GAS Invests in Training

A North East company specialising in working with businesses to reduce variable costs, has appointed a specialist training provider to further demonstrate its commitment to people development.
Great Annual Savings Group has appointed Newcastle-based HarperCo to undertake the delivery of companywide training programmes at all levels to nationally accredited standards. They will also be using this as a platform for identifying tomorrow’s top talent for succession and progression within the company.

The bespoke programmes will include a variety of workshops to enhance people’s skills and knowledge around effectiveness, customer and compliance modules which focus on maximising efficiencies.

Judith Bennison, Group HR Director at Great Annual Savings Group said: “We are immensely proud of what we’ve already achieved in a very short space of time and this is reflected in our achievement of the recent IIP standard. Our feedback was very positive from the assessor, people genuinely enjoy working here, there is a great culture for supporting and recognising people, hearing this from the IIP assessor was very encouraging to know this came across strongly throughout the assessment and that we are creating the right culture for cultivating great opportunities for our people to progress and is a great foundation to build our training and development programme on.

“As we enter the next stage of business growth we want to provide our people with the chance to really excel not just in their current role but also with opportunities that will present themselves within the company as we expand. Investing in bespoke training plans is good business sense that everyone will benefit from.

Chairman of HarperCo, David Harper comments “We are very pleased to be working with such a forward thinking, innovative company. The commitment to staff is second to none and we are looking forward to delivering the development sessions and enabling people reach their full potential.”

Great Annual Savings, established in 2012 works with businesses of all sizes to reduce their variable costs including energy, telecommunications, water, fire protection and insurance. The company has recently achieved the Investors in People (IIP) Standard, the UK’s leading accreditation that uses well established practices as a clear compass for high performance businesses, continual improvement through putting people first and realising the potential of its people is at the core of the IIP assessment.

“Our people are at the heart of our company and we work incredibly hard to develop a team of people who have the potential to go far. Our investment in training and development is a demonstration of our commitment to our people and their future,” concludes Bennison.

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Paul JohnsonGroup Financial Director

Paul Johnson is very much a home-grown talent.

He joined Great Annual Savings Group in its infancy, fresh from a youth career as a professional footballer with Hartlepool United.  He quickly established a reputation within the business and aced all required accountancy qualifications in the space of four years to become the Group’s Management Accountant.

Several successful projects later, Paul was promoted to Head of Finance.  When the former FD left GAS, he took on the mantle of the business’ most senior finance professional; boasting a string of incredible achievements all under the age of 30.


“I have witnessed phenomenal growth at the Group over the many years I’ve worked here and I’m looking forward to guiding the Group into an exciting new chapter.”

Interesting fact:

Paul made his professional debut for Hartlepool United against Bournemouth in the Football League.  Some say Danny Ings still resides in his pocket to this day.