Welsh insurance software firm to focus on talent growth

Wales-based insurance software company Next Venture is on a mission to accelerate its growth by cultivating a team made up of home-grown talent.

The company, which is headquartered in Pontypool, said this will allow it to plough more money into its products while helping to halt Wales’s skills gap.

Next Venture offers companies technological solutions to help them connect their systems and establish new channels to market. It predominately works with price comparison sites.

Stephen Peck, founder and technical director of the company, believes that nurturing talent in-house can help businesses develop more effective working environments.

“The challenge we have is to ensure a high level of both technical and commercial knowledge so our developers can build commercially relevant services using new technology which in turn gives greater functionality, quicker implementation at a lower cost base,” he said.

“While it is tempting to employ experts in my mind one has to be careful not to outsource the responsibility and add layers of cost associated with traditional software companies.

“To mitigate this we have successfully used a grow your own approach. While this is not simple and requires significant investment in time it does provide a clear differentiation to our services both in terms of the flexibility, relevance and cost.”

Peck explained that his company is constantly forging links with local universities and colleges to fill positions and foster collaboration. He said this can help close the so-called “brain drain”.

“As part of our unique service we require our staff to have both technical skills and an interest and knowledge in our customers and their markets,” said Stephen.

“To achieve this we needed to create an environment where there is a high degree of responsibility given to staff to ensure their output generates the value we want.

He added: “To make this work we ensure the context and commercial objective of any customer work is fully understood. While this is not simple and requires a lot of management time, we find this gives a greater quality of output. This also leads to a low staff turnover rate as everyone is able to contribute to their full potential.”

31-year-old Craig Teage, from Griffithstown, is an example of a “homegrown” employee. Having attended West Mon School, Pontypool College and UWIC, he’s now working as a lead software developer at the firm.

Craig said: “We haves lots of new services and customers in the pipeline for the business and therefore plenty of opportunities for software developers to forge a business focused career locally and I urge any new graduates to get in touch.”