyone feels valued.

At Infused Learning we offer level 3 and 4 Leadership & Management qualifications – so what will your staff learning by going on one?

  • Structural change – if you need to implement any changes in your company, be they budgetary cuts, redundancy, or a change in direction, you need great managers who will communicate these messages in as positive way as possible and ensure staff loyalty is retained. Course participants will also learn to avoid any legal issues that can arise simply because of poor communication.
  • Improving productivity – you need all your line managers to be great team leaders. Our ILM courses help give people the skills to encourage people in the right way, and also to run effective teams that run as efficiently as possible.
  • Planning ahead – a great manager doesn’t just react to the day-to-day, they can plan ahead to ensure the smooth running of an organisation. These are the skills that managers learn on a level 4 ILM course.
  • Loyalty – Making a small investment into staff training sends out a great message that you really value their work and are prepared to put money into enhancing their skills and CV. It’s likely you will be rewarded with their loyalty, which saves you the headache and expense of extra recruitment.

So don’t delay – send your freshly fledged managers on one of our ILM courses today! You’ll really notice the benefits.

Step up the career ladder with an ILM course and you’ll never look back – a guide for employees

Whether it’s an accountancy firm, an engineering business, an SME or a clothes shop, many workplaces operate the same organisational structure which sees middle managers and senior managers responsible for groups of staff.

Depending on where you work, there is very often the opportunity for those who show aptitude to progress to management level and a higher salary. But with more pay comes more responsibility and a new set of skill requirements: getting the best out of other people. In short, being a good manager.

And that’s where an Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM) course comes in. A leading authority on management, these courses offer the chance to hone skills and get a respected industry qualification that will be of great benefit to you as an employee and your employer too.

So what will you learn?

  • Organisational change: the skills you will learn will help new managers if their workplace is going through structural changes – such as budget cuts, redundancy or other pressures. And if that’s not the case now, it’s highly likely it will at some point during any chosen career. Course participants will learn the right way to lead people through such changes and avoid legal pitfalls.
  • How to be effective: One of the main strengths of a great manager is the ability to motivate people so that they are enthusiastic about their job. Happy staff are proven to increase productivity. Taking part in the course will help provide “tools” to help managers keep everyone on board and lead great teams who will noticeably improve bottom lines.
  • Implementing changes in practice: Changes in the workplace are not just negative – ie, cutting costs. Changes can be the result of a strategic overview meaning that employees throughout an organisation will need to perform essential tasks in different ways. These matters need proper handling so that everyone in the workplace feels valued and that they’re not simply being asked to do things differently with no clear communication as to the reasons why. Good management is invaluable in such situations.

So if you’re a team leader wanting to make the next step up, or a recently promoted manager keen to gain the skills to perform effectively, why not sign up to one of our Infused Learning ILM courses? We offer level 3 and 4 qualifications which will give a great skills-set helping employees move up to the next level. And if you choose to move on in your career, these are fabulous additions to any CV, letting any new employer know at a glance that you have highly valuable skills.

Can blended learning help your business?

Our message continues to spread far and wide – important SME magazine Business Matters includes a feature on Infused Learning and our blended learning model

Here at Infused Learning towers, we are absolutely delighted to report that 2018 has started with a bang with well-respected industry publication Business Matters running a big feature on our organisation.

Infused Learning isn’t quite four years old but already our message about creating a new tertiary education system that’s accessible to those unable to attend traditional university settings really is getting some attention.

Specialising in news and features for Small to Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs), Business Matters has a monthly readership of nearly 150,000 so we are beyond thrilled to be getting our message out there.

In the feature, which was published on January 2, our co-founder Tara Askham provided her thoughtful insights into how blended learning – as well as being of profound benefit to students – is also a major plus for SMEs. With bright but financially disadvantaged students being priced out of universities, and SMEs desperate for ways to hold on to their best staff, Tara used the feature to point out how the Infused Learning blended learning model provides the perfect solution: by enabling people to carry on with their studies while at work, SMEs get motivated, skilled, loyal staff, and employees get the important qualifications they need.

Now that’s what we would call a win-win.

It’s not the first time we have been invited to appear in Business Matters magazine either – last May the magazine included a personal profile of Tara in its popular “Getting to Know You” section.

You can read the article in full here. And do share it with your colleagues if you find it useful and think they would too. You can do that by clicking on any of the social media platform links at the bottom.

Now offering ILM Level 3 Diploma in Leadership and Management

Who are these qualifications for?

These qualifications are ideal for individuals who have management responsibilities but no formal training, and are serious about developing their abilities. They particularly support practising team leaders seeking to move up to the next level of management, and managers who need to lead people though organisational change, budget cuts or other pressures.

Benefits for individuals

  • Gain a range of key management skills and put them into practice in your own role

  • Build your leadership capabilities – motivate and engage teams, manage relationships confidently

  • Develop your leadership and management skills using your own knowledge, values and motivations.

Benefits for employers

  • Effective and confident first-line managers

  • Better relationships and communication in teams

  • Proven skills – to get these qualifications, managers will need to show that they can transfer their new skills to your organisation

  • Managers with the tools to develop their own skills and abilities.

The qualifications are made up of a wide range of units covering management and leadership skills – including teamwork, motivation techniques, innovation and managing people and relationships.

What does it involve?

The units in this diploma will cover in depth, a wide range of skills that you will need in your role, including units that focus on:

  • Understanding Innovation and Change in an Organisation

  • Planning Change in the Workplace

  • Giving Briefings and Making Presentations

  • Understanding Conflict Management in the Workplace

  • Understanding Training and Coaching in the Workplace

  • Managing Workplace Projects

  • Understanding Performance Management

  • Understanding Costs and Budgets in an Organisation

  • Understanding Negotiation and Networking in the Workplace

  • Understand How to Lead Effective Meetings

  • Solving Problems and Making Decisions

  • Improving Performance of the Work Team

  • Meeting Customer Needs

  • Understanding Change in the Workplace

  • Diversity in the Workplace

  • Managing Equality and Diversity in Own Area

  • Managing Risk in the Workplace

  • Developing People in the Workplace

How is it assessed?

You will be asked to complete eighteen assignments throughout the course of your study.

Entry requirements

There are no formal entry requirements, but participants will:

  • Normally be either practising  or aspiring managers and volunteers with the opportunity to meet the assignment demands

  • Have a background that will enable them to benefit from the programme, which is likely to be level 2 in both literacy and numeracy

Why study with us?

We are winning awards for our expert learning delivery models which embrace and support the individuality of all learners. Our direct online and blended learning allows you flexibility to study at work, home or on the move. You will be supported throughout your course by a dedicated personal expert tutor. Learning really is as unique as you as we work with you to develop a personalised learning plan meaning you can start and complete your course at any time.

Fees

Our fees of £2,000 per learner include study materials and full registration and one year membership with ILM. However, this February we are offering £300 off or if you are a current or previous student with us and refer a friend you will receive a £50 online voucher. (You will receive this voucher when your friend has been on the course two months)

Free ILM studying membership provides:

  • Electronic copy of the ILM magazine

  • Online assessment of your team leading skills

  • Career development services

  • Use of the ILM’s resource centre

For organisations and charities, we are able to offer added discounts dependent upon group size and location as well as delivery options.

Accreditation

This course is accredited by ILM

Duration

Our tailored programmes can fit around you and your commitments. Guided learning hours for the ILM Level 3 Diploma is 370 hours. This means you could complete in as little as four months with a maximum duration of twelve months.

For organisations and we can create a bespoke delivery programme to meet your needs which can be completed in six full day seminars.

Progression

Successful learners can progress to a range of qualifications including:

ILM Level 4 Award, Certificate or Diploma in Leadership and Management.

We’re in the Nottingham Post!

We’re in the press again … here at Infused Learning we were handed a welcome early New Year’s present when we were featured once again in the Nottingham Post, who gave some extensive coverage to our innovative pilot scheme helping unemployed people in Bulwell back to work with our free courses.

The city’s big daily paper featured our Growing You and Your Employability scheme in a big spread on December 29, and we couldn’t be more delighted that is already starting to be talked about, months before the launch.

Infused Learning co-founders Tara and Natalie have come up with the project which will see free qualifications offered to people living in the Bulwell area who haven’t currently got a job.
We were over the moon when our scheme won £10,000 Awards for All National Lottery funding and we are getting ready to launch it in March.

Why Bulwell?

As Natalie told the Nottingham Post reporter: “In Bulwell, a large number of residents have no formal qualifications. We wanted to try and go for areas which we felt needed it the most. By supporting adults in this region now, we hope to help prevent cyclical unemployment in this area.
“Bulwell is the perfect area to launch our new pilot and we hope that if it is successful it can be rolled out to more areas.”

The statistics for Bulwell are stark – not only have 37.4 per cent of residents no formal qualifications (against a backdrop of 22 per cent in England); in one of the main academies, 107 out of 166 learners at the end of key stage four were deemed “disadvantaged”.

What’s involved in the course?
The courses will be supported by Skype and will focus on three main areas: key academic skills such as research, spelling and grammar; time management and career confidence including CV writing, IT and interview skills. To complete the course successfully, Bulwell residents will need to finish their chosen modules within three months.

As we told the Post, we are hoping at least 70 Bulwell people will take us up on our offer, and in addition we are also calling on businesses to consider donating any old laptops or teaching modules.

The third day of Christmas – Are we a company worth talking to?

Well it’s day three already and, gosh, Christmas is so close! As I sat down to write our third update, it occurred to me that many of you either haven’t see me for a while, or perhaps you haven’t even met me in person yet, plus, there will be more than a few of you reading this that won’t quite be clear on what Infused Learning is and what we do. For example, did you know we are a not for profit social enterprise? This means any money we make, we plough straight back in to improving services to our students and expanding the range of qualifications we offer, it doesn’t go into shareholders’ pockets. Did you also know that we have students across the globe, and that we work for big blue chip, international businesses to help them train and develop all levels of employees?

Then as a contrast, there’s our work with the long term unemployed and people struggling with addictions, helping them to get their life back on track by supporting them with life skills, as well as education. Most of our work is supported distance learning so students have the flexibility to study when, where and how they wish, and, we all know, if you do something on your own terms, you have a much higher chance of succeeding; however, our work on business training tends to lean towards the face to face, going into the company and delivering our training as part of their employee development strategy.

We formed Infused Learning in 2014 and since then we believe we’ve achieved a lot, and our students have achieved even more. We’re are especially proud of the fact that third parties have recognised our achievements and have honoured us through their awards programmes. Because we’re bursting with pride and we’re feeling all warm and fuzzy with that festive feeling, we really want to share these accolades with you, so we apologise if you feel it’s boastful, but we just really want all of you to know that we are working very hard to be the best and that if you, or your company, put your trust in us, we will not disappoint you.

Since our inception, just three years ago, our accolades include being:

  • Finalists in two categories of the NatWest Great British Entrepreneur Awards 2017 – the Entrepreneur for Good and Start-Up Business Entrepreneur of the Year categories.

  • One of five Finalists for the Best Rural Social Enterprise in the UK-wide Rural Business Awards 2017.

  • One of three Finalists for Nottingham Post Business Women of the Year in the Digital Ambassador category  November 2017

  • One of 20 winners across the UK in the Big Venture Challenge 2016.

  • In the Young Academy 2016, we were one of only 11 winners in the UK.

  • The winner of the Employability Award 2016 at the Inspire Learning Awards (East Midlands).

  • Named the Best Adult Learning Group by Nottinghamshire County Council Adult Learning Services in 2016

  • Listed as number 22 out of 31 Social Enterprises in the UK as ‘the ones to watch and learn from in 2017’  

Thanks to all of you for indulging our pride, and a massive thank you to all our tutors and employees for making Infused Learning the successful enterprise that it is today. Happy Christmas – and we promise to tell you all about our Scholarship Programme on day four of our updates, something else you may not know about us. In July 2017, we launched our Scholarship Programme which offers up to 20 individuals free qualifications each year, a cost to us of around £60,000. You won’t want to miss it – maybe you know someone who could benefit? If you do, find out more, by giving me call on 07763817205 or email me, Tara Askham, at tara.askham@infusedlearning.org.uk, and I’d be delighted to help.

Tara Askham, Founder and Director of Infused Learning www.infusedlearning.org.uk

Helping young people access university

On our first day of Christmas, we shared a sneak peak of our ILM Level Three two-day course for those managers that are hoping to develop themselves, and their career, in 2018; but on our second day of Christmas, we want to give some hope to a younger audience across the UK.

It’s been six months since students received their A’ Level results and for some young people, it was a dark day, having failed to achieve the results they wanted, or perhaps even any A’ Levels at all. But, however you feel, and whatever you are told, you have a bright future, it’s just that the exam-heavy A’ Levels were not for you. Christmas should be all about hope, and if you know a young person in this situation – a son, a daughter, a niece or nephew, a brother or sister, then please share the possibilities that there is an answer, and this answer is an Access course.

Access Diplomas are often misunderstood with many people not realising that, not only is an Access Diploma comparable to three A ‘Levels, but it is also recognised by EVERY university in the UK.

An Access Diploma is also ALL assignment-based so for those students that have struggled because they can’t get on with exams, this could be the perfect option. We’d bet that the students that didn’t achieve their A’ Levels are actually exceptionally bright, it’s just that they learn in a different way to those who find exams more manageable – tell these young people that they won’t need to complete exams, and watch their faces light up, they may even be excited about studying again – a real Christmas miracle!

Access Diplomas are also incredibly flexible and are completed via distance learning, with as much tutor support as the young person needs. Students have complete control and can undertake the qualification as quickly as they like – for example they could work on it full time and complete it in six months – which would mean that they could be at University next October! Of course, they could also take longer and balance their studies with a full or part-time time job if finances are an issue.

What’s also wonderful about an Access course is that, although the qualification would need to be paid for in the first instance, all students can get an Advance Learner Loan – then once they achieve their degree, they will not need to pay this money back – the Government writes the Advance Learner Loan off, assuming the student then goes onto University and passes their degree.

We think that giving those young people who have felt despair at their results some real hope, and the opportunity to find out more about this route to university, is a cracking Christmas gift. Myself (Tara) and my Co-Founder, Natalie, are both available over the festive break to talk you, your young person or parents about what completing an Access Diploma could mean to them.

Sometimes the only chance we get to have a proper conversation with our families is when we are all on holiday from our day to day responsibilities, so we understand if you want to talk to us while the topic is hot but when most people are off work! Everyone is welcome to give us a call on 07891 336 853, in or out of ‘normal’ working hours, and we will speak to all interested people who would like more information or advice.

Merry Christmas – and see you all tomorrow!

The 12 days of Christmas!

It’s 12 days before Christmas and we’re going to share a countdown of sorts with you, so look out for an update a day to help inspire you in time for the New Year and your personal development, self-improvement and career-based New Year’s Resolutions…

At Infused Learning we are proud to be able to call ourselves a multi-award-winning organisation. We have exceptionally qualified tutors, incredibly cost-effective courses and qualifications and, thanks to our understanding of our students, it’s a real hotbed of learning and development too! We offer such a range of qualifications (see www.infusedlearning.org.uk) that it’s hard to pick just one to share with you.

But because it’s Christmas, and because we know that there are so many managers out there that are pushed for time but still want to improve their career prospects, and themselves, that we’ve decided to profile our Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) two day seminar which could see you wa

lk away with a Level 3 Award in Leadership and Management – and with it taking place on 12 & 13 January (in Nottingham), you’ll have gained this career excelling qualification before your boss has even properly recovered from their festive fun!

So why should you consider taking two days of your precious time to break out the books and study at our seminar? Well, the brass tacks of it are, it’ll improve your career prospects – how many of your colleagues have shown the initiative and taken on an internationally-recognised and accredited course like this? And which of them have succeeded? We’ve condensed this course into a mere 14 hours of teaching – no exams, no studying after work for weeks or months, no attending evening lectures when it’s cold and wet, and you’d rather be in the pub – or at the very least finishing off all the work you need to achieve so you can get a decent appraisal.

And talking of appraisals, how much better would it go with an ILM qualification under your belt? You’d get extra points for the initiative of course, and you’d be able to demonstrate the extra skills you have learnt in the workplace, and of course if you’re struggling to find the £629 it costs to attend the two-day course, then why not ask your workplace? Perhaps they’ll chip in for half of it, or even all? And you’ll be on your way to that pay rise, bonus and ‘exceeded’ rating in your next performance review.

To find out more and to have a no obligation chat about the ILM Level 3, or other qualifications, drop me a line at tara.askham@infusedlearning.org.uk or give me a call on 0115 967 1513.

Christmas wishes

Tara

Tara Askham

Director, Infused Learning, www.infusedlearning.org.uk

Never give up: Two women with one vision for highly flexible and personalised digital learning that is accessible to all

Infused Learning is thrilled to have been in the media again. This time prestigious international magazine Womanthology has spoken to our Co-Founder Natalie Sharpe to find out why she was inspired to set up Infused Learning, with business partner Tara Askham, and how Natalie previous experience has a student has dictated the ethos and future of the Infused Learning. Read the article below, or follow this link: http://www.womanthology.co.uk/inclusive-learning-pioneers-two-women-one-vision-highly-flexible-personalised-digital-learning-accessible-natalie-sharpe-co-founder-infused-learning/ to find out more.

Natalie Sharpe is co-founder of Infused Learning. She had her eldest child, now 18, while she was studying at university and experienced challenges trying to raise a family, study and work whilst attending a traditional educational institution. Natalie has always felt there had to be a better way and this passion drove her to the creation of Infused Learning alongside her co-founder, Tara Askham.

Natalie Sharpe is co-founder of Infused Learning. She had her eldest child, now 18, while she was studying at university and experienced challenges trying to raise a family, study and work whilst attending a traditional educational institution. Natalie has always felt there had to be a better way and this passion drove her to the creation of Infused Learning alongside her co-founder, Tara Askham.

Natalie Sharpe

“…My advice to students who have faced barriers to learn is to never ever give up. Anything is possible if you believe in yourself and have the right level of support…”

Spending less time on paperwork and more time supporting students

I found out I was pregnant whilst studying for my degree, and, as you can imagine, juggling bringing up a child whilst studying was challenging! I eventually became a lecturer and then an academic leader at a large college in Nottingham, and I enjoyed this role for many years.

Sadly, more recently the role became more about paperwork with less time to actually work with students and to have the time to help them develop. It was at this point that Tara and I decided there must be a better way.

We really thrive on watching individuals and organisations grow but this is limited in the environment offered by traditional education institutions, and the constraints put on students by traditional academic institutions curtailed so many students’ opportunities, making studying for many impossible.

For example, insisting that students had to be physically within the college for certain numbers of hours a week or present at lectures that could so easily have been recorded, Skyped or conferenced meant that many students, whether they were disabled, without childcare or had other challenging personal circumstances, were excluded

 

Using digital to banish barriers to learning

So many ordinary people who just wanted to improve their chances within the career marketplace or build themselves a more valuable and productive life were denied this opportunity. Tara and I felt that this, often perceived as acceptable, discrimination was not something that we could endorse and we truly wanted to provide another avenue for those that needed or wanted it.

On a day to day basis my role could be anything and everything. I create marketing materials, speak to students enquiring about the courses, manage the quality side of the access provision, grow links with local businesses and ensure we are compliant with all the academic and professional awarding bodies that we work with.

They told me I couldn’t … so #IDidItAnyway

As soon as you say you have a child and want to study as well as work to support your family, people seem to assume that you cannot do it – many people said I would never achieve what I did when I was getting myself a better education and the same attitudes were prevalent when we decided to set up Infused Learning.

Despite both Tara and I have a very strong track record in the sector, we were met by so many negative viewpoints. Consistently we faced the problem that we were just two women, we didn’t have the force of an education institution behind us. It took us around a year before we were truly investment ready and were in a position to really fight our corner.

We built up all of the requirements needed for a traditional institution, whether that was accreditations, business plans or procedures and then we went after getting approval from awarding body accreditations. This was possibly the most complex part.

The different bodies that award qualifications have high standards, and rightly so, but they also had perceptions of the type of organisations that should be able to offer their qualifications. However qualified, dedicated and enthusiastic we were, we were not that and, consequently, we had a lot of doors were shut in our faces, but we persevered.

A combination of successful funding applications, hard work, high professional standards and a determination to win over the doubters meant that we eventually had a whole range of qualification providers who wanted to work with us and continue to do so now.

So, we got there in the end, although it certainly wasn’t as easy as we had hoped. Of course, while we were spending 12 plus months ensuring all of these elements were in place, we still had to pay our bills and raise our families too!

Digital as a great enabler

The common interpretation of digital can mean that you are ‘on your own’ during the studying process, however, that was not our vision of digital learning. For us, just because students were learning digitally did not mean that they shouldn’t be offered individually-tailored and personalised support programmes.

In fact, the time that we spend offering one to one support to our students often far exceeds the traditional institutions. Our students are not part of a lecture hall of people vying for ten minutes with the tutor at the end of the session or hoping there is a free slot in their weekly diary when they have a problem.

We offer support in a range of ways to support the modern student and their specific needs. For example, we use Skype to build a relationship with our students and will respond to queries via email, instant message, text, phone call and social media.

We are not bound by the nine to five mentality of many education officials and we speak to our students in the evenings, at weekends and within ‘normal’ working hours. Our students can study the qualifications over whatever period they like, and are able to change this time period if their circumstances change.

Building bespoke programmes

We encourage our students to ask for extra time if they feel they need it and to access this time however they feel most comfortable, using what works for their lifestyle and learning style. The feedback from our students is that they feel fully supported throughout the term of their qualification and the achievements of our students reflect our dedication, and theirs, to building a programme specific to them.

All of this means that the choice lies with the students and means that everyone has the same opportunity to access education, on their own terms, in their own time and in the way that they find most useful to them. Our students are exceptionally diverse and we are immensely proud of this.

Choosing a social enterprise model

If we just wanted to make money for ourselves, we wouldn’t have chosen a social enterprise model. What we wanted to do was level the playing field and operate a system where everyone had equal access to education. We wanted a model where we could apply for funds to help those students that could not afford to access an education, as well as offer ways to access education that were specific to the individual students.

However, we still wanted to be in control of our business so we could utilise our expertise to move the business forward and plough any profits we did make right back into the company.

A social enterprise model fitted these requirements and it has turned out to be a great choice, opening up channels to finance for our students, for example, that would not necessarily have been available if we had chosen another type of organisational structure.

Setting up a scholarship scheme

Aiming to support 20 individuals in its first year, the programme is being funded by the company and donations from businesses and the public, and is open to any UK resident. Our ethos is to enable access to education for all and this is why we have set up our Scholarship Programme.

There are many people out there who struggle to afford education and we want to support as many of those individuals as we can by providing our courses free of charge to successful applicants.

The process to apply for our Scholarship Programme is simple too. The applicant only needs to provide 500 words, in writing, about why they deserve a place on their chosen course. This is then judged by an independent panel and a decision is made. The panel meets each month to consider submissions.

Successful applicants will be able to save themselves up to £3,000, depending on the qualification or course chosen. For example, an Access Diploma costs £3,000, so for each student who applies where they cannot access Government funding we will assess their individual case and, where possible, reduce these fees as much as possible.

We are working hard to gain corporate sponsorship to enable us to offer more funded places. Where we discount fees, there are some charities that will contribute – for example, a student’s local housing association.

Never. Give. Up.

My advice to students who have faced barriers to learn is to never ever give up. Anything is possible if you believe in yourself and have the right level of support. We have so many inspiring students that we have just filmed a range of case studies to illustrate their successes and they will be on our website soon.

So, if there is anyone who isn’t sure if they are brave enough to get in touch, then I’d take a look at these and you’ll be able to see how successful some of our students have been, in some cases, even when they have had some of life’s greatest challenges to contend with.

We really do have the most amazing group of students and we are in awe of them so often. It’s their hard work that makes their successes possible – we are just there to support them in every way we can. We often end up being far more than education tutors to our students and we feel so privileged that they trust us in this position.

Coming up next

We pride ourselves on being at the forefront of innovation whether that means writing new qualifications or how we deliver qualifications. We have just received a lottery grant for an exciting project in Nottingham. We have won, or are finalists for, a multitude of national awards and are about to start delivering our learning model internationally.

We are looking at growing the subjects we offer, as well as looking at more funding opportunities to make education more accessible. I am working hard to gain corporate sponsors so that we can continue to grow our scholarship programme, the number of tutors we have and the business overall.

It’s only been three years so far and I think there is so much more that we could do, so many more people we can help. I wake up excited at where we are today and thankful that I’m part of a business I love. I am finally making the difference that I always knew I could and there’s no better feeling!

Women in Business Finalists

Guess what, we’ve yet another amazing announcement – we’ve only been shortlisted for the Nottingham Post Women in Business Awards!

Here at Infused Learning we are beyond ecstatic to tell you all that we have yet again reached the final rounds of another prestigious awards scheme, this time run by the Nottingham Post. Infused Learning has been named as one of three finalists in the Digital Ambassador category of the awards. With 11 categories ranging from Small Business of the Year to Inspirational Woman of the Year and 33 finalists in total, we’ll find out whether we’ve won or not at a glittering ceremony in the Crowne Plaza on Thursday November 16.

Infused Learning co-founder Tara Askham says: “Since we started Infused Learning in 2014 we’ve been so lucky to have been showered with awards, which really helps us realise that we must have been getting something right! It’s particularly nice to be nominated for an award in our home city of Nottingham – we’re up against some amazingly inspiring businesswomen so just to be in their company is an accolade.”

The Nottingham Post Women in Business awards are now in their fifth year and annually see the cream of the city’s businesswomen nominated and honoured.

Judging is set to be tough this year with Nottingham Post editor and publisher Mike Sassi commenting that the number and quality of entrants this year has been the highest since the competition began.

View the full article here http://www.nottinghampost.com/news/business/nottingham-post-women-business-awards-624802

Infused Learning is an Award Finalist – again!

At Infused Learning, we are thrilled to announce that we are Finalists in TWO categories of the NatWest Great British Entrepreneur Awards! We are Finalists in the Entrepreneur for Good AND Start-Up Business Entrepreneur of the Year categories and we were chosen as finalists from over 1000 entries!

Now in its fifth year, the NatWest Great British Entrepreneur Awards acknowledges the hard work and inspiring stories of British entrepreneurs and businesses in Great Britain. The 2017 Awards have been extended so that ceremonies will now be held in five cities – Cardiff, Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh and London – compared with just two in previous years – so the competition is even more hard fought this year. Past winners include David Buttress of Just Eat, Julie Deane of The Cambridge Satchel Company, James Watt of BrewDog and Alexander Solomou of TheLADBible Group.

Infused Learning Co-Founder Natalie Sharpe comments:

“We are just over the moon with this latest accolade. We haven’t yet got over being Finalists for the UK-wide Rural Business Awards and we are now Finalists in another exceptionally high profile, UK-wide Awards scheme – and not only that, in two categories as well! We are all just so excited about our latest success and hugely grateful to all our team at Infused Learning that have worked so hard to support us in developing the business.”

Creator of the Awards, Francesca James, said:

“We have been inundated with some incredible entries this year, and all shortlisted applicants should be extremely proud of themselves! This year has seen a record number of entrants and we’ve been absolutely blown away by the strength and diversity of applications.”

“We cannot wait to celebrate entrepreneurship across Great Britain with them, and put a spotlight on the incredible talent within the British entrepreneur ecosystem.”

Gordon Merrylees, Head of Entrepreneurship at NatWest said:

“I want to thank all of the entrepreneurs who entered this year and congratulate those who have been shortlisted, I look forward to seeing them at the regional finals.”

“It is clear that entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well and NatWest is thrilled to be able to support these awards to celebrate success with the businesses that are the lifeblood of the UK Economy as they start, scale and succeed.”

Infused Learning has been judged a Finalist by household business names like Dragons’ Den James Caan and many other big business brains, so the NatWest Great British Entrepreneur Awards is certainly an Awards Scheme to be reckoned with!

Infused Learning Joint Founder Natalie Sharpe concludes:

“Just knowing James Caan has been part of the team of judges that have decided Infused Learning is worthy of a Finalists slot is incredible. The Awards have an amazing line-up of judges for each category and we’d like to thank all of them for giving up their time to support British Entrepreneurs.

“We can’t wait until the Shortlist Evening in Birmingham on 3 October where we will be able to meet the judges and thank them personally!”