Whiteley’s, Business Training College

Whiteley’s, Business Training College, School of Shorthand, and Civil Service Academy, 75, Jamaica Street, Glasgow.
Principal: Mr. Sykes Whiteley, professional writing master, expert in handwriting, book-keeping, and shorthand, Civil Service tutor, &c.—

    The principles of commercial education, as distinguished from the scholastic tuition which all persons now receive in their earlier years, are rapidly being raised to the dignity of a science. The necessity of a defined system of elementary technical training, if this country is to hold its own against its competitors in the commercial world, is now so universally admitted that it only remains to point out that such need exists quite as much in the commercial relationships of the counting-house as in technical processes, and the necessity of an establishment such as the above is at once obvious.

    Every person with any recollection of his first entry into commercial life will remember with a sigh how much his own estimate of his capabilities immediately became depreciated. The style of writing which at school he had been taught was the acme of excellence, must be exchanged for one which, while retaining legibility and distinctness, can be written with rapidity and freedom. And so on through the whole of his acquirements : each one necessitated modification to render it practically available for the position he had undertaken to fulfil. The advantages of such a “Business Training College” as Mr. Whiteley has established, can scarcely be over-estimated. It enables those who have left school or college, or who may already be even engaged in business, to attain a thorough and practical knowledge of those subjects which constitute a good “business education”, and are essential to success in mercantile pursuits. To persons who, through ill-health or other causes, have had few opportunities in earlier years, the advantages are invaluable, combining all the benefits of school training together with the knowledge required in actual business and counting-house.

    The institution was established over two years ago, and the number of students and the successes they have attained has been very encouraging to the principal, who takes the direct superintendence of every department. The instruction rooms have been considerably enlarged and extended, and in addition to being spacious have the incalculable advantage of being exceedingly well lighted. Instruction is given in every branch of a good business education :— Rapid and Neat Writing, Quick and Correct Calculation of Figures, Letter Writing, Spelling, Composition, Grammar, Prices of and Arranging Papers, Invoice, Book-Keeping, Shorthand, &c. In addition to these,
thorough and speedy preparation is given for the Civil Service Examinations, Men and Boy Clerkships, Customs, Excise, and other Examinations. Students can attend either in the morning, afternoon, or evening, as most convenient for them, and in every case have the advantage of receiving direct individual instruction. They can take either a certain number of lessons or arrange to continue the tuition until they are proficient or competent for the post for which they wish to fit themselves.

    As good writing is the key to most matters, so Mr. Whiteley places it foremost in the subjects to which a student should give attention. He adopts no stereotyped rules or pattern, but endeavours to adapt his method of instruction to the special requirements of each individual. He summarizes the various desirable styles into three — the rapid business writing, official or civil service hand, and the legal hand ; a division which is sufficiently distinctive of their respective characteristics without further definition. Arithmetic is taught by the shortest methods of calculation applicable to commercial affairs. Mr. Whiteley’s system is both rapid and practical. It gives great facility in reckoning, and is a most valuable aid even to those who are experts in the ordinary methods. He divides his course into three stages. The first takes up all ordinary calculations upon the improved methods and includes the minor rules for every day affairs, interest, discount, &c.; the second stage goes into fractions, both vulgar and decimal, proportions, averages, per centages, and similar questions ; while the third is reserved for the calculations necessary in the measurement of artificers' work, cube, superficial, and what are termed duodecimals generally.

    The system of book-keeping adopted by Mr. Whiteley is especially commendable, as it includes the principles and practice of the governmental and the best banking and merchants’ offices. Having had practical knowledge and experience in auditing and balancing the accounts of various public bodies and private firms, Mr. Whiteley is especially qualified to recognition as an authority on such subjects, and may be relied upon to insist upon the observance of all the points which are so necessary to enable a set of books to show at once the true and exact position of affairs, and in a simple manner which may easily be understood. No portion of a commercial education is of more importance than a good and true system of book-keeping, and yet probably no other subject receives less real attention in the ordinary everyday experience.

    In shorthand, Mr. Whiteley is an advocate for Pitman’s system, which is now in almost universal use, and has stood against the most severe tests, both as to legibility and rapidity. Shorthand to-day occupies a widely different position from that which it held in the not very remote past, and the time is not far distant when every clerk will be expected to be as proficient in stenography as he now is in the three R’s.

    Phonography bears the closest relationship to our spoken (not written) language of any of the stenographical systems which have been brought into general use, and is therefore the best fitted to faithfully record the efforts of our speech. The civil service and examination department is conducted with a view to the special needs of those who contemplate presenting themselves as candidates for public appointments. There is also a ladies’ department in connection with the above college, carried on with the assistance of Mrs. Whiteley, presenting all the advantages for the acquirement of commercial knowledge for those who contemplate being engaged in business. It most usefully supplements the school career by imparting instruction in those necessary subjects which are not yet quite recognised as part of the ordinary ladies’ school curriculum, and could scarcely be effectually mastered there, even if they were. A junior department for younger members of both sexes is kept distinct from the senior, but affords the same opportunities for instruction and advancement.

    In concluding this notice it may be mentioned that Mr. Whiteley has published a series of works specially suited to the requirements of students in the various subjects. A business arithmetic in six parts, three sets of books for bookkeeping purposes, examination papers, reporting note books for students, &c., &c., all bear witness, to the thoroughness with which Mr. Whiteley endeavours to improve the mental capacity of his pupils, and to facilitate their acquirement of the various subjects in which they find themselves deficient. He aims also at assisting them in other ways by the introduction of a “rapid writer’s pen”, which possesses superior flexibility and is unsurpassed for durability and for ease and comfort in use. He also grants to his students certificates, which from the well-known thoroughness of his methods of imparting instruction, are of great assistance to holders in securing first-class commercial and other engagements. Mr. Whiteley is also the proprietor of a “brilliant blue writing fluid” which is especially adapted to business requirements. It is of intense colour, and is unchanged by climate or by time ; it deposits no sediment, is easy-flowing, and does not corrode the pen — all characteristic points marking it as one of the very best of inks, and accounting for its very extended use.

Back to Index of Firms (1888)