Neil took the decision to join NITAL, a well regarded and highly important regional provider of Engineering Apprenticeships, in January 2020 just after they celebrated their 50th year in business, to
ensure they continue to support the manufacturing heartbeat of Northamptonshire for a further 50 years.
Tell us about your background?
I was educated at Coleshill School in Warwickshire, and embarked on an Apprenticeship myself with Jones Brothers as an apprentice Tool Maker, undertaking my studies at Sutton Coldfield College.
In my final year, I was even awarded ‘Apprentice of the Year’.
What was your early career path?
Following the completion of my apprenticeship, I took up a post with Mercia GTA as an Engineering Instructor working with a range of young people to provide them with a range of technical, personal and social skills, to enable them to gain employment.
From this, the organisation established an Engineering training centre and I was lucky enough to be appointed as Senior Instructor. I did this for 3 years, until I took up the post of Training Adviser, working with clients to identify training and development needs.
From Mercia GTA, I moved to MGTS in Coventry where I held various roles, from Business Advisor through to Commercial Manager and engaged in a whole variety of education training development activities with apprentices at the core. I then changed direction and took a role with a Danish tool manufacturer and led a team of technical sales specialists in the UK and Scandinavia, supporting the Aerospace and Automotive sectors across the European and North American markets.
So what then led you to NITAL?
From my spell in industry, I moved back into the education sector taking a role with Coventry University. Over a 5 year tenure, I led the development of a standalone business unit developing a range of work based learning solutions for delivery across a range of industries and sectors. During my time there, they won significant contracts with the likes of Ford Europe, Santander and TNT, plus led a trade mission to China exploring a UK style apprenticeship system in the logistics sector.
From Coventry, I later moved to EEF in Birmingham to take up the post of Skills and Apprenticeships Director with responsibility of leading a team of technical instructors, tutors and business consultants. I provided a range of apprenticeships and led the adoption of the New Apprentice standards and the introduction of the Levy.