Paul Wolstencroft was a pioneer of computer-based training, developing, and using some of the earliest e-Learning creation tools and platforms during his time as director of an Open Learning business in the 80s.
In an unusually varied career, his accquied skill sets have enabled him to assist businesses large and small.
Paul began his career as a design engineer and poor musician, having gained an HND in product design and a second-hand saxophone! After a five-year apprenticeship he worked as a design draftsman working on projects involving aircraft instruments. A move to Lesney saw him design two Matchbox toys and gain an interest in the marketing side of the business as well as adding a BSc in Mechanical Engineering to his qualifications.
He moved into publishing in the early 70s and was trained by Thomson Regional Press in all aspects of the newspaper business including studying for a Diploma in Journalism. After seven years in the newspaper business, working at the North London Weekly Herald and the Enfield Independent, he managed the Waltham Forest Echo. He also served as Chairman of the Association of Free Newspapers.
Marketing Company Owner
During the 80's, Paul ran his own successful marketing company for several years, specialising in branding and corporate identity. Clients included three London Boroughs, many travel companies and colleges. He obtained the CIM post-graduate Diploma in Marketing (DipM).
Freelance Marketing Consultant
Following the sale of his business, Paul became a freelance marketing consultant. Major projects included strategies for the London Boroughs of Enfield and Waltham Forest, the Institute of the Motor Industry and British Air Ferries. One long-term contract was as director of Entek, an open learning delivery business. He also worked extensively with the late Richard Denny (The guru of Motivation - Daily Mail), writing and producing training materials.
International Marketing Consultant
When undertaking a consultancy project for Barfield, an SME provider, he was asked to go to Moscow to advise on the marketing of Russia’s first small business agency. This was a life-changing experience as Barfield won the contract to develop the model in 40 Russian cities over the next seven years. After more than 80 trips to Russia from 1989 to 2004 he managed to learn basic Russian, although most of that is now forgotten!
Training Company Director
In 1994, Paul participated in a management buy-out at Barfield. When the business was sold to TNG in 1999 he stayed on as a director until 2007. For much of this time, the marketing consultancy continued and he developed marketing and branding strategies for The National Bank of Ukraine, The National Bank of Serbia and the Jordanian Small Business Service. He also organised conferences and seminars in conjunction with the International University in Moscow and Russian Capital, Moscow, welcoming more than 300 delegates to the UK.
Paul's career path meant that he was out of the business for long periods and when the international work dried up, he joined the product development team at Avanta. As part of a wider ICT remit, he introduced e-learning to Avanta in 2006, designing and implementing bespoke solutions.
Trainer and Author
Paul is a teaching Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (FCIM) and is a Chartered Marketer. He has written and delivered seminars and full courses on marketing subjects. As a published author, several of his books have also been published in Russian and Arabic.
Still a poor musician!
The rusty saxophone has been replaced by a selection of blues harmonicas!