The History of Polymer Training & Innovation Centre (PTIC)

It all started back in 1976 when the Labour Government at that time created the Plastics Processing Industry Training Board (PPITB), along with many other ITBs to support different manufacturing disciplines. The original training centre was located in the small village of Splott just outside of Cardiff in South Wales.

Companies involved in plastics processing of any type were charged a Levy that was used to fund the PPITB, who in return provided a range of short duration, technical training courses to develop the skills of employees working in plastics processing disciplines.

In 1985 the PPITB training centre was relocated to Telford which had become known as ‘Plastics Valley’ in the UK and continued to operate using the Levy system until that was abolished in 1992. At this point the name was changed to become the British Polymer Training Association (BPTA) – registered as a Charitable Trust  but with a new remit to  operate as a fully commercial training organisation.

The original BPTA operated with three different disciplines contained within the overall structure and at that time employed around 85 people. The first was the training delivery arm which provided technical support to employers either at the Telford training centre, at one of the three regional training centres or on-site at customer’s premises. This is the activity area that eventually became PTIC as we are today.

The second area within the BPTA was the Qualification & Awards team who created products that included NVQs for various polymer processing and associated techniques plus the well-respected Standards of Performance for the polymer sector which the NVQ standards were eventually based upon.

The third area within the BPTA was the National Training Organisation (NTO) which was the link to Government policy initiatives and the funding that it could provide to support regional and national development such as European Social Funding (ESF).

In 1995 it was decided that training organisations that had developed in this way could no longer contain the three different discipline areas within a single organisation. BPTA sold off the Qualification & Awards team and the NTO elements, retaining just the commercial training course delivery arm of the original business. This was then renamed Polymer Training Ltd. (PTL) in 2004 and remained in the Telford training centre building until 2009.

In 2009 City of Wolverhampton College was looking to increase its Employer Engagement activities and made a bid to purchase the PTL operation. This included the IP to all of the course materials, training software and the employment of many of the PTL employees.

The operation re-located to a different industrial estate in Telford and now continues to trade as the Polymer Training & Innovation Centre (PTIC) offering a similar range of short duration, technical training courses across the various polymer processing disciplines.

Get in touch to discuss your own training requirements or to arrange a visit to look around the new Telford training centre for yourself.