Student training scheme to bypass university

Andrew Lagdale who set up The Management Academy (TMA) to focus on business leadership skills NNL-181105-133702001
Andrew Lagdale who set up The Management Academy (TMA) to focus on business leadership skills NNL-181105-133702001

An Aynho businessman is imparting his corporate knowledge to students who don’t want the debt of a university education but possess the desire and skills to succeed.

Andrew Langdale’s business history is as impressive as it is varied.

He qualified as a chartered accountant, spent 16 years in the printing industry and then went into supplying airlines food and drink. From the outset, however, Andrew’s passion was for leadership.

Andrew said: “At a very young age I got a chance to run things and I ended up running a business that printed financial documents. It was a global business which led me to New York. We bought some companies and effectively I ran a global printing business from New York.”

During his time within both the printing and airline supply industries Andrew was struck by the qualities that made an employee better than the rest, and it was not always academic success.

Andrew said: “One of the things that had always interested me was that the best people I had hired had very strong soft skills. So they were good communicators, they were clearly motivated, they were flexible and had shown resilience in their life.”

Andrew added: “Academic grades measure one thing, but the correlation with success at school or university and being successful in the workplace is not a straightforward formula.

“I believe there were too many good people who had thought they had underachieved with their education but were exactly what businesses need.”

Three years ago Andrew left the airline industry and used his contacts to cement his belief that it was soft skills that made the best candidates, so decided to set up a company specifically designed to teach them.

The Management Academy (TMA) runs three-month long accredited courses that focus on soft skills such as critical thinking and communication.

It achieves this with classroom teaching in addition to work experience and real life ‘The Apprentice’ style challenges, such as negotiating lower prices for hotel rooms compared to the advertised cost.

The course also fills a specific educational niche as Andrew explains: “There’s roughly 400,000 graduates a year but only 200,000 jobs available that require you to have a degree. We are an alternative to going to university.”

Students have work placements at the completion of the course with many being hired permanently.

The academy also offers scholarships to financially needy students.

Andrew said: “The heart of it is about unlocking potential.”

For more info visit www.tma.work.