Award winning Learning & Development programmes

“The course facilitator was excellent; he understood our goals and our business. We have converted the skills we learnt back into the workplace. The course has been a springboard to other targets and broken down lots of barriers.” Engineering Manager Gatwick Airport

Our Approach

Here at Bowles we have over 25 years’ experience of designing and facilitating apprentice, graduate, team and leadership development programmes using a blend of outdoor activities and classroom learning. This experiential approach embeds and extends skills development, bridging the gap between theory and practice. Our clients include John Lewis, British Airways, Laing O’Rourke, BMW and Sheraton Hotel Group. They return to us because they know that we take the time to understand their aims and requirements ensuring that we address the needs of both the team and the organisation.

Our bespoke programmes include carefully selected activities which are designed to draw out the behaviours that will help your delegates to become more successful in the workplace. Each activity ends with a thorough debriefing session during which participants review their individual contributions as well as those of the team. It is during these debriefs that learning outcomes are identified and related back to the work environment. Each subsequent activity will have been specifically chosen to ensure that delegates have the opportunity to demonstrate the behaviour changes that have been identified.

Our stunning venue is located on a 12 acre site on the Kent/Sussex borders, easily reached by road or rail. On site we have residential facilities with 5 meeting rooms, dining area and fully licensed bar. Our Lodge building can accommodate up to 46 in ensuite bedrooms, alternatively our Chalet building can accommodate up to 100 people. We use our woodland to deliver problem solving activities and personal challenges such as the Leap of Faith and Jacobs ladder and use our sandstone rocks for abseiling and climbing.

Any profit generated from our programmes is donated to our charity  The Bowles Rocks Trust for the provision of outdoor education programmes for young people.

Our programmes

Apprentice Work Ready & Step into Leadership programmes

We understand that apprentices that are new to your organisation as well, as to the world of work, don’t start employment with the soft skills required to succeed in the workplace – after all, they are not part of the student’s learning journey. Our Work Ready programmes help your young talent to successfully manage the transition from academia to the workplace. Focusing on the development of soft skills helps to build self-confidence and encourages the taking of personal responsibility.

Our Step into Leadership programme is for those already within the workforce who are, or wish to become, team leaders and/or supervisors. This includes those at the start of their career that wish to become team leaders/supervisors as well as aspiring or existing managers who have practical experience but wish to develop their management skills further.

Graduate Development programmes

Our programmes are designed with your Graduate Development Managers to ensure that they dovetail with your induction and development programme. This tailored programme content will give your graduates the skills needed for a successful transition from student life to the business world.

  • Developing feedback skills – both giving and receiving
  • Understanding self and personal effectiveness
  • Developing coaching skills
  • Becoming aware of personal style/brand
  • Taking responsibility and leadership/being pro-active

Team and Leadership development programmes

Our Team Development programmes are designed to help staff improve personal contributions to team performance and to enable them to deliver on both individual, team and business objectives. Our programmes engage and encourage a ‘team experience’ from the outset and our debriefing sessions ensure that participants are able to feedback on their individual contributions as well as those of the team. We can include Personality Profiling (MBTI) or Team Role Preferences (Belbin) if required.

For your leaders, we understand that there is no one size fits all solution, so our programmes empower the participant to find their own authentic style of leadership. We know that regardless of their development challenge, organisations want frontline and middle managers, emerging leaders, and individual contributors to develop their leadership skills.

Our results

 “The modules bring real benefit, firstly, allowing them (apprentices) to understand a lot about themselves and how they react to certain situations, and secondly, to learn the importance of plan – do – review – and re do, in an environment that is not as fast-paced as the workplace. The professional approach by the team at Bowles hits just the right note with our apprentices, treating them like the young adults they are, while ensuring they make the most out of the learning experience the centre provides.” Apprentice+Manager

“Thank you for 3 fantastic days which have helped build the new management team from 5 individuals into 1 team.” John Lewis Heathrow Branch Manager

 “From that very first visit, I thought ‘That’s it, I’m always coming to Bowles’ and since then I’ve used it for our Graduates – the London and Regional teams, from senior management through to entry level graduates.” Starwood Hotel Group – North West Europe