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SUCCESSFUL BUSINESSMAN GAINS FIRST CLASS HONOURS DEGREE

31st July 2008

A businessman in part ownership of a multimillion pound packaging company, who returned to study at Calderdale College, has been awarded a first class Honours Degree in Business Studies.

A businessman in part ownership of a multimillion pound packaging company, who returned to study at Calderdale College, has been awarded a first class Honours Degree in Business Studies.

Robert Lewis, 49, of Ambler Thorn, Queensbury, left school at 16 to work as an engineering apprentice, then moved into manufacturing. He gradually worked his way up to a position as Senior Manager and, in 1994, decided to consolidate his practical know-how with a formal qualification, studying for an HND in Business Studies at Calderdale College.

Mr Lewis then became Senior Manager at Scotts Packaging in Pontefract and took advantage of a management buyoutopportunity to buy the business in 2003. The company, which produces packaging for a range of national and international clients including Nestle, Rowntree and United Biscuits, has grown rapidly in the last five years. Turnover has increased from £1.7m to £8.3m and the payroll has more than quadrupled. The company employs 150 permanent staff, plus another 300 part time employees.

“Last year I felt it was the right time to go back and complete my formal education with the one-year top-up Honours Degree in Business Studies at Calderdale College”, explained Mr Lewis. “We covered topics which sometimes get overlooked in a busy work environment such as human resources, business models and evaluations. It complemented and added to the experience I already had. My tutors were excellent and the benefits for the company and for me personally have made the extra time put in very worthwhile. I’d recommend it to anyone - having a degree builds confidence and self esteem.”

Tutor Paula Waring added “Robert gained excellent marks all the way through the year and carried out a work-based project on environmental packaging to gain a very strong first class degree. I hope his success will inspire others to follow in his footsteps.”

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