Case study

Newly appointed manager gains new skills and confidence

Abbygail, a newly appointed Recruitment Manager at EMA Training, was looking to gain new skills and confidence to support her and the business. The Smart and Inclusive Leadership (SAIL) programme has supported Abbygail in her new leadership role to ensure her department continues to make a positive impact.

European Union Social Fund in Partnership with the Department for work and pensions

East Midlands Apprenticeship (EMA) Training Provider has been offering apprenticeships in the IT, Finance, and Digital sectors for over 10 years and has successfully placed over 600 applicants in that time. With training hubs in Derby and Nottingham, EMA Training helps individuals kickstart their careers through face-to-face, trainer-led delivery, supplemented by mentoring in their place of work.

New changes and new challenges

With over 5 years of experience within the apprenticeships sector, Abbygail is now the Recruitment Manager at EMA Training. Her role is to support in advertising vacancies across different job platforms and social media to find the right candidate – she also makes sure to spread awareness of EMA Training within different job centres and avenues.

“As a newly appointed manager and a leader, I really wanted to progress my career and develop my skills, experience, and confidence to be the best leader I can be to support my team, the department, and the business as a whole, for growth and expansion.”

As a business, EMA Training has been on the lookout for a course that would allow them to grow and upscale. After receiving a mailer informing them about all the available opportunities at the University, Abbygail signed up straight away. “It was a no brainer, it was exactly what we were looking for”, she says.

“Reading the course description, learning about the modules and the qualifications we can get after completing the course really caught my attention – it was really about developing as a person and how you can progress in your own skills.”, Abbygail added.

She knew that the business was looking to grow within the department, and as a new leader, it was important to her to be prepared to face all the possible challenges that could arise from upscaling. “I wanted to learn how to be more strategic, how to prevent certain situations, and overall to have specific models in place for any scenario”, Abbygail explains.

Developing confidence

“I have gained a number of useful skills, but most importantly, confidence. Without this programme, I would never have access to this type of information or a qualification of a similar kind. This has opened my eyes and made me aware of what other opportunities and courses there are within the university, that could help my personal and professional growth.”, Abbygail says.

Abbygail found the course incredibly helpful in addressing the challenge: “The support from the lecturers and the academics was outstanding; with their support, I have gained a number of new skills, became more confident within my role, and was able to progress further”.

“Because of the format being a group of people, who were in the same or similar situation as me, we were able to discuss our experience, and compare the way we handle certain situations, it was a safe space for us to learn from each other.”

Staff member Abbygail Maddison

As a new manager with more responsibilities, the SAIL course allowed me to build my confidence as a leader and develop skills to effectively and positively benefit the department I manage.

Abbygail Maddison
Recruitment Manager at EMA Training

"There were many theories and models within the course that I am now skilled on and embed into my role. The course was led by inspiring women with a vast amount of experience and expertise within the subject areas and inspired me to continue my personal and professional development. I am proud to say I have been promoted to Recruitment Manager and my new-found confidence and skillset are supporting my growth within the business.”

Since completing the SAIL programme, Abbygail has been on the lookout for more University courses that could support her in her career development, such as our Reskill and Recover initiative.

Business growth

“We have a few managers developing, and I have been recommending the University’s business services all around our company, so my colleagues can grow as leaders and we can grow as a business.”, Abbygail says. 

Two people writing on a whiteboard with post-it notes

Is SAIL for you?

SAIL is for employees in supervisory and management positions as well as recent graduates and aspiring future leaders. It doesn't matter if you are new to management or an experienced manager looking to update your skill set. The programme can also be an excellent gateway to formal qualifications.

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Find out more about how the SAIL programme impacted participants and how they experienced great success due to the practical skills they were taught.

To discuss working in partnership with us, please contact our Business Enquiry Team on +44 (0)800 001 5500 or