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Shadow Small Business Minister Toby Perkins visits Plymouth sales trainees

This article originally appeared on the Plymouth Herald website.  Read more: 


Shadow Small Business Minister Toby Perkins met apprentices and business leaders when he saw first hand how Plymouth is training the sales force of tomorrow.


The MP for Chesterfield visited the offices of Focus Training, in Plympton, where he found our how its

partnership with another training provider, Competitive Edge, is preparing youngsters to fill vacancies in sales and marketing.

Mr Perkins was visiting Plymouth as guest of Moor View MP Alison Seabeck.

And it turned out they had more in common than just Labour Party membership – both having once worked in sales themselves.

Mr Perkins said he was impressed with the ground-breaking training being carried out in Plymouth, and wants to see it adopted elsewhere to encourage more youngsters to consider a career in sales.

“We are looking at how to get sales skills into schools, and we’d like to see this rolled out across the country,” he said. “Sales is a massive part of the economy and drives growth, it employs about 10 per cent of all people.

“If you professionalise sales you will also get fewer of the bad sales stories.

“And a good quality salesperson will never be out of work – they are the last people a company can afford to let go. In these difficult times it is a career people should think about.”

Tom W

yness, managing director of Competitive Edge, has highlighted Government data which shows there were about 300,000 sales and marketing jobs advertised in 2011– but only 2,000 people left education with the appropriate qualifications.

He said: “We have recruited about 50 learners in 12 months, and train them so they can get into a sales-type job.


“I met Toby at a conference and told him we are the first in the country doing this and he wanted to see it.”

During his visit to the city Mr Perkins also met representatives of Plymouth Chamber of Commerce, the Federation of Small Businesses and SMEs to discuss issues such as finance and Government procurement.

Ms Seabeck said: “Toby will not go away without knowing what Plymouth has to offer.”

She added: “Competitive Edge is at the cutting edge of training. Sales is a career that’s worth pursuing.”

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I am Toby Perkins, Labour's Member of Parliament for Chesterfield. If you would like to get in touch with me, my office is open and can be reached by phone on 01246 386 286. I also hold regular surgeries so that constituents can meet me and I can take up their concerns. If you would like to make an appointment then please do contact my office. Thank you for visiting.

Contact Toby

Tel: 01246 386286
Post: 113 Saltergate, Chesterfield, S40 1NF


I hold regular surgeries for my constituents.
Please call 01246 386286 or email to make a booking.

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