The controversial apprenticeship Industry is facing a growing backlash from businesses, with companies finding a well-meaning policy increasingly hard to navigate.
The apprenticeships industry is growing fast, with the statistics and the big news stories focusing on the number of apprenticeships and new schemes created.
However, the people fueling this growth often go unnoticed. This is why three years ago, Christos Orthodoxou the Founder of Class Careers, decided to start publishing a list of people who continually do great work in this space.
With the industry still in its infancy, the list also provided an opportunity for people to connect with others and sharing best practices.
Individuals have been included from the wide spectrums out there; including Professional bodies, employers, schools, suppliers, training providers and the government. To stress, there is no scientific process for the collation of the list, it is simply a list of people who are good to know and are worth following.
The list from 2018 – So without further ado and (please, let me reiterate!) **in no particular order**, here we go.
1. David Allison, GetMyFirstJob
Having founded one of the largest job boards in the space, David certainly knows his stuff and I watch eagerly as to where he takes GetMyFirstJob next.
2. Simon Perriton, Just IT
Simon is the owner of Just IT which has grown phenomenally recently, delivering apprenticeships in the digital space and quickly become established as one of The Times best small companies to work for, which I hugely admire.
3. Aron Myerthall, The British Institute of Recruiters
I have recently got to know Aron and if you’re in recruitment and interested in apprenticeship there is simply no else out there you should be talking too. He represents Apprenticeships in the Recruitment and the HR industry. The British Institute of Recruiters are the professional body governing practice in recruitment in the UK. As they represent the highest standard in recruitment they offer Apprenticeship and Upskilling training programs run by industry experts with the most relevant courses available to the Recruitment and HR industry.
4. Kathryn Marshall, Lloyds Banking Group
Heading up apprenticeships at a major bank is no easy task and Kathryn has a major understanding of how to do this, following on from the work of Emily Austin who featured in a previous list.
5. Poonam Chopra, Amey
I had the pleasure of working with Poonam during her time at Sky where she was meticulous in her work and later took up responsibility for the levy. She’s now user her knowledge in the construction sector at Amey which is certainly an interesting sector following the story of Carillion.
6. Richard Johnson, Ace Academy
Delivering works on the ground and supporting students from a range of backgrounds, Richard is a great advocate of apprenticeships and the benefits of students interacting with employers.
7. Antony Jenkins, Institute for Apprenticeships
The Institute For Apprenticeships plays a major role in the apprenticeships industry and the Chair Anthony, who headed up work at the largest apprenticeship recruiter in the country is key.
8. Sarah Cockburn – The Smarty Train
Having worked across five different industries in graduate recruitment and delivered apprenticeships in the legal sector, arguably one of the toughest sectors to do so, Sarah is now at a leading agency and definitely worth a follow.
9. Tom Fogden, ADA College
What Tom has set up is brilliant, a dedicated sixth form that delivers a focused curriculum and apprenticeships in the digital arena. I’ve seen his journey from the beginning on a sheet of paper to now a real college in the heart of London.
10. Russell Butcher, Starbucks
Russell is responsible for all the apprenticeships at Starbucks, who in my opinion have done some brilliant work with apprenticeships to drive social mobility and create an engaged and loyal workforce.
11. Marion Smith, Independent
Marion used to work with me and is super passionate about apprenticeships and the opportunities they provide. Having worked in schools for the last 20 years, she knows what needs to happen in order to get students taking on apprenticeships with confidence and excitement.
12. Mitesh Bhimjiyani, Success At School
I met Mitesh early on in his journey and he is now thriving with one of the leading platforms in the space for school leavers.
13. Marina Leleko, John Sisk & Son
Having delivered early careers work at DHL, Tesco, Air Products and now John Sisk & Son, Marina has a breadth of experience and is always looking to explore new and innovative ways of working.
14. Will Akerman – MyKindaFuture
Arguably the biggest player in the school leaver market, working with nearly every school and college in the country, Will is a natural person to follow.
15. Maria Baker, British Racing School
I met Maria last year and there isn’t much she doesn’t know about apprenticeships. Working in such a niche industry, she’s come up with innovative ways to promote apprenticeships and I have seen first-hand how receptive students are to her advice.
16. Rebecca Plant, QA Apprenticeships
Rebecca is well respected in the industry she built up her knowledge and expertise at Capgemini. Her company was the first IT apprenticeships business rated Ofsted Outstanding
17. Xavier Williams, formerly Lloyds Banking Group
For the first time, I wanted to include apprentices themselves in the list and Xavier is a perfect example of where an apprenticeship can take you. Having completed his apprenticeship at Lloyds Banking Group and becoming the face of apprenticeships on TV, he is now a successful entrepreneur and trader.
18. Peter Small – Independent Careers Advisor
Peter is great on LinkedIn and clearly passionate about educating young people about apprenticeships and the options available to them.
19. Emma Adderley, QA Apprenticeships
Emma is very skilled at supporting students, helping them to understand apprenticeships and see their value, regardless of the sector they are interested in. She also has a deep understanding of working with schools.
20. Lucy Waterman, GSK
Lucy was formerly responsible for delivering apprenticeships at CGI back in the infancy of the industry and is now delivering STEM work at GSK to further promote apprenticeships.
21. David Willett, Open University
The Open University has done a lot of work in the apprenticeships space and this has been headed up by David. They’re another that is one to watch closely in the space.
22. Karen Hewitt, British Airways
Karen leads a team of Apprentice Programme Managers and Executives, is involved with Trailblazer Apprentice Standards and is Chair of the Aviation Industry Skills Board, driving change initiatives in learning and development across the aviation sector.
23. Mushall Khan, Corndel
With 20 years managing contracts and projects in education, employment regeneration, Mushall is continuing to have an impact in the industry as now owner of training provider, Corndel.
24. Rowena Bach, MyKindaFuture
Rowena is responsible for building new products in this space and I always enjoy my chats with her about the latest innovations and where the industry is heading.
25. Sandy Chow, Centrica
Sandy is a brilliant person to be around and delivering recruitment marketing at a global level at Centrica, she knows her stuff.
26. Sam Gordon, Institute of Student Recruiters
Sam, like me, is a bit of a data geek and really understands this industry from a numbers perspective. He’s certainly worth chatting to if you’re looking to understand research in this sector.
27. Kathryn Sian Porter, Hilton Worldwide
Kathryn delivers work at a global level at Hilton to apprenticeships and youth work to overcome the significant challenges faced in the hospitality industry.
28. Shannon Green, Althams Travel Services
Another apprentice to be celebrated, having recently won the Intermediate Apprentice of the Year at the National Apprenticeship Awards in London.
29. Sarah-Bohn Allen – Pret A Manger
Having previously up the enterprise adviser network at The Careers & Enterprise Company, Sarah has a deep understanding of schools and students. Taking on the apprenticeships strategy at Pret along with this deep found makes Sarah and Pret an exciting to watch over the next year.
30. Ryan McIntosh, BDO
Ryan heads up all the early careers marketing BDO and I’ve recently had the pleasure of working with him to witness first-hand his enthusiasm and knowledge for the sector.
31. Imogen Shacklock, PwC
Imogen heads up school engagement at PwC and is often referred to in my network as someone who knows her stuff and passionate about supporting other employers in the sector.
32. Karis Stander, Investment 2020
Karis heads up Investment 2020 and does a whole heap of work to get investment banks taking on more school leavers and apprentices and promoting the sector within schools.
33. Ben Smith, UnLtd
Ben works at one of the largest social enterprise funders in the UK and has been responsible for heading up a number of programmes and investment funds that have supported a number of organisations in the industry to grow and expand.
34. Jan Ellis, Careers Development Institute
Jan is very passionate about ensuring schools have access to careers advisors and that they have the resources they need in order to support students. She’s very well known in the sector and no doubt will have a huge impact over the next few years with new careers strategy published by the Government.
35. Christos Orthodoxou, Class Careers
It would be rude of me not to recommend myself, who founded Class Careers and apparently now a bit of an expert on apprenticeships. I am a regular blogger in the space and have presented on many occasions at the BFI Apprenticeships Conference, National Career Guidance Show and the ISE Student Recruitment Conference.
Article by: Christos Orthodoxou the Founder of Class Careers
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