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Introducing the Ralstan Group

Meet Michelle: business Owner, Director and Apprentice 

As the owner and Director of family business The Ralstan Group, I never considered the possibility that I would one day become an apprentice. I thought apprenticeships were for people who didn’t want to go to university and that they were mainly focused on the construction industry... How wrong I was! 

After connecting with the GC Business Growth Hub and wider Growth Company services, I was introduced to the idea of developing my career and the future of my busines through apprenticeships. The Skills for Growth – SME Support team opened my eyes to the vast array of apprenticeships I had to choose from, and I was pleasantly surprised by the number and variation of high-level apprenticeships available.  

After a think with the help of Skills for Growth – SME Support Apprenticeship Specialist Suzanne McNicholas, decided to undertake the Solicitor Apprenticeship for the betterment of the business 

I thought apprenticeships were for people who didn’t want to go to university and that they were mainly focused on the construction industry... How wrong I was! 

I was fortunate enough to be able to get started very quickly, mostly due to Suzanne’s help with researching and securing the apprenticeship at BPP University. I started in January 2021 and so far, I’m loving it! Considering that it’s also 95% Government funded, what’s not to love? 

The pandemic has caused so much disruption and distress, but as business owners this is a fantastic time to consider hiring a new apprentice to help bolster your offering, or for you to consider elevating yours and your employees’ careers through apprenticeships 

The support is there, so use it! 

- Michelle Lee, The Ralstan Group Limited.  


Inspired by Michelle’s story? 

If you’re an SME owner or employee looking to explore apprenticeships, contact our team on 0161 237 4444 or to register for our fully funded support service and start your #SkillsRevolution today. 


The Growth Company is an award-winning, not-for-profit social enterprise with a mission to enable growth, create jobs and improve lives. We provide individuals and businesses with a wide range of services that improve employment, skills, investment and enterprise for the benefit of all, and have been working in the Greater Manchester city region for more than 30 years. 

This project receives funding from the European Social Fund as part of the 2014-2020 European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme in England.  

The Department for Work and Pensions is the Managing Authority for the England European Social Fund programme.  

Established by the European Union, the European Social Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support skills development, employment and job creation, social inclusion and local community regenerations. For more information visit 

About the author

Skills for Growth - SME Support

Skills for Growth - SME Support

Skills for Growth - SME Support is a fully funded, tailored service to help upskill your employees and improve business productivity.