From education to employment

Apprenticeship and adult education provider Ignite Training appoints Head of Education

Ignite Training (@ignitesportuk) has hired Steph McNeil as Head of Education to support the growth and development of the company’s apprenticeship and adult education services.

Ms McNeil will ensure Ignite’s apprenticeship and adult education provisions are planned, prepared and delivered to the highest possible standards across the UK and online while supporting the education team’s overall growth.

She has a wealth of experience in the education sector and joins from Bicester Tech Studio where she worked as Director of Business Engagement for five years following previous roles as a Business Tutor with Activate Learning and Management Consultant at the Baseline Group.

Before this, Ms McNeil lectured in sport, travel and tourism at Uxbridge College and supported disadvantaged children to embrace new challenges with Outward Bound after gaining a Leisure Management degree at Southampton Solent University.

She said: “This is an exciting new challenge for me, and I’m really pleased to join the Ignite Training team as Head of Education.

“I’ve worked with Ignite Training through my previous role at Bicester Tech Studio so have developed a strong understanding of the organisation’s structure from vocational qualifications to adult education and school sport.

“Ignite places learners at the heart of its work by supporting everyone to reach their full potential by enhancing key skills and ability. Events of the past two years have allowed people to put the brakes on and assess their lives and what they would like to achieve.

“Our apprenticeship and adult education provisions target young adults, young professionals and established team leaders who want to take their skills and knowledge in a chosen area to the next level.

“Constant development is now part of the world and I’m looking forward to leading our ambition to create new leaders through proven methods of education.”

Ms McNeil will work closely with Ignite’s team of tutors and Sorcha Murphy, Business Development Manager, to fulfil our focus on equipping every learner with relevant skills for life.

She has first-hand experience of the power of apprenticeships and their ability to energise and inspire through her daughter Abigail – who is studying our Level 2 Community Activator Coach qualification.

“Apprenticeships are a fantastic way for organisations to upskill their workforce,” said Steph. “Regardless of a person’s age, ability, background or culture, we will have an apprenticeship for them be it in coaching, content production, marketing or wellbeing.

“Through my professional career, I have seen so people dedicate many hours to improving the lives of others through voluntary coaching and support. Our provisions allow people to continue this work and come out the other side with a meaningful qualification at the end.

“The wellbeing branch of our education services is particularly relevant right now too with more people returning to workplace environments after spending so long at home. I look forward to working with the team and meeting the organisations and individuals we work with.”

Justin Merritt, Ignite Training CEO, added:

“On behalf of everyone at Ignite Training I would like to welcome Steph to the team, we are thrilled to have her onboard.

“Steph’s background, knowledge and understanding of programme and education planning and delivery made her the perfect fit for the role. We’re experiencing a significant shift in demand for our apprenticeship and adult education provisions as more organisations seek to develop a skilled workforce for the future.

“It’s a busy period at Ignite Training and we’d like to wish Steph the very best in her new role.”

Based in Oxford, Ignite Training is a registered training provider which operates nationally by delivering a portfolio of training and services to individuals, organisations, schools and the sports industry.

Clients include schools, councils, charities, sports coaching organisations, professional clubs, gyms, the NHS and apprenticeship training agencies.

Further information is available via its website Adult Education & Sport Apprenticeships | Ignite Training (

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