40 years ago, almost to the day, Damar Training welcomed our first ever students. Founded by Stockport businesswoman Dale Stafford, Damar started life as a secretarial training college before growing into the national provider of apprenticeship training and recruitment that we are today.
Many things have changed since then. In 1980, the average UK house price was £23,628. The internet wouldn’t be available to the public for another 11 years, the first mobile phones not for another 5 years.
The things that matter to us are just the same. Now, like then, we have a single ambition, which is for our students and the organisations they work for to achieve their full potential.
We don’t teach students shorthand these days and the work we do has grown to include apprenticeships in a wide range of business and professional skills from entry level right up to undergraduate and degree level. In 1980, all our training took place in a classroom and all students had to travel to Stockport. Now, our nationally-based coaches work with apprentices across England. Post-Covid, virtually all delivery takes place online using a mix of virtual classrooms, 1:1 coaching sessions and other materials.
Just as in 1980 our students are supported by a team of Damar colleagues who are totally committed to helping them achieve their goals. The early 1980s had other similarities to today. Then, as now, we were entering a recession and unemployment was rising. Damar was founded at a challenging time and its ethos was all about helping people to get the skills they need to get on in life.
It worked. Since then, we have worked with over 20,000 students. Damar students have gone on to successful careers in all sorts of areas – from policing, accountancy and law to teaching and running their own businesses. Apprenticeships continue to provide the means for people to step up into new jobs and step on as their careers progress.
Although in-person birthday celebrations are on hold until 2021, we did share same cake and coffee over Zoom. We’d love to hear from anyone who studied with Damar in the early days. Where has your career taken you? What advice do you have for young people today looking start their careers in tough economic times? Get in touch with us here on our website or on social media - Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.