Rob Alcock

Senior Head of Learning & Development, BBC

Rob’s experience of people and organisations is rooted in a BBC career spanning over thirty years and before that with Marks & Spencer. 

Within the BBC Rob has worked in local radio, talent rights negotiation, business affairs and in learning & development.  He has a Masters in Organisation Development, holds the Henley Professional Certificate in Coaching and is an accredited Workplace Mediator.  

In his role as Senior Head of Learning & Development, Rob is responsible for leading the BBC Academy and implementation of the BBC’s L&D strategy in production, journalism, technology, leadership and personal development, and for the BBC’s contribution to skills development across the UK media industry. Early Careers and Staff Apprenticeships, which form part of the BBC Academy portfolio, are a critical component of the BBC’s workforce strategy.

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.

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.

Vince Hannant

Managing Director, Apprenticeships, Arch Apprenticeships


Bio coming soon.

Jane Hadfield

National Senior Programme Manager – Apprenticeships, Health Education England, NHS

Biography coming soon!

Anita Ibrahim

Management Consultant, People Advisory and Apprenticeships, Grant Thornton

Anita has worked in the apprenticeships world for over 10 years, advising some of the countries largest and most diverse employers on how to embed apprenticeships and skills training into their people strategies.  Currently on a Level 7 Senior Leader MSc Apprenticeship herself, she has long been an advocate of creating opportunities for groups with less representation – and leads on skills consultancy within the retail, manufacturing and automotive sectors in her role at Grant Thornton.

Anita also represents businesses in England as a UCAS policy group member, and has seen the development of apprenticeships from frameworks through to the current ‘standards’.  She believes in the continued progression of the apprenticeship policy agenda to enable social mobility, with the hope to one day see skills for work, including degrees, made freely accessible for everyone.

Qasim Iqbal

Early Careers Lead UK – Work Experience, Traineeships & Apprenticeships, HSBC

As well as recently completing a L7 MBA apprenticeship himself, Qasim has worked in the apprenticeship sphere for over 10 years. He is always looking for ways to promote apprenticeships and share his experiences, especially to the BAME community. 
He works with the Prince’s Trust and NCFE to help shape apprenticeships, traineeships and T-Levels. His hobbies and interests include sports, travelling and technology. He represents and plays cricket for HSBC and his local club.

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.

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.

Annabelle Sénant

Global Graduate & Internship Programmes Lead, Aon

I support the global Early Careers team on strategic initiatives and implementation planning for ensuring successful execution of the Early Careers short term goals and longer-term strategy. I work in partnership with Early Careers Managers and regional talent partners to assess current programmes and identify opportunities for further enhancements, operational efficiencies, expansion and alignment.

I joined Aon in 2010 as an intern. After spending 4 years in the Paris office as a project manager within the Human Capital Solutions department, I had the opportunity to move to London office. I was then responsible for the successful delivery and implementation of complex global leadership and employee research projects. Two years later I had the opportunity to join the Aon Early Careers team. My role was to design the Early Careers strategy for the UK, ensuring that it aligns with the global talent development strategy, manage the deployment of Internship, Apprenticeships and Graduate development programmes and implement the Go Further Development Programme (Professional Qualifications) in UK.

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.

James Swaffield

Apprenticeships Director, Capita Learning

Biography coming soon!

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