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1982 Project Management Training begins

Project Management set up by Kathleen Miller and Sean Canavan, closely followed by Alan Salt to create a supportive model where young people could learn skills, excel and reach their potential. 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 Queen Elizabeth II. Involved in 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.

1995 Homeworks is set up

Daniel Canavan and Tony Clarke set up the Homeworks Service to support vulnerable people with their gardens across Stoke-On-Trent. Now an award-winning service for creating social value, with over 40 vehicles young people learning new skills everyday.

2005 Swans of Trentham

The Swans at Trentham Gardens becomes the first of over 100 metalwork sculptures across the city to be created by apprentices through the Artworks service.  Now working with award-winning worldwide artist, Andy Edwards, learners and apprentices are creating sculptures the public can see for many years to come.

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.  

2008 PM Training joins Aspire Housing Family

PM Training becomes a social enterprise and a part of the Aspire Housing family. Since then the business has grown from 70 employees to over 150 and has supported thousands of people by putting people first. 

Together with Aspire Housing and Realise charity, Achieve Training blends commercial expertise with social purpose to revitalise communities by providing homes, training, employment and support.

2013 Opening of The Alan Salt Centre

Expansion into Chesterton to create a construction center of excellence called the Alan Salt Centre. The building based on Brick Kiln Lane has provided expert support to hundreds of aspiring bricklayers, painters, and maintenance apprentices. 

2014 Vince Cable visits PM Training

Former 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.”

2014 Winner at UK Social Enterprise Awards

PM Training wins the Social Enterprise UK awards for Education, Training and Jobs - and is recognised for clearly demonstrating excellence in vision and strategic direction and  social and community impact.

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, 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 in 1982 – Sean Canavan. Based on Sean’s signature, the sign is a fitting tribute to the man who helped 11,000 young people into employment.

2018  PM Training became a new trail blazer

PM Training became a trial blazer within the Housing sector helping to develop new housing and property management apprenticeship standards. Achieve Training now works with large social housing associations across the UK, such as Clarion Housing, Orbit Housing and Bournemouth and Poole Council to recruit apprentices and upskills housing colleagues.  


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 also 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.

2021 Learner visits to Staffordshire's leading businesses. 

Achieve Training learners enjoy visits to Churchill China, Portmeirion and Solidor as part of a new engaging careers education programme. Future apprentices are provided with a great insight into the manufacturing sector and a behind the scenes tour at Staffordshire's leading employers. 

2022 Training centres re-development

Training centres at the Canavan centre, Stoke-on-Trent, and the Alan Salt centre, Chesterton undergo a major redevelopment creating a new learning and teaching environment. 

The training centres are converted into state of the art learning spaces with breakout areas, modular classrooms, relaxed learning environments people at the heart of it all.

2022  Celebrating 40 years of business

Achieve Training celebrates a milestone anniversary, marking 40 years of supporting young people in North Staffordshire.

The Stoke-on-Trent business is one of the leading apprenticeship providers in the region, having supported thousands of young people into careers since it first launched in 1982.

Originally set up by Sean Canavan, Kathleen Miller and Alan Salt, the business started as Project Management Training in 1982, and later renamed to PM Training when it joined the Aspire Housing family in 2008.

In 2021, a major rebrand saw the business emerge as Achieve Training, announcing a revitalised business strategy and service offer, and creating a launchpad for inspiration and quality training for young people and businesses in Staffordshire.


Find out how Achieve Training can support you to achieve more. Get in touch with our teams today. 

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Read how we are building on the foundations of 40 years to support people and businesses.