Harnessing heritage – How Pitman Training has helped students thrive since 1870

Since Sir Isaac Pitman invented shorthand in 1837 and established the first Pitman school in 1870, Pitman Training has enjoyed an unrivalled reputation as an elite training provider for over 180 years. Labelled by Sir Winston Churchill as, “Without equal in the whole world, equipped as it is with every improvement which thought and science can suggest, for the training of students in commercial life,” it’s clear Pitman’s remarkable service to students hasn’t gone unnoticed over the years. Here are some cool facts you may not know about us.

Pitman’s shorthand courses revolutionised writing

Pitman made its name delivering courses that taught ‘the professional and commercial man’ how to write Sir Isaac Pitman’s shorthand. These shorthand courses were significant because they helped transform how we record speech and thoughts in the English language and subsequently influenced revolutionising journalism in the 19th and 20th centuries. But what is shorthand, and why was it so important? Well, shorthand is a phonetic system that allows writers to use symbols to represent the sounds words make. While it may sound complicated, the idea behind it was to help writers take notes faster. In 1837, when Sir Isaac Pitman first introduced shorthand, there weren’t recording devices to refer back to when interviewing people, so this technique was ground-breaking for writers and journalists alike. Writers could take down what people were saying faster and more accurately – it’s such an efficient skill that many people and businesses still use it today!

Pitman helped women get into the workplace

Not only has Pitman had a hand in developing how we write, but it also helped pave the way for women to enter the workplace. By 1914, when the First World War started, Pitman’s training centres offered a wider variety of courses – but no longer just to men. To help with the war effort, women were recruited to fill vacancies on the home front and required Bookkeeping Courses and typing skills. Pitman helped tens of thousands of women learn new skills over the course of the war and gave them an identity and purpose beyond that of a housewife, leading the way in supporting equality for women in the workplace.

After the First World War, many women attended Pitman Secretarial Colleges, which provided them with a form of empowerment by establishing secure office-based careers such as Typists, Secretaries and Personal Assistants. Pitman’s dedication to helping women take control of their own careers was even recognised in the hit TV series Downtown Abbey, where Pitman was labelled a progressive school for women to improve and educate themselves.

The UK’s largest training provider hits the silver screen

Pitman soon became the largest training network in the UK and by 1994, the first Irish Pitman Training Centre in Dublin opened. Sir Isaac Pitman’s message that ‘training is for life, personal growth, and a tool to help you achieve your goals’ was now helping more people realise their dreams than ever before. Pitman’s reputation has continued to grow and in more recent times has led to featuring on the silver screen in films like The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, where the Vogons use a blockier form of Pitman 2000 shorthand, and the 2015 film, Legend about the life of the Kray twins, which shows Reggie’s wife studying at Pitman’s Secretarial College. No, really – go check them out later!

Harness Pitman’s heritage for your future

Today, Pitman remains the UK and Ireland’s best-established training provider. Because of our rich heritage and experience in delivering adult education, the benefits of taking a Pitman course are numerous. Our reputation is highly respected by employers, and your CV will stand out from the crowd after taking a Pitman course. We provide both in-centre and online courses, which allow students to study anytime, anywhere – which is ideal for working adults or people with busy schedules. Courses also offer state-of-the-art technology, so whether you decide to sharpen your IT skills or take a marketing diploma, they include the most up-to-date equipment, audio guides, workbooks, and live software. When taking a course with Pitman you’ll also have access to supportive learning coaches, who are crucial to ensure you get the feedback, support and motivation you need to reach your goals.

So, if you’re looking to take an adult education course, choosing one with a proven track record and over 180 years’ experience in helping students succeed isn’t a bad place to start. Pitman’s commitment to helping transform careers and change students’ lives remains second to none. It’s important to remember, when you’ve trained the Pitman Training way, you’re already a cut above the rest.