Rob Alcock

Senior Head of Learning & Development, BBC

Biography coming soon! 

Dawn Baker

Director of Innovation & Investments, NCFE

Prior to heading up Innovation at NCFE, Dawn started out managing the marketing and merchandising for the infamous TV series Spitting Image tourist attraction in London before freelancing in the North. In the mid-90s, Dawn set up one of the first web design agencies in the North East focusing on digital marketing and innovation before becoming Head of Marketing at Sage where she stayed for 10 years. 

Dawn has always made a conscious decision to work for organisations that give customers something of real worth which is what led her to join NCFE as Head of Marketing before becoming Head of Innovation almost 4 years ago. Since then she has gone on to become Director of Innovation and more recently had the remit of Investments added to her role.

Charlotte Boswell

Managing Director, Innovate Learning

Charlotte is Managing Director of Innovate Awarding. Charlotte’s career within Education commenced in 1996 with RSA Examinations Board and she has vast experience in curriculum, assessment and qualification design.

Charlotte has spent much of her career working in partnership with thought leaders in education to influence curriculum delivery and development, and to ensure best practice is assimilated into the development of qualifications, assessments and delivery. Much of Charlotte’s work has included building relationships and interpreting the needs of employers.

In addition Charlotte is a trustee of Career Colleges and a Board member of The Federation of Awarding Bodies and AELP. She is also an Independent Governor for an FE College and for a Secondary school that’s vision is led by national Employers.

Graham Briggs

Head of Apprenticeships & Employability Programmes

Graham joined Greene King in 2014 and is responsible for the growth and success of the apprenticeship programme having supported over 13,000 apprentices with over 30 different standards available from Level 2-7. Over the years, Graham has introduced new initiatives including The Prince’s Trust, Work Experience, Releasing Potential (recruitment of ex-offenders), Supported Internships and recently launched Kickstart with 1,000 placements available across the UK. Graham also represents Greene King on several other apprenticeship and hospitality boards.

Rosie Ellis

UK Early Careers Programme Manager, Aon

Biography coming soon! 

Tracy Fairhurst

Head of Apprenticeships, Royal Mail

Biography coming soon! 

David Gallagher


David is Chief Executive Officer at NCFE, a leading educational charity, with business operations in Awarding, Assessment and Learning Technologies and Resources. David initially joined NCFE in 2018 as Managing Director of NCFE EPA Plus, leading a new team to deliver End-Point Assessment for apprenticeships. NCFE is the 3rd largest Awarding Organisation in technical and vocational education in the UK and has recently been selected by Government to develop and accredit 6 T Level pathways. NCFE’s core purpose is to ‘promote and advance learning’ and all NCFE businesses play a role in supporting learners to achieve the best possible education, career and life outcomes.

David has enjoyed a successful career in employment and skills for over 18 years, spanning from frontline delivery in some of the most disadvantaged communities in the UK to his current role as CEO of an educational charity that is particularly focussed on supporting the most disadvantaged.

David’s diverse career, has shaped his perspectives on education, skills and employment. This has included; working the public sector for the Learning and Skills Council (now ESFA) where he was heavily involved in qualification reform policy and the introduction of the QCF, working with several leading national employment and skills providers, including: Working Links and Ingeus, during periods of significant market shift, such as; the introduction of ‘payment by results’, twice being nominee for an Ofsted inspection and also working with a variety of devolved authorities and stakeholders in the design and delivery of locally responsive skills provision.

Iain Heath

Head of Emerging Talent UK, HSBC

Iain leads the Graduate and Intern Programmes within HSBC UK and also has ownership of Apprenticeships, Degree Apprenticeships, Traineeships, Industrial Placements and Work Experience Programmes across the whole of the UK bank. Iain has over twenty years’ experience leading and developing Emerging Talent programmes, including nine years as Head of Graduates at Centrica before joining HSBC in February 2017. Iain was a voluntary Board Director for the Association of Graduate Recruiters (now the ISE) for four years, a member of the CBI’s Higher Education Task Force Advisory Board and an Expert Advisory Board member for the government’s Wilson Review into university / employer collaboration.

Iain is currently a member of the University of Birmingham’s Employer Board and one of HSBC’s Political Engagement Ambassadors. He has a degree in Medieval and Modern History from the University of Birmingham and is an associate alumnus of the Said Business School, University of Oxford.

Costi Karayannis

Managing Director, Capita Learning

Costi leads Capita Learning and has responsibility for all of Capita’s business across corporate learning, apprenticeships and employability. He also oversees the Fire Service College, Project Selborne, which is a 12 year transformation of the Royal Navy’s learning capability, and Capita’s shareholding in Axelos, which owns and develops a global best practice portfolio including Prince2 and ITIL. 

Prior to Capita, Costi held director roles leading and transforming learning and apprenticeship businesses at VShips and Babcock International Group. His early career was as a management consultant at Accenture and PMSI, where he advised investors on the training & education sector. He has a passion for education and a real focus on learner outcomes.

Kirk Lower

National Lead for Talent for Care, Health Education England, NHS

Kirk works for Health Education England, one of the national bodies of the NHS, where he leads on strategies and workstreams connected to i) accessing entry level employment within the NHS and career progression after this – particularly by individuals, groups and communities currently underrepresented in the workforce, ii) supporting employers in the development, use and growth of apprenticeships across the NHS – taking in entry level occupations at Level 2 through to those at post-graduate level and iii) supporting those volunteering into the NHS (and also volunteering from within the NHS workforce) – for example through the development of new training materials.

In addition, Kirk is the Chair of the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education Panel for Health and Science – approving new apprenticeship standards and recommending funding levels.

By way of background, he is an HR professional having worked at director level for a number of organisations in both further and higher education and the NHS.

David Marsh

CEO, Babington

David joined the team at Babington in October 2018 as Chief Executive Officer. Having previously plied his trade as Managing Director of Knowledgepool, a training division of Capital Plc, where he successfully brought together five separate business areas under the single banner of Knowledgepool. Bringing together managed learning, training delivery, and pre-employment businesses amongst others is no small feat, but one that David has accomplished. Prior to his work at Knowledgepool, David also fulfilled a number of other roles, including Head of Academies at Centrica, and Business and Account Director at Babcock International.

David has overall accountability for Babington’s strategic performance, forming and implementing the business plan and goals. As a leader, David is keen to display the culture and behaviours that he believes are at the centre of Babington, including being brave, caring, curious, determined, passionate and trusted.

In March 2020 David was also elected to the AELP board of directors.

Kathryn Marshall

Apprenticeship Senior Manager, Lloyds Banking Group

Kathryn Marshall leads on apprenticeship strategy and delivery at Lloyds Banking Group. Apprenticeships are integral to the talent and development proposition within the Group and there are typically 2000 colleagues on programme at any time. The delivery includes over 25 different programmes from level 2 to level 7. Kathryn is an active member of the Apprenticeship Ambassador Network in Yorkshire & Humber and the Multi Regional Group and is also a member of a number of trailblazer groups supporting the development and enhancement of apprenticeship standards and T Levels.

Justin Rix

Head of People Advisory, Grant Thornton

Justin is a partner of Grant Thornton and leads our People Advisory Practice. He has extensive experience of working with organisations on all aspects of their people and talent agenda. As head of our People Advisory Practice Justin’s role is to work with employers to engage, manage and develop their talent to keep pace and remain successful in an environment which is evolving at an unprecedented rate.

Justin leads a People Advisory team who can draw on significant experience and a breadth of specialist knowledge to provide commercial and pragmatic advice to organisations across the full spectrum of people issues, including culture and leadership, workforce planning, HR transformation, learning and development, reward and benefits, international mobility programs and compliance, reporting and managing risk.

Matthew Robinson

Partnership Director, Lifetime Training

Matt joined Lifetime in 2007, after a successful career in the fitness industry as a Personal Trainer, Writer and Sports Therapist. Joining Lifetime as a trainer, Matt progressed within Operations and has played a key part in taking Lifetime to its market-leading position. Since 2018 Matt moved into the role of Partnership Director after achieving significant growth through winning and delivering successful apprenticeship programmes for large national employers. Now his focus is on driving partnership strategy across the Partnership team and ensuring our programmes provide value and meet the needs of our employer partners.

Kirsten Smith

Head of Apprenticeships, Network Rail

As Head of Apprenticeship Delivery at Network Rail, Kirsten is responsible for developing new programmes and helping widen access to careers in the rail industry, overseeing Network Rail’s entire range of apprenticeship and graduate programmes, including its award-winning rail engineering technician apprenticeship scheme.

Prior to Network Rail, Kirsten gained extensive experience in her roles as Training Centre Manager at BK Labtech, The Hastings Engine Room, Director of Training at Dryad Maritime and in training and leadership roles with the Royal Navy. As an accomplished strategic leader, executive and training director, Kirsten is passionate about delivering change through effective, relevant and dynamic training.

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