30 People to know in Apprentice Recruitment 2017

You know what is truly crazy? That it’s already 2017 (and it’s March already) and this is the third article I’ve published with the same name. I’ll leave you to ponder how quickly time flies for a moment…

Anyway, earlier this week, to celebrate National Apprenticeship Week (and National Careers Week) I listed 101 apprenticeships that are open to school leavers right now and following on from that I thought it was timely to do another one of our hugely popular articles - to celebrate the people that make these apprenticeships possible.

I have included individuals from multiple sectors and the wide spectrums of organisations out there - from employers, schools, job boards, training providers and the government. Now, let me stress, there is no scientific process for my collating this list, nor indeed any method to my madness… it is simply a list of people I think are good to know and are definitely worth following.

So, ** in no particular order, ** here we go!


1. Michael WalbyKPMG

I have been lucky enough to present a couple of times with Michael, and he really is a bit of an expert in this field. He really knows his stuff and it’s nice to see someone with a deep passion and genuine care for all the trainees and apprentices at KPMG.


2. Jake McClure; Civil Service

Heading up apprenticeships at the of core government in the Civil Service is no easy task, but one that Jake delivers with the utmost care and professionalism.


3. Karen Handley; Virgin Media

Responsible for delivering the Virgin Media Early Talent Strategy, Karen has a big job to deliver. She’s a great laugh to speak with and is active on social media so a nice one to follow on Twitter.


4. Nicola Standley; Kennedys

Kennedys really know their stuff when it comes to apprenticeships and working with schools and are well ahead of the curve in the legal sector. Nicola is doing a great job of driving this forward and I’ve recently had the pleasure of working which has been really enjoyable.


5. Nicola Turner; HEFCE

Having previously worked in careers at Aston University and now Head of Skills at HEFCE, Nicola’s role is to increase the number of sponsored degrees programmes out there. She is a good person to know and is very passionate about her line of work.


6. Emma O’Dell; BPP

BPP have fantastic knowledge about this space (one of our recent articles discussed Apprenticeship Training Providers: who to choose and what to look for and BBP were on the list) and Emma has played a significant role in this. I’ve seen her speak at multiple events and it’s great to be able to put a face to such a big organisation. She really understands the strategic side of this industry and how best employers can make the levy and apprenticeships work for them.


7. Claire Bennison; ACCA

Accountancy apprenticeships are rapidly on the increase and Claire knows this industry inside out. It’s fantastic to hear her speak - she is well and truly an expert and has some really interesting views.


8. Nick Elwell-Sutton; Clyde & Co.

Nick knows employment law inside out. He’s a commentator on employment matters in the press, including BBC Worldwide, Radio 4 and The Times and is a great one to know when it comes to figuring out hiring of apprentices and the rest of the legalities that comes with it.


9. Cassandra Macdonald; Kaplan

Another organisation featured in our apprenticeships training providers blog, Cassandra is helping many employers implement the changes they need to in light of the apprenticeship levy and just generally get to grips with it all. She is a fantastic source of knowledge, so definitely one to follow.


10. Malcolm Redmond; Whitbread

Malcolm really knows his stuff when it comes to designing and delivering quality apprenticeship programmes as well as engaging with schools. He represents Whitbread on the Hospitality Trailblazer Group, so is a great source of knowledge and a fantastic person to know.


11. Janet Colledge; National Careers Week

Janet is an experienced Careers Advisor and Director of National Careers Week; she understands how to deliver careers informations in schools at both a singular and national level.


12. Rebecca Farmer; Royal Mail

Due to the sheer size of Royal Mail, they inevitably have a huge responsibility and bill once the levy comes into force. Rebecca is driving this work as well as delivering the wealth of apprenticeships at Royal Mail - and doing a fantastic job!


13. Gemma Shooter; London City Corporation 

Gemma has worked at BPP, HS2 and now with City University as one the Apprenticeship Levy Recruitment lead; she is extremely knowledgable in the sector and understands its breadth.


14. Karen Paginton; Aequalis

Previously head of recruitment at KPMG and now a consultant for various organisations, Karen really knows her stuff. She was a super massive help to me in my early days at Class Careers and one of the first people I knew in the industry.


15. Sasha Morgan Manley; Morgan Manley Ltd

Having spent a number of years at Capgemini promoting sponsored degree programme, she has built up an amazing wealth of knowledge is now working on a number of projects for various clients, including Aston University and Lloyds Banking Group.


16. Kat Ward; DSTL

Kat is one of my ‘conference’ friends - we’ve all got them! Everytime I bump into her I have a good laugh and a good catch up about the sector.


17. Kavneet Sandhu; QA Apprenticeships

I only recently met Kavneet but I enjoyed my conversation with her and she has a thorough understanding of the sector, particularly when it comes to marketing apprenticeships. Certainly one to watch!


18. Sue Husband; National Apprenticeships Service

Sue is the Director of the National Apprenticeships Service so it goes without saying she has an inordinate amount of knowledge... that only a mere mortal could aspire to!


19. Richard Hamer; BAE Systems

As Education Director at BAE Systems, Richard works a lot in the apprenticeships space at policy level and around developing trailblazers. He also does a lot of work in schools, both at a primary and secondary level.


20. Anthony Mann; Education and Employers Taskforce

As part of the Education and Employers Taskforce, Anthony undertakes a wealth of research in this area for employers and schools to understand what and how young people think when it comes to careers choices and how schools can best deliver this. I am a keen followers of his work.


21. Andy Gardner; Central Careers Hub

Working with close to 1000 careers advisers from across London and beyond, Andy really understands the school side of this market and how to promote apprenticeships to careers staff in schools and colleges.


22. Kate Llewellyn-Cripps; RBS

Kate has worked the agency side at Hodes, education side with Kingston University and now the employer side at RBS, so she understands every angle of this increasingly complicated sector.


23. Helen Taylor; Mercedes Benz

If anyone has seen me driving around in my almost-vintage Merc, you’ll have no doubt heard about my affinity to this brand (childhood stuff, really!) Mercedes do some great stuff in the apprenticeships space and having recently seen Helen present at the BFI conference, it was great to see how she too is passionate for the brand. She’s a well worth follow, especially if you want to learn more about the L&D side of apprenticeships in particular.


24. Jack Denton; AllAboutSchoolLeavers.co.uk

As the founder of one of the largest job boards in the industry and leading research year on year, Jack is a great person to follow. I find all of his posts interesting and insightful.


25. Lindsay Cotton; Rolls Royce

With over 16 years in the industry, Lindsay is a fantastic source of knowledge when it comes to talent acquisition and recruitment.


26. Tamar Fyne; Capita Talent Partnerships

I’ve worked with Tamar for over a year now, and can honestly say that she is a fantastic individual to work with. She is a dedicated and passionate project manager, with an eye for detail like no other.


27. Gillian Smith; Step Up To Serve

Gillian certainly knows her stuff. Having worked at the Home Office and Civil Service, Gillian is experienced in this industry, and is now using her wealth of expertise in heading up the Step Up to Serve campaign.


28. Ben Jackson; Deloitte

As Head Of Student Recruitment at Deloitte, Ben has a substantial role already and even more so with the levy slowly coming into play. Nevertheless, I know he really enjoys it and is taking it all in his stride.


29. Christos Orthodoxou; Class Careers

Well, what would this list be without a bit of self-promotion? If you don’t already, please do follow myself and my colleague Jasmine, below. Class Careers serves to bridge the gap between employers and school classrooms and is already working with some big partners. We’re regular bloggers, so please do take the time to navigate through my previous posts and I hope you find some of them useful.


30. Jasmine Wheelhouse; Class Careers

Passionate about all things young people, Jasmine is responsible for all our workshop delivery and content creation.


Who's on your list?

I have a large network but I don’t know everyone, please comment your suggestions below.