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Exeter PA Network delivering on commitment to address skills shortage
Posted on: March 20th 2019
Section: Member news

Last year, Kim Glover, founder of the Exeter PA Network met with admin recruiting managers from both public and private sector organisations from across the city, alongside recruitment consultants Hays, to discuss the skills shortages in the local admin talent pool. 

The recruiting managers shared their challenges in finding candidates with the right skills to fill their vacancies, with the biggest gaps being in the areas of core admin skills, including the ability to utilise software packages effectively, particularly Microsoft.  It was felt that this gap had increased in recent years as less and less early career admin professionals gained qualifications via secretarial college courses, opting instead to qualify via NVQs. 

Whilst the Network’s mission is to provide development opportunities to support its members to step up into an enhanced role, and has therefore facilitated sessions on topics such as marketing strategy, branding, finance, leadership, technology, etc, it is clear that core skills training is not being provided either at the start of many admin professionals’ career journey (ie by college or NVQ training providers) or during it (ie by employers), and this gap is damaging our economy.  Therefore, the Network committed to provide training opportunities to plug this gap throughout 2019.

The first full day Outlook Masterclass with multi award winning trainer Paul Pennant of Today’s PA was held in February.  Paul shared 156+ productivity hacks aimed at saving delegates an hour a day.  At an average PA salary of £15/hour, this would equate to an annual productivity saving of £3,600 per delegate.  Here’s what some of the delegates had to say about the training:


“Today surpassed my expectations.  Paul is truly excellent and his delivery of the course content was superb.  Highly recommend him for future training.” Christine Philpots, Princess Yachts


"I was so impressed with the Outlook Masterclass and have told my PA colleagues all about it." Judith Wellings, Exeter City Council


“What a great day. So many hints, tips and shortcuts across all elements of Outlook. Categories in tasks is a revelation! I’m using it daily and have everything I need to think about in one place and even on my phone! Simply brilliant.” Kate Gregory, Landmark


"I've started using tasks, and I no longer have a single post-it note on my desk. I'm so organised. I'm ready to catch up with my boss at a moment's notice." Wendie Burden, University of Exeter


Given the rave reviews and enquiries from delegates’ colleagues about further opportunities, the Network will be running another Outlook Masterclass on 3 July and a Word, Powerpoint and Excel Masterclass – delivering 420 time saving tips! – in September.  To find out more and to book your place, visit


Exeter PA Network are a professional networking group for all admin support professionals in the Exeter area and beyond, learn more > 


Facebook, @ExeterPANetwork 

Twitter, @ExeterPANetwork 


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