The first entrants to a new graduate academy programme set up by a North East business technology firm have started their training and taken jobs with the firm.

ION Industries specialises in providing cloud accounting, billing and revenue delivery services to mid-market companies in a range of market sectors and has a particular specialism in healthcare, technology and professional services.

As part of its scale-up plans, ION set up a rolling 12-month training programme to help introduce young new recruits to all aspects of the business and prepare them for the career opportunities that ION offers.

The first three programme entrants have now started their training with the Newcastle-headquartered firm, which has committed to three training intakes every year.

As part of its ongoing growth strategy, ION Industries has previously secured two separate investments from the different elements of the North East Fund that are run by regional fund management firm NEL Fund Managers and was delivering annual revenues of around one million pounds by the end of 2020.

Established in 2016, ION Industries currently has a 27-strong team, most of whom are based in the North East, and is expecting to create up to 30 new jobs in the region as the year progresses.

Alongside its core activities, it also acts as an independent product reseller, which enables it to specify the most appropriate technologies for each of its client’s particular needs, and then provides implementation and ongoing support as required

Founder and managing director Rob Mathieson says: “The business has been growing well and we have detailed plans in place for accelerating what we’re doing, a central part of which is ensuring we have the right calibre of trained staff available to look after the needs of our clients.

“Instigating the academy programme means that we’re training young recruits in the specific ways in which we want them to operate right from the start and they also get to see at close quarters how their colleagues apply their skills and knowledge to meeting clients’ needs.

“Having three intakes every year will enable us to keep bringing talented young people into the business who will quickly get the chance to play their part in helping us continue to grow – and with training opportunities for young people like this likely to be at a premium for the foreseeable future, we expect there to be a lot of interest in what we’re doing.

“NEL’s support and guidance has been extremely useful as we’ve planned our continuing growth journey.  We know the team very well and their thorough approach to their work will make a real difference to how we develop.”

Jane Siddle, investment executive at NEL Fund Managers, adds: “Giving our young people the chance to learn and develop workplace skills is central to the success of growing North East businesses and the wider regional economy.

“ION Industries has a clear vision for how this long-term training commitment will contribute towards it reaching its future growth ambitions and how its young recruits can start to build successful careers for themselves in a fast-growing industry.”

The overarching £120m North East Fund will provide financial support for more than 600 businesses, creating around 3,500 jobs and delivering a legacy of up to £80m for further investment into the region.

NEL Fund Managers is actively looking for potential investees from Tyne & Wear, Durham and Northumberland to put their investment ideas forward.

For more information about NEL’s investment criteria, visit www.nel.co.uk or contact the investment team on 0345 369 7007.