New Year’s Honours

@AELPUK members Nicki Hay @TrainingEstio, Sharron Robbie @FlipflopRobbie @DCTrainingNet & Sue Tipton @ProtocolGroup all receive MBEs 

 The Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP) is absolutely delighted that MBEs in the New Year’s Honours have been awarded for services to apprenticeships and skills to: 

  • Nichola (‘Nicki’) Hay, Chief Operating Officer at Estio Training Ltd, AELP Board Vice-Chair and member of Skills for Londoners Board 
  • Sharron Robbie, Managing Director of Devon & Cornwall Training Providers Network 
  • Sue Tipton, Owner and Managing Director of Protocol Consultancy Services, Birmingham 

Jane Hickie 20Dec 100x100Commenting on their recognition, Association of Employment and Learning Providers managing director Jane Hickie said: 

“I am overjoyed that these three fabulous colleagues have received the recognition which they so richly deserve. 

“Their contribution to apprenticeships and skills over many years has made a huge difference to the lives of young people and adult learners in their respective regions.  I have also personally observed the extra mile they have gone in offering support to learners during the pandemic when so much provision has had to switch online.  The achievement to keep thousands of apprentices in jobs and still training has been remarkable.

“AELP chairman Martin Dunford OBE and I join in congratulating Nicki, Sharron and Sue on each being awarded an MBE.  A special mention should also be made about Nicki’s contribution as a member of the AELP Board where she has been a real driver in areas such as provider quality and good governance.” 

Nichola Hay 100x100Nicki Hay, Chief Operating Officer at Estio Training Ltd, AELP Board Vice-Chair and member of Skills for Londoners Board said:

“I am so thrilled and proud to have been included in Her Majesty’s New Year’s Honours list.  I feel very humbled, particularly at this time during a pandemic when so many other people deserve such a prestigious award.

“I could not however receive such an honour without all the help and support of my colleagues, past, and present and partner organisations who help improve the lives and career prospects of young people to build better futures. There is still so much more we need to do and I am proud to be part of that driving force.” 

On the recognition for Nicki Hay, London Deputy Mayor for Planning, Regeneration and Skills, Jules Pipe, said:

“On behalf of the Skills for Londoners Board, I offer our congratulations to Nicki on this well-deserved recognition of her leadership. Her drive for more apprenticeships and better skills provision is tremendous – and the knowledge and experience she brings to the Board has been invaluable.”

Sharron Robbie 100x100Sharron Robbie, Managing Director of Devon & Cornwall Training Providers Network said:

"I am absolutely thrilled to have been recognised in the New Year’s Honours list - I still cannot quite believe it. However I could not do what I do without the support of a huge amount of people - their encouragement and endorsement are critical to the successes we have achieved - collaboration, partnership and teamwork are key elements of my work. Therefore, I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who supports me and the work I do in the post-16 education, skills & training sector.

“The current pandemic has seen huge impact on young people, in terms of their future career pathways, specifically into apprenticeships. We have seen a significant drop in apprenticeship vacancies across the South West and this has reduced the opportunities for young people who left school in the summer. Furthermore, how teaching and learning are delivered has undergone massive transformation and at pace – the DCTPN has had to provide additional support to training providers.  My current focus is in supporting older workers, facing redundancy, and on the wrap-around-support required for those undertaking a Kickstart placement. I am working with local training providers to identify funding streams and training provisions, which will support these groups.” 

Sue Tipton 100x100Sue Tipton, Owner and Managing Director of Protocol Consultancy Services, Birmingham said:

“I am delighted to receive such an esteemed honour particularly as I am celebrating 25 years as MD at Protocol Consultancy Services in 2021.  I would like to acknowledge and express my thanks to my excellent, professional and skilled team, who share my values, goals, vision and aspirations; our learners and employers who have shown great loyalty and achievements;  the support received from my fellow Directors of the Birmingham and Solihull Network of Training Providers; colleagues from WMCA and of course my grateful and heartfelt thanks to AELP who nominated me. 

“This award is testimony to the significance of working with apprentices and traineeships in our sector and the West Midlands in particular.  It is so important, helping them get on the career ladder and then see them develop into successful employees with responsible positions gives great satisfaction. Their success is Protocol’s success and now more than ever in these challenging times, we need to support each other and help in making the lives and career prospects of local young people better. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has supported me with the charity work both locally and nationally that we have undertaken over the years.”

The Education and Skills Funding Agency’s Carolyn Savage has also received an OBE 

AELP were also delighted to learn that the ESFA’s Carolyn Savage will receive an OBE as Carolyn has been a long-standing champion of apprenticeships.

Carolyn Savage OBE 100x100Carolyn SavageHead of NEET and Youth Engagement, Apprenticeships Directorate, Education & Skills Funding Agency said:

“I am absolutely thrilled, amazed and humbled to be receiving this honour for my services to Apprenticeships and Skills. I keep having to pinch myself to make sure that it is really happening.

"Apprenticeships and particularly supporting apprentices and improving their experience has always very dear to my heart and I have really enjoyed my varied work in this sector and being able to make a difference.”

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