ISSEE’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Gordon Storey announced that the organization was forced to close their training facilities with the staff working from home as advised by the UK Government. This also meant that the students attending the International Ammunition Technician’s course were also confined, in isolation, to their accommodation. With a determined combination of innovative thought, willingness, and attention to every safety concern of both staff and students, ISSEE has been able to continue the course syllabus through a variety of online systems, social media and webinars. Incorporating on-site practical training ISSEE made arrangements for the course to return to classroom teaching From mid-May 2020, ISSEE made arrangements for the course to return to classroom teaching and successfully incorporated on-site practical training. This move was essential, not just for learning integrity, but to improve the mental well-being of the students and staff as well. Again, with a combination of careful planning, along with the welcomed and measured withdrawal of some of the UK Government’s lockdown restrictions, ISSEE are now planning the final practical elements of their flagship 24-week long course. COVID-19 - Safe Working Policy ISSEE maintained this technical course throughout ‘lockdown’, as it illustrates very clearly the care taken to ensure the safety of students and staff, and through this joint approach to meet mandatory safety requirements, mental well-being and personal health concerns, ISSEE has developed a robust, sensible and fully tested COVID-19 - Safe Working Policy. This policy is adaptable to changes in the UK Government's advice and also any requirements placed upon ISSEE by either host nations accepting the instructors, or special demands placed upon them by customers and students visiting ISSEE training facilities in the United Kingdom. The non-furloughed staff will continue to develop new business opportunities and welcome enquiries from the existing customers, and new clients alike. The time, during this period of ‘lockdown’, has been spent wisely and ISSEE continues to develop new ideas, as well as new ways of working. Adapting to the ‘new ways of working’ These new ideas are coming to fruition and the organization will soon be publishing details of new range of services These new ideas are coming to fruition and the organization will soon be publishing details of their new, exciting range of services that are fully compatible with the ‘new ways of working’ demanded by the COVID-19 environment. ISSEE set out to celebrate 2020 as their 20th Anniversary year. Of course, none of them knew the full effect that the COVID-19 pandemic would have on their anniversary celebrations or, indeed, the very survival of the business. Maintaining business growth ISSEE is determined to maintain their incredible business growth, staff and the trust that their customers place in them, in order to deliver high quality, accredited training in ammunition management, explosives safety and counter terrorism. Their new product services will be testament to this determination. To all the customers, students, agents and colleagues, ISSEE offers immense gratitude for their continued support and good wishes.
ISSEE’s Chairman, Alan Bates shared an open letter, in which he shared his key personal moment that lead to the establishment of the International School for Search and Explosives Education - ISSEE. Letter from the Chairman In the letter, Alan Bates said, “Some 20 years ago, I would enjoy my daily runs around and about in Henley-on-Thames. On a number of occasions, I would be joined by Alan Hatcher, who was a tall, talkative enthusiastic ex-RAF officer, who started to sow a seed in my mind that I should become involved with his idea to start a training company specializing in explosives.” He adds, “I confess, a more distant thought had never crossed my mind, even after a long career of working with and supporting a very wide range of businesses.” Alan Bates, ISSEE Chairman Of course, over the course of the 20 years of establishment, ISSEE has changed and for the better ISSEE’s Chairman, Alan Bates continues, “Such was his persistence, I agreed, loaned him some start-up funds and found myself as Chairman of the ‘International School for Search and Explosives Education’ – much better known as ‘ISSEE’. Little did I suspect that 20 years later, Alan’s idea, the sown seed, following the often trod and difficult road of many start-up SME businesses, I would still be with ISSEE and writing this Anniversary Chairman’s Letter.” Of course, over the course of the 20 years of establishment, ISSEE has changed and for the better. From the organization’s early beginnings in borrowed classrooms at the Salisbury Technical College, to their time in Tidworth and then, 10 years at Chilmark, the business has grown and the ISSEE family along with it, including the alumni and client base widened and deepened. Relocation to new Bloxham facility Furthermore, Alan Bates mentioned in the letter that the time at ISSEE’s latest and most impressive training facility yet, Heythrop Park is coming to a close and they are about to relocate to a new facility in Bloxham. The relocation is to accommodate more student delegates, a wider range of traditional explosives, security and ammunition management training courses, and new training courses and services in logistic management. Experience-based training and pastoral support Over these past years, the ISSEE have welcomed delegates from many countries and organizations Over these past years, the ISSEE have welcomed delegates from many countries and organizations. All of them trusted ISSEE’s loyal team of outstanding instructors and support staff, to deliver high quality, accredited, experience-based training and pastoral support, in order to enable them to return home to operate in a safe, confident and competent manner. To the delegates from Afghanistan, Bahrain, Brunei, Canada, China, Columbia, Denmark, Estonia, Ethiopia, Hong Kong, Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Latvia, Libya, Lithuania, Malawi, Malaysia, Montenegro, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Portugal, Qatar, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sweden, Syria, UAE, Uganda, UK, USA and Zambia, the ISSEE offers immense gratitude for their trust and invites everyone to celebrate with the organization on the occasion of their 20th Anniversary. 20th Anniversary celebrations Alan Bates further said, “I am confident that 2020 will be an exciting year for ISSEE. Recalling those early, ambitious days of the new millennium with our founder, Alan Hatcher, I see as much ambition for our future with our current CEO, Gordon Storey.” He concludes, “Being a part of ISSEE is something to be proud of and we will all celebrate this 20th anniversary with pride and invite you to celebrate with us. With all best wishes to our student delegates, our customers, our business partners, our suppliers and our staff – old and new.”
ISSEE is relocating and is moving a short distance to Bloxham. It will move from its current location in Heythrop Park, Enstone to brand new offices just outside Banbury in North Oxfordshire at the beginning of 2020. The new state-of-the-art building is a high-tech, contemporary and spacious structure set on the edge of the Oxfordshire village of Bloxham. It has been specially adapted to host student classrooms, orientation, lunch, and common areas, while the world-class practical training moves to a purpose-built location nearby. Student accommodation will be in nearby Banbury, a historic market town with many shops and restaurants, which is only 20 minutes from Oxford and an hour from London or Birmingham by train. New Location details From January 2020, the new contact details will be: ISSEE LtdThe CopseBloxham Mill, Barford RoadBloxham, OxfordshireOX15 4FFUnited Kingdom Tel No: +44 (0) 1295 981550 The new location, though set in stunning countryside, is only 10 minutes drive from Banbury and a 15-minute drive from Junction 11 of the M40. ISSEE’s CEO Gordon Storey says, “We are very pleased to see ISSEE continue to go from strength to strength in the company’s 20th year of operation and we should celebrate this anniversary alongside moving to more modern and accessible facilities, where we can serve our customers better than ever before.”