Emily Austin

Engagement Director

Emily has over 20 years’ experience as a Talent and HR specialist, holding a number of roles in Talent Management including Early Careers, Learning and Development and Change Management. Before joining Babington, Emily was the Client Director for Apprenticeships at Capita Learning overseeing key strategic relationships across both the private and public sector. Prior to this, Emily was the Head of Apprenticeships for Lloyds Banking Group where she led and developed the Bank’s Apprenticeship programme and schools engagement activity seeing over 5,500 apprenticeship starts from its launch and winning a number of awards for quality including a finalist position for three consecutive years as Macro Employer at the National Apprenticeship Awards.

In her current role, Emily works with the St Martin’s Group, a membership organisation of employers, training providers and end-point assessment organisations, established to provide practical support to policymakers as they seek to create a world-class apprenticeship system for the UK. Emily joined the Association of Apprentices in December where she is the Engagement Director, seconded via Babington, one of its founding partners. She has a business degree from Manchester University and a post graduate diploma in Human Resources.

David Barker

Chief Technology Officer

David has worked in the internet industry since the early 1990’s when he co-founded one of the UK’s first full-service digital marketing agencies, personally working with technology companies including Intel, Microsoft and Cisco. Exiting his first business in 2004, he became an internet and social entrepreneur, dedicated to using innovation and technology to improve society. As an ex apprentice himself, he is excited to be working with the Association with its focus to ensure all apprentices successfully complete their apprenticeship, and move into fulfilling long-term careers.

Fiona Burford

Operations Director

Fiona has had a varied career spent largely in engagement, governance and operational roles. She spent 10 years at City & Guilds where she became Head of Corporate Affairs holding responsibility for corporate governance as well as managing all senior external relationships. She has also been Head of Secretariat at the Fishmongers’ Company (a City of London guild) overseeing governance and charitable activity, Senior Programme Manager to the Lord Mayor of London and Chief of Staff in a private family office. Fiona has a degree from Nottingham University and a PhD from Copenhagen University.

Sophia Ibrahim

Marketing Officer

Sophia has extensive experience in both B2B and B2C marketing and business development. After taking extended parental leave, Sophia decided to pursue a career in the third sector; volunteering as a copywriter for Nurture the Children, and joining the Association. Sophia has a BA in Comparative Literature & Linguistics from Queen Mary, University of London, advocates for the awareness of Hyperemesis Gravidarum and enjoys board games, eating out, and treating karaoke like a competition.

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