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Engineer winning new clients and growing in confidence after graduating from popular business course

Written by A.R.Fairbank@swansea.ac.uk / Friday 11th January 2019

An engineer is winning new clients and growing in confidence after graduating from a popular business course.

Owen Bracegirdle says the ION Leadership programme transformed his working life and had a positive impact on the culture and commerce at Bangor-based Egniol Environmental Ltd.

During the last two years, Egniol has undertaken a successful diversification exercise of their portfolio and services, which subsequently increased its client base and workload. This is evident in their recent expansion and opening of a new office in Milton Keynes.

They believe the completion of the ION courses played a part in this success, especially within the North Wales region.

Owen, from Llanrug, says the flexible nature of the Level 3 ‘New Leaders’ qualification he achieved was a big selling point.

He balanced his job as a consultant engineer with family life as a father to two young children, while completing assignments for ION and attending regular seminars at Bangor University.

owenbracegirdle2_.jpgAt the same time, he was also in the final year of a degree in Civil Engineering.

“It was an incredibly busy period for me, but with the support of my wife Llinos and colleagues I was able to successfully complete the New Leaders programme and graduate in the Spring,” said Owen.

“Since then I feel that I’ve really grown as a person and professionally gaining confidence and even leading a team of my own.

“ION gave me an insight into different types of management and helped me to succeed in my day-to-day role more than I would have had I not taken part.”

He added: “Beforehand I probably wouldn’t have approached new clients as much because I lacked confidence in initiating opportunities, but the programme really encouraged me to do so and we’ve already noticed the amount of work coming into the team has increased, as well as the number of customers.

“The networking aspect was also important and has developed more business and contacts for Egniol; it was an all-round positive experience and if given the opportunity to do the Levels 4 and 5 I would definitely take it.”

Owen said Egniol is committed to developing its workforce and giving them a platform on which to develop in tandem with the company.

They are supporters of the industry-focused provision at Bangor University – which also includes the 20Twenty Business Growth Programme and the North Wales Business Academy – and have placed four workers with ION.

The ION Leadership Programme ran out of Bangor University is aimed at companies in north west Wales, with placements up to 70% subsidised by the European Social Fund, via the Welsh Government.

Business Development Manager Felicity Roberts is delighted Owen and Egniol Environmental Ltd have seen the benefits and urges other firms to follow suit.

“The feedback we have received over past years is very similar to that of Egniol, that ION has made a big difference, not just to the person but to profits, professionalism and productivity,” said Felicity.

“Most importantly, to hear that Owen has grown in confidence and found the course flexible and helpful is heartening. Ultimately, we want people to feel welcome and learn in a positive atmosphere.

“We wish Owen and Egniol the best of luck and look forward to welcoming more of their employees and managers onto the course in the future.”

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