1982 Project Management Training begins

Project Management Training is set-up by local businessman, Sean Canavan. After working abroad for a number of years, in shipbuilding and off shore construction, Sean was inspired to create an organisation which ran training programmes based on the German apprenticeship model combining on the job and classroom learning.

1986 The National Garden Festival

The National Garden Festival in Stoke-on-Trent is opened by the Queen in 1986. Involved in the setting up of the festival, Sean and his two children, Daniel and Nina, work on the souvenir shop and oatcake stand throughout the five-month celebration. Today, the site is known as Festival Park.

1988 Sir Stanley Matthews visits Project Management Training

Stoke City legend Sir Stanley Matthews pays the apprentices at Project Management Training a visit. Over the next few years, he becomes a regular friend to the staff and learners, visiting frequently and posing for photos.

1989 First IT class at Project Management Training

The first ever IT class at Project Management Training takes place in 1989. Since then, the company has seen more and more learners develop skills in the constantly evolving technology with IT apprenticeships at an all-time high.

2007 25th anniversary of Project Management Training

In 2007, Project Management Training celebrated its 25th anniversary. During the quarter of a century, more than 500 training places were delivered in North Staffordshire each year, 170 placements were arranged at companies including JCB and Trentham Leisure, and more than 5,000 young people were put into work.  

2014 Vince Cable visits PM Training

Business Secretary Vince Cable visits PM Training to see young apprentices in action. Dr Cable said: “This is a brilliant institution. Unlike a lot of training organisations, it takes the young people who would otherwise be lost and helps get them ready for work and ready for apprenticeships.”

2015 Sean Canavan receives Lifetime Achievement award

Sean receives a Lifetime Achievement award from The Sentinel for his pioneering work across Staffordshire. Through the creation of PM Training in 1982, Sean has helped 11,000 young people into employment and created a legacy that continues to support employers and school leavers to this day.

2017 PM Training HQ renamed the Canavan Centre 

PM Training’s HQ becomes the Canavan Centre in honour of the pioneering mentor and businessman who set it up 35 years ago – Sean Canavan. Based on Sean’s signature, the sign is a fitting tribute to the man who helped 11,000 young people into employment.


Whilst 2020 proved to be a challenging year for the world as the global Coronavirus pandemic hit - PM Training excelled in supporting learners and apprentices - being shortlisted as Training Provider of the Year at the TES Awards - whilst winning the IWFM Social Value Award for supporting communities across Staffordshire.


In April 2021, PM Training became Achieve Training and a new era for the business began. Building on over 35 years experience, Achieve Training is the name for inspirational and quality training that provides young people with a life launchpad to develop careers.

Artboard 23


Read how we are building on the foundations of over 35 years to support people and businesses.