The Career Colleges Trust is an education charity, governed by a Board of Trustees, comprised of industry and educational specialists. They are responsible for strategic oversight, fundraising and the direction of our charitable organisation.
The Career Colleges Trust has two experienced individuals sharing the CEO duties, supported by a team of specialists supporting the operations, employer involvement, review, development, training and support.
All our Career Colleges have been through an application process, supported by the Trust’s experienced team. We build a Development Plan with each new Career College to ensure performance and impact and our joint CEOs and contract managers maintain on-going communications with each Career College ensuring impact on the student experience and staff.
The overarching aim is to ensure that young people are equipped with the necessary skills and hands-on experience, thereby supporting them towards great, successful careers.
The curriculum of each Career College is designed by employers, for employment – the objective is to address the Skills Gap `at source’. Students get involved in industry projects and develop enterprise (such as creativity, resilience) and communication skills, to prepare them for work and life.
The Trust is overseen by a Board of Trustees, comprised of industry and educational specialists, whose role is to ensure we have clear strategy, and that our work and goals are in line with our vision. Our Trustees are ‘guardians of purpose’, making sure that all decisions meet the needs of the beneficiaries first. They day-to-day management of the Trust is led by our Joint CEOs who work with a team of specialists to support Career Colleges and the wider education sector.
The Board of Trustees is chaired by Ruth Gilbert.
Ruth has 25 years’ experience in professional services and education, holding positions including Principal and CEO in Further Education. Ruth previously set up and ran the Career Colleges Trust and has now taken up the position of Chair. She has a passion for applying business principles and regional partnerships to educational ventures, to ensure their long-term sustainability.
Ruth is an Honorary Fellow of UCL Institute of Education and Group Education Director for Manor Property Group. She also holds several voluntary positions in support of education, focusing on improving the career prospects of young people to meet national skills shortages.
Charlotte is Managing Director of Innovate Awarding which is a regulated Awarding Body and End Point Assessment Organisation focused on providing the best chance of assessment success for Apprentices, Employers and Providers.
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 Governor at Walsall College and a Board member of The Federation of Awarding Bodies. She is also an Independent Governor for a Secondary school that’s vision is led by national Employers.
Jan is Chair and Non-Executive Director to the leaders of fast-growing businesses in the U.K. She has worked as a senior executive for over 20 years within the private, public and third sector.
During this time, she gained extensive experience of FMCG, manufacturing and logistics, primarily in the food sector (Dairy Crest, Yoplait and New Covent Garden Market), as well as property management and development, public procurement and planning (New Covent Garden Market and Heritage Foundation).
She has worked on developing market leading brands, post-acquisition integration, outsourcing manufacturing, major capital and regeneration projects as well as improving stakeholder engagement and influencing within the public sector.
Jan has been recognised as a leader in every field she has entered with a proven ability to develop teams who deliver challenging objectives.
Grant Findlay is a Chartered Civil Engineer with 30 years of experience in the engineering and construction industry. He is Director of Strategy and Innovation for Sir Robert McAlpine, a UK construction and engineering company. He has previously led major projects and construction businesses in the UK and overseas. Grant is also a Board Member & Trustee of the Lean Construction Institute UK, and is a founding member of the Project Data Analytics Taskforce, which is promoting the power of data to improve project performance.
Rachael has over 15 years’ experience in the further education sector and is no stranger the Liverpool City Region, having grown up in Bootle and completing her A-levels at Hugh Baird College.
Rachael has overall responsibility for the strategic direction of the College. She is passionate about ensuring students develop relevant knowledge and skills that will enable them to progress in the future.
We are current seeking to expand our Board of Trustees to ensure that we reflect the skills shortage sectors in the UK. If you are interested in becoming a Trustee, please download the Trustee Recruitment pack or contact our CEO, Bev Jones
We are current seeking to expand our Board of Trustees to ensure that we reflect the skills shortage sectors in the UK. If you are interested in becoming a Trustee, please
click here (PDF) to download the Trustee Recruitment pack or contact our CEO, Bev Jones.
Bev joined the Trust in 2013 as Director of Operations and has been instrumental in developing the Career College Concept. She took up the role of CEO in December 2017. Prior to this, she worked in FE for over 30 years in a career that included operational and strategic management, employer responsive provision and supporting training providers to develop and deliver apprenticeship frameworks.
Bev is now leading operational implementation, marketing, quality, digital development and CPD at the Career Colleges Trust. She is passionate about developing the digital skills of the teaching workforce to ensure they are can equip students with the digital skills that employers need.
Bev can be contacted at: here
Mark was appointed as joint CEO of the Trust in 2019, bringing over 25 years of experience in the education and skills sector. Previous roles include serving as Principal and Chief Executive in two FE Colleges, where he has focused on delivering innovation, change and improvement to the sector.
Prior to his move into FE, Mark trained and worked as a teacher in Harrow for ten years. It was here he developed a passion for learning, seeing how education can transform lives. In his current role Mark focuses on business development, planning and strategic development
Mark can be contacted at: here
Sarah is a freelance communications consultant with over 18 years’ experience, gained across a variety of sectors (but predominantly in education) both in-house and agency. Current clients include London South East Colleges, First News and Manor Property Group.
Having worked with the Career Colleges Trust since its inception in 2013, Sarah has raised the profile of the organisation as well as supporting individual Career Colleges with their own PR and communications activity.
Contract Set-Up and Management
Experienced Head of School who achieved and maintained an Ofsted ‘Outstanding’ school, with 100% achievement rates and 80% progression.
With wider expertise in leading and delivering NEET provision, the Prince’s Trust, Challenging Behaviours, ESOL, Traineeships, Apprenticeships, Supported Learning and Additional Learning Support, Caroline ran a team of over 70 staff, and has won many awards in recognition of excellence in support of young people, especially from disadvantaged backgrounds, which is where her passion lies.
Review and Evaluation
Dilys has worked in the learning and skills sector for 40 years – as both as a qualified teacher and a freelance consultant (including being an inspector of government-funded training). She is an advocate of vocational training and has supported a wide range of large and small providers to improve the quality of education and training.
Having joined the Career Colleges Trust in February 2016, Dilys is responsible for assuring the quality of procedures and processes across the network, as well as supporting specific Career Colleges.
Rachel has worked in the learning and skills sector for 20 years promoting and supporting employer engagement. She began her career as a trainee buyer and worked for a number of high street retailers in management positions. With a passion for vocational training, she moved into learning & skills in 2000, working for the funding body, and within the FE, HE & Independent Training sectors.
Having joined the Career Colleges Trust in February 2020 Rachel is responsible for developing strong working relationships with employers. She is supporting Career Colleges with curriculum development, industry placements, mentoring, guest speakers, webinars, projects and other activities.
Clare has been working in HR, vocational training and post-16 education management in the public and private sector for more than 30 years. She began her career working in HR for a large consumer products/health care company and went on to become an Area Director for the Skills Funding Agency.
Having joined the Career Colleges Trust in 2014, Clare supports strategy development and works with Career Colleges specialising in Construction, Engineering and Health and Social Care.
E-Learning, CPD and Project Based Learning
Dawn Buzzard is a Further Education and Skills consultant, having spent over 20 years in the sector. Initially an Adult Education Tutor and then a college IT Tutor, Dawn later moved into a senior management position at Oxford and Cherwell Valley College. Here she held a number of Director posts, which covered Digital Pedagogy, Learning Resources, Student Services, IT and Property and Environment.
Having worked with the Career Colleges Trust since 2016, Dawn is the Learning Technologies Adviser and CPD lead. She is a passionate believer in the power of project-based learning to develop students’ professional skills. Dawn sees significant synergy between project-based learning and the use of technology for collaborative learning.
Julia von Klonowski
Julia has over 35 years’ experience in the Digital and Technology industry and has spent the last 15 years concentrating on the effective use of technology in education. Prior to this, Julia lived and worked in South Africa, where she ran her own business delivering IT solutions.
On her return to the UK in 2001, Julia joined Sun Microsystems (and later Oracle) as a senior Project Manager and then as Program Director for Schools. Her experience stretches from programming, software support, large project delivery and consultancy.
Julia is passionate about education and sits on various Department for Education (DfE) and industry advisory boards, promoting the use of technology to improve education and skills. Her role at the Career Colleges Trust includes leading the annual digital project with Amazon Web Services (AWS) and supporting our digital Career Colleges.