ITL UK has been steadily increasing its support of initiatives geared to improving social and commercial prospects for Oxfordshire’s communities.
Conveniently-located and one of the best resourced of UK counties, Oxfordshire offers state of the art facilities within the largest concentration of research and development activity in western Europe.
Managing director Adrian Lockwood is one of only three owners of small to medium sized enterprises to sit on the Oxfordshire Skills Board, an independent partnership which he chairs, bringing together all sectors of local government, business, community, schools and higher education. He is also a board member (carrying the skills portfolio) of Oxfordshire’s recently-launched Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).
The county is one of 24 successful bidders approved by the government to establish LEPs to promote business growth in UK regions, replacing the old RDA’a (regional development agencies) such as SEEDA.
“The overarching aim is to be the catalyst for realising the county’s economic and commercial potential,” says Adrian.
“Within the county is the City of Oxford, Science Vale UK and our own locale of Bicester all of which are great hubs for significant commercial opportunities for world class businesses.”
Adrian has a personal focus on improving the skills of Oxfordshire’s workforce and those about to enter the workforce.
“We’ve long been championing the work of further educationalists in youth skills development as well as local business enterprise support schemes,” he says.
“It’s great to be able to extend both our reach and hopefully effectiveness in improving the opportunities for all our people locally.”
ITL provides support to the CREST Awards program within the region, a scheme geared to accrediting student projects that demonstrate creativity in science and technology and the company is an advisor to the local Young Enterprise Scheme. In addition a number of staff make regular visits to county schools to talk to staff and students about working culture, or to run workshops.
Adrian is a governor of one of the first of a new breed of semi-independent state-funded schools, or “Free Schools” as they are known, scheduled to open in September 2013 and set to challenge entrenched state education programs.
Expectations of the new school close to the ITL HQ site at Upper Heyford are high; “we are already 50% oversubscribed before we even open our doors” says Adrian, “indicating just how much parents locally are supportive of the educational values we are promoting”.
ITL is a member of both Bicester Chamber of Commerce and Bicester Vision, an independent local public/private partnership committed to bringing together all local stakeholders to ensure a robust and secure future for the town.
“Our location here has played an important role in our success,” Adrian adds. “Oxfordshire enables us scope for expansion and to adapt to new demands when we need to.”
“It’s a great place to do business and even more importantly to be a day-to-day part of. Giving back to our community is a mutually enriching process hopefully leaving a legacy for the next generation to go onto even greater achievement.”