CITY GROWTH: Assessment firm expands into Sheffield city centre

The NOCN team in Acero in Sheffield City Centre.
The NOCN team in Acero in Sheffield City Centre.

A growing skills assessment company has moved into top rated offices in Sheffield city centre more suited to its “size, reputation and brand.”

NOCN has moved 45 people into new block Acero on Sheaf Street - with space for 20 more.

NOCN Group MD, Graham Hasting-Evans.

NOCN Group MD, Graham Hasting-Evans.

The firm creates the qualifications and exams used by colleges and training providers.

Established more than 30 years ago, it has moved from an office near the Parkway as part of ambitious growth plans. And it has invited Sheffield Lord Mayor Magid Magid to conduct an official opening on September 14.

Marketing manager James Harkness said they had been planning the move for a year.

“It’s exciting for us to be in Sheffield city centre, it’s already helped set up meetings - you can just walk out of the office and meet for coffee - and it has great transport links.

In association with Sheffield Business Improvement District

In association with Sheffield Business Improvement District

“We wanted the sort of place you could bring someone from the Cabinet Office or a chief executive, it looks the part. It’s somewhere more suited to our size, reputation and brand.”

NOCN creates qualifications, from NVQs to MAs, and sets the standards colleges must reach.

It also assesses apprentices. It employs 100 and has offices in Norfolk, Wales, County Durham and India.

Managing director Graham Hasting-Evans says: “This is an exciting time for the Sheffield City Region and an exciting time for skills development in the UK as we look to fill the productivity gap we face in comparison to other competing nations.

The Star's City Growth series is charting the transformation of Sheffield city centre.

The Star's City Growth series is charting the transformation of Sheffield city centre.

“We are proud to be at the forefront of this agenda, working with training providers, employers, and learners to offer the very best qualifications, assessment, and consultancy.

“The growth and diversification of our organisation puts us in a strong position to champion things such as quality in vocational learning, apprenticeships and productivity improvement, and lobby to make the further education sector as fit for purpose as possible for employers, learners and providers.

“Although we work internationally, we have a strong connection to the Sheffield City Region and want to do all that we can to give back to our local economy through the work we do with local people and by creating exciting careers at our own organisation.

“We hope our enthusiasm for upskilling the nation from our home in Sheffield will be something that the Lord Mayor shares during his visit on 14th September.”

NOCN is a longstanding advocate in equality and diversity, he added. It bought construction sector awarding firm Cskills in 2017.  

CITY GROWTH 

Sheffield is on the up. A record number of firms are moving into the city centre creating a buzz in offices, restaurants and shops. The Star is celebrating this new vibrancy with our City Growth series, in association with Sheffield Business Improvement District.