From education to employment

Bridges Fund Management: Skills Training UK strengthens leadership team

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Skills Training UK (“STUK”), the independent training provider, is delighted to announce three new senior joiners: Jenny Parkes, Rhian Old and Richard Bandell.

These three appointments complete an experienced leadership team led by CEO Guy Ballantine, who joined the business last year following its acquisition by Bridges Fund Management, a specialist sustainable and impact investor, in 2021.

Jenny Parkes joins STUK as MD, Apprenticeships and Skills, a newly created role within the business that reflects its commitment to providing the best possible learner experience. Jenny has worked in the Education and Skills sector for 15 years, holding senior posts at four independent training providers, and supporting many large UK employers to design and develop their apprenticeship programmes. Jenny began her career in Human Resources and Corporate Services before moving into operational leadership roles; she is a fellow of the CIPD and a graduate of London Business School’s Accelerate Development Programme. 

Rhian Old joins as Chief Commercial Officer (another newly created role). Having worked in commercial roles in Education for the past 15 years, Rhian is well placed to help grow the business via a new go-to-market strategy, ensuring that employers, referral partners and prospective learners are aware of our programmes and the value they provide. Rhian completed an Apprenticeship herself, so she knows first-hand the benefits they can have for career development and is passionate about spreading that message.

Richard Bandell joins as non-executive Chairman, after a long and successful executive career. Richard will lead the Board, providing vital commercial support to help guide the company’s ambitions, but also the governance needed to ensure that STUK continues to deliver an outstanding quality of education and wider support to its learners. Richard is passionate about helping people to reach their full potential and has extensive experience in the field of employee engagement and development. He is an Associate of the Moller Institute, Churchill College, Cambridge University, where he is involved in the delivery of leadership development programmes.

Guy Ballantine, CEO of Skills Training UK, said:

“At Skills Training UK, we want to lead the way in providing an outstanding quality of education to the growing number of people in the UK who need support to enhance their skills to move into, or progress within, employment. So we’re delighted to welcome Jenny, Rhian and Richard to the team. Their extensive experience, both within education and other sectors, will be instrumental in helping us achieve our ambitious goals for the business in the coming years.”

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