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Our Founders History

Rob Hughes (1989 to Present)
After leaving school Rob started his 4 year lift engineering apprenticeship with Bennie Lifts in Vauxhall/Peterborough and finishing his training with Express Lifts in Bermondsey/Northampton while the company was later sold to Otis, and prior Bennie's was sold to Kone.

He has amassed 30 years experience in the lift industry.

Having learnt the lift trade by experience from the age of 15, Rob has worked with both large corporate lift engineering installation companies and smaller lift firms carrying out routine maintenance and attending emergency breakdowns and the follow up repair of broken lifts.

Having also run his own lift firm he understands the pains and frustrations of finding and keeping good reliable lift staff. Rob can help guide and transform your lift business to find and take new lift apprentices and new lift mates and train them into becoming fully qualified lift engineers. He will help grow your lift business and make it become more profitable through training and recruiting better staff.

His vision is to create 5,000 lift engineering jobs in the UK. He will do this by influencing the right decision makers, provide training leading to real jobs and developing fruitful partnerships with everyone. His mission is to support the growth of lift companies and to create new jobs for new people in communities of the greatest need.

Rob has run Training Centre Direct Ltd (TCD) since 2006 and has experience of lift engineer training, certification and recruitment solutions with a proven track record and client satisfaction. After building a loyal client base by focusing on efficient and cost effective service, the company now looks after well over 150 clients from all over the UK.

  • 30 Years Lift Industry Experience
  • Trained 1,500+ people
  • Average funding of £12,936 per lift mate we supply
  • Founded Lift Engineer Safe Register
  • Worked with over 400 businesses
  • Lift industry experience since 1989
  • Founded the Nationwide Academy of Lift Owners
  • 60% to 80% lift employment secured
  • 700+ direct owner lift employer contacts
  • Founded Lift Engineer Training Academy
  • EOR202N, NVQ2/3, QCF4 & lift engineer safety courses
  • Online e-portfolio & mobile enabled
  • 100's of testimonials, case studies and video diaries
  • Specialist at Guiding Lift Building Owners with Reputable Lift Firms with Lift Repair/Modernisation & New Lift Installation Work by Competent Lift Engineers who Won't Get You in Trouble with the HSE.

How long have you worked at Training Centre Direct?
I founded the company in 2006 after a painful episode of working for a poorly run and badly managed South London training company who were standing still and living in the past. Prior, I've also worked for Bennie Lifts, Express Lifts, Elite Elevators, Associated Lift Services, Liftwise & Lift's Direct.

What’s your background? i.e. qualifications, past experience?
4 year apprentice trained lift engineer including 5 years college and university study to achieve a degree level Electronic Engineering course starting straight from school. 30 years experience in the lift industry together with 5 years running a lift engineering service & repair business undertaking lift breakdowns and modifications to existing passenger and goods carrying lifts.

What does your day-to-day job involve?
Keeping everyone happy from busy lift company owners to helping younger people get trained, qualified and into work. Solving meaningful problems in an innovative way by using Government funding.

What’s your favourite part of the job?
Fast tracking new people into work and partnering with lift employers opening their eyes into different and better ways of leveraging funding through inward social investment.

What’s your greatest achievement to date?
Securing a Government work contract and living in a dream house.

What’s your favourite place in London?
I quite like going on the Thames Clipper and eating out in Canary Wharf.

What are your interests outside of work?
Home DIY, walking my dog and playing badminton, often badly.

If you had to describe yourself in three words, what would they be?
I'm not stupid.

We’re off to the pub, what’s your order?
Bottle of Prosecco followed by a Pimms and Lemonade.

Favourite biscuit?
Dark chocolate digestives, the whole pack.

Deborah Stacey (2006 to Present)
After leaving school, Deborah trained and qualified as a Solicitor working for Peters and Peters in Central London before moving to EBW solicitors in Greenwich specialising in family, property, commercial and contract law.

She first got the buzz of legal affairs from her early days of assisting in the famous Robert Maxwell case, where he fell over the side of the Lady Ghislaine as she sailed around the Canary Islands. Working directly for her clients, she has extensive experience of attending court, leading clients instructions to district judges and masters including completing legal paperwork and consultation.

Deborah now works for TCD and handles all of our service level agreements and legal contracts. She is also our bid writer ensuring that we offer the most cost effective solutions for lift company owners.

She is responsible for securing public sector and Government funding through a range of organisations including Adult Skills Budget Fund (SFA, EFA ESF), Traineeships/Apprenticeship Funding, Flexible Funding Grant Support and even funding strands of the National Lottery. Deborah is able to negotiate with senior operational delivery managers in government administration and has managed experienced projects with stakeholder engagement managers.

She also deals with direct company funding and other support through inward investment sponsorship and community learning to assure her clients of our own corporate social responsibilities values.

How long have you worked at Training Centre Direct?
Since 2006 when I became a Director of TCD and helping the company with contractual matters.

What’s your background? i.e. qualifications, past experience?
My background training is within Law and am a qualified solicitor. My experience is undertaking litigation claims and private consultation, writing legal arguments that win, research previous case law and completing legal paperwork for clients at court to present in front of circuit judges.

What does your day-to-day job involve?
I deal with Government funding contracts and legal commercial agreements, my background as a solicitor helps here a lot! I have also instigated court proceedings on companies that fail pay - you've been warned...!

What’s your favourite part of the job?
Keeping up-to-date with the law and investigating previous case law, this helps to shape the companies future.

What’s your greatest achievement to date?
Qualifying as a Solicitor.

What’s your favourite place in London?
I prefer taking the dog for long walks in Kent.

What are your interests outside of work?
Family life, shopping, cooking.

If you had to describe yourself in three words, what would they be?
I'm also not stupid.

We’re off to the pub, what’s your order?
Wine, wine and more wine.

Favourite biscuit?
Oooh, no, I'm more Ferrero Rocher or Lindor.

What Does It Cost You NOT To Do Business With Us?

Unique Expertise & Credentials
From Apprentice Lift Engineer to Lift Company Owner and Founder of 4 Specialist Lift Safety & Training, Qualification, Examination & Recruitment Organisations, Rob Hughes trained with Otis and completed of a full 4 year Indentured Apprenticeship with 3 Year Day Release to College, NVQ3, ONC & HNC.

Previously delivered Lift Safety & Training Workshops in Schools & 6th forms, NWK, Lewisham, Bromley & Uxbridge Colleges and Supported Bexley Borough Apprenticeship Events, over a Dozen Editorial Article Columns in the Elevation Magazine.

Testimonials & Technology
100’s of Online Testimonials, Case Studies & Video Diaries, custom written e-Portfolio Software, ACT CRM Database with 7,000+ Lift Contact Records at our disposal.

There have been a range of funding incentives to help employers with training costs from Train to Gain, Skills Pledge, The Work Programme and Advanced Learner Loans to Apprenticeships Standards, Trailblazers, T Level Programmes and the National Retraining Scheme. We have experience of working with multiple funding contracts and sponsorship agreements to help offset costs and add value and can advise you on the best option that suits your needs.

Our People
Experienced and Professional Staff in a Multi Award Winning Company including, Contractors, Suppliers, Clients, Advisors & Consultants within our reach, we are Uniquely Qualified to support you in all aspects of Lift Engineering. Contact our office now on 020 8303 4411 for a free of charge phone consultation and we will send you a bespoke costing and a no obligation quote for our works.

See an overview of what we do here

View our Infographic here

  • British Library
  • ELA
  • Elevation Magazine
  • EU
  • LEIA
  • Job Centre Plus
  • Social Learning Centre
  • Lester Controls
  • NALO
  • PEW Electrical
  • Lottery Funded
  • Apex Lifts