Tech start-up addresses UK trade skills shortage with new college mentoring programme

Tech start-up addresses UK trade skills shortage with new college mentoring programme

Lancashire tech-start up Kiistone, an online portal that helps tradespeople and customers work together more effectively and securely, has launched a college mentoring programme, starting with Accrington and Rossendale College, to encourage more young people to consider a trade as a career.

Tim Mullock, Kiistone founder and tradesperson, launched Kiistone to help tradespeople run their businesses more effectively and to put an end to payment disputes. Tim is now working with young people to share his experience of how a trade is not only a potentially lucrative career, but to demonstrate how it can also be one of the most rewarding, when approached in the right way.

The Kiistone college programme focusses on employability skills and the attributes needed to be successful in the trade. Tim Mullock is keen to demonstrate how vocational qualifications in further education, are just as valuable as academic ones and how B-TECS, NVQ’s and T-Levels can provide just as successful a career path and future, than the more traditional academic A-Level route.

Tim Mullock said: “Right now there is a skills shortage in this country, and we need more tradespeople. Quite simply, there are not enough young people taking on vocational qualifications, and in many cases those that do take a vocational path, do so because they didn’t get the GCSE’s required to do A-levels.

“The tide needs to turn, and society needs to understand that vocational qualifications are a great opportunity for young people to learn a trade and to understand the other skills that they need to really carve a successful career and, in many cases, to launch their own business.

“At Kiistone, we want to be at the forefront of this change in attitude, and we want to inspire and educate our young people and show them that becoming a successful tradesperson is something to aspire to. We are excited to have launched our campaign with Accrington and Rossendale College and we are looking forward to holding many more sessions with them and other northwest colleges, over the coming months.”

Morag Davis, Centre Principal for Accrington and Rossendale College said: “There is a perception amongst some young people and parents that construction trades are not aspirational careers. The objectives of working with Kiistone is to create education and training that doesn’t just develop excellent practical skills but also supports learners to develop professionalism and customer service, to understand the business and to develop ambitious career plans.

“We want to show our young people the exciting opportunities that exist in construction and we are excited to be working with successful construction employers to bring those experiences to our learners.

“Working with Tim Mullock has helped our young people to see the huge possibilities open to them through a career in construction. Many of our students have not achieved their potential at school, and we are here to give them a second chance and to show them that they can build an exciting career in construction trades.”

If your college is interested in the Kiistone mentoring programme or if you would like to find out more about the Kiistone online portal visit Kiistone or email

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