Tech firm benefits from government-funded ‘fair work’ grant scheme

Scottish systems integrator and independent Cisco Gold Partner, Ping Network Solutions Ltd, has announced it is one of the first companies in Scotland to benefit from £335,000 Regional Selective Assistance (RSA) grant support from Scottish Enterprise, contingent on fair work practices.

The RSA grant from Scottish Enterprise will support the increasing demand on Ping’s managed services business by enhancing capability and office capacity which will enable them to deliver larger, more complex projects to both UK and international customers.

With a commitment to the Scottish Government’s Fair Work Action Plan, Ping has pledged to safeguard 15 jobs and create an additional 15 by the end of 2021, taking the headcount to approximately 50 employees, all paid above the Scottish Living Wage. The management at Ping place a strong emphasis on training and development and have committed to upskilling several staff to achieve Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE) status. Once completed, a fifth of the workforce will hold this prestigious certification.

Currently based in Strathclyde Business Park, Bellshill, Ping will relocate to a new 6,200 sq. office in November this year, which will house a new state-of-the-art secure network operations centre (NOC) to meet growing demands from its clients.  

Business and Fair Work Minister Jamie Hepburn and Michael Cannon, Head of Grants at Scottish Enterprise visited Ping’s existing Bellshill office yesterday (Tuesday 8th October) to meet with the team to discuss plans for the relocation and how the company is implementing fair work business practices.

Business and Fair Work Minister, Jamie Hepburn said: “Fair Work is good for workers, good for business and good for Scotland. It means more job security, the right to decent pay and a greater voice for workers. We believe it will drive innovation and productivity to improve businesses and increase profits.

“So it’s very encouraging to see Ping Network Solutions commitment today to uphold the principles of Fair Work creating more jobs and more opportunities to learn new skills. Many employers in Scotland are already championing Fair Work but our aim is for many more businesses in Scotland to adopt those principles soon.”

Michael Cannon, Head of Grants at Scottish Enterprise added: “We are delighted to announce that Ping was one of the first companies we granted RSA to with fair work conditions attached. With our support to safeguard 15 jobs and create an additional 15, Ping will create conditions where employees’ skills, talents, ingenuity and commitment are optimised, transforming their working lives whilst building a high-performing, innovative business. We look forward to working with Ping to deliver their growth ambitions and wish them every success with their relocation later this year.”

Kenny Godfrey, Co-Founder and Operations Director at Ping Network Solutions said: “Investing in our people and our business is very important to us. With the support from Scottish Enterprise, we will provide continuous training, pay above the Scottish Living Wage and provide quality jobs with opportunities for career progression and development.

“This allows us to ensure that we always provide our clients with the highest quality of service and support. Our new secure network operations centre will not only guarantee that our clients will benefit from state-of-the-art equipment that monitors their systems to ensure minimal downtime, but they will have peace of mind knowing that there is a skilled team ready to respond 247/365 – allowing their in-house teams to focus on innovating across other areas of the business.”

In addition to the refit of the new office, the funding from Scottish Enterprise will contribute to Ping’s office rental costs over the next 10 years.

The funding boost follows a bumper year for Ping which has already increased its client base by 25% and employee headcount by 40% over the last 12 months, in addition to achieving the prestigious Cisco Gold Partner status and Cisco Architectural Excellence Partner of the Year for Security. The company has also recently gained the ISO 27001 and ISO 9001 certifications.