@QA_Ltd momentum builds with 2 key executive hires 

Simon Nelson and Katie Nykanen strengthen QA’s executive team adding further digital and global experience.

QA, a world-leading provider of digital and tech skills, has further strengthened its executive team with the appointment of two digital heavyweights. 

Simon Nelson, who will become CEO of QA’s Higher Education business and Katie Nykanen, who is appointed as Group CTO, bring extensive experience of building market-shaping digital services for a global customer base. Their arrival will further boost QA’s ability to deliver a world-leading learning experience for its customers across the world. 

These appointments come hot on the heels of QA’s recent acquisition of Circus Street, a global leader in providing commercial digital skills including ecommerce, data analytics and digital marketing, through its subscription-based, proprietary digital platform. By bringing the two companies together QA can now also help organisations build their capabilities in the essential digital marketing and data analytics skills that commercial functions require to succeed. 

Together this completes what has been an impressive period for QA. Having enjoyed a robust financial performance during the last 12 months, despite the global pandemic, QA also saw several exciting new business wins, was awarded a contract to deliver the UK Department for Education’s Digital Skills Bootcamps to upskill hundreds of people in the most in-demand digital skills, and was accredited as an Advanced Partner by the AWS training team.  

Paul Geddes, CEO, QA said:

“Digital and tech skills are at the top of the boardroom agenda for every organisation in today’s climate. Without access to the right amount of digital skills and talent, organisations will struggle to win in today’s digital economy. I am delighted to welcome both Katie and Simon to the QA team. Their experience will be invaluable as we continue our mission to deliver world-class learning and talent development programmes, with proven workplace outcomes.” 

Simon Nelson will join to replace Julie Noone as CEO of the QA Higher Education business in September with Julie becoming Chair. Simon brings a wealth of experience in the global EdTech market. Founder and CEO of FutureLearn, the online learning platform launched by the Open University and used by world-renowned academic institutions, Simon was responsible for scaling the platform from start-up to reaching a global audience of more than 15 million students. 

Prior to this, Simon played a key role at the BBC for more than a decade, leading the BBC Radio digital strategy and playing a major role in the development and launch of BBC iPlayer. Most recently Simon headed up the digital strategy at Nord Anglia Education, the world’s largest international schools group.  

Simon Nelson said:

“I’m really excited to be joining the QA Higher Education team. They have done an amazing job, under Julie’s leadership, building a fast growing and profitable business that delivers exceptional outcomes for our students and is an excellent partner to the universities we work with.” 

Katie Nykanen joins from Adstream, a leading digital asset management platform used by brands and agencies, where she spent 9 years managing the global technology function. She has over 20 years’ industry experience, was named female CTO of the Year in 2019 and placed #16 on the CIO 100 list, a list which recognises transformational and disruptive CIOs. Katie will lead QA’s group technology function. 

Katie said:

“After just a few conversations it became clear that the digital and tech skills sector is a really exciting place to be right now. Having experienced the challenges of hiring and retaining a quality tech team for the past few years, I feel really excited by what QA can do to help organisations build a sustainable and diverse global technology workforce for the future.”  

Geddes concludes:

“Whether through apprenticeships, bootcamps or training programmes, QA is committed to continuously innovating the way that individuals learn, practise and – critically – apply, digital skills. As the UK’s largest digital and tech skills provider, our experience, boosted by the acquisition of Circus Street and together with our existing Cloud Academy business, uniquely positions us to help organisations tackle digital skills shortages across both tech teams and their wider commercial functions.” 

You may also be interested in these articles:

Sponsored Video

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In Jan 2021, FE News had over 173,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector, putting us in the top 2,000 websites in the UK.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.


We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.


FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page