Debbie Shandley - Chief Executive
Debbie has over 30 years experience in training and talent acquisition with 20 years as a chief executive and policy maker. Debbie has developed, delivered and managed occupational training programmes for individuals, communities and employers. Debbie established a national training provider to deliver high quality vocational training to industry and to support capacity building and quality improvement in a broad range of occupational sectors including transport and logistics both in the UK and the Far East.
Tony Allen – Non-Executive Chairman
Tony Allen is the non-executive Chairman of The Real Apprenticeship Company. Tony was appointed as our Chair in September 2017. Tony’s full-time post is CEO of Allen Apprenticeships and Skills. His company provides management support to employers, training providers and colleges in respect of skills and organisational development in general, and apprenticeships, including reforms and the levy, in particular. Prior to setting up his own company in 2016, Tony was the Skills Funding Agency’s (SFA) Director for the Large Companies Unit. His team managed the relationship with all employers who held a direct contract with the SFA. Prior to this role, Tony held a number of appointments with the SFA and Learning and Skills Council (LSC). These included, Area Director for Kent and Medway, Area Director for the South East, and also Regional Skills Director for the South East. Tony joined the LSC in 2002. Prior to joining the LSC, Tony spent 25 years in the Hospitality and Catering industry. This included 17 years with Whitbread PLC in operational, HR and strategic roles.
Paul Keswick – Performance and Standards Manager
Paul has over thirty years’ experience of education and training. Having started his career as an agricultural engineer based in Somerset he started his teaching career as an engineering lecturer teaching upon a broad range of programmes. Through continued professional development and promoted positions within colleges and training providers around the country he has gained considerable experiences at management and senior management positions focusing upon quality and contractual developments. In his previous role he managed UK apprenticeships for an International organisation. He has always strived to provide an exceptional experience for learners.
Verity Trueman - Head of Learner Services
Verity joined The Real Apprenticeship Company as our Head of Learner Services in 2017 and leads the Learner Services team in recruitment and learner support. Previously, she completed a combined degree at the University of Roehampton in English Literature and Education Studies. Before joining TRAC, Verity worked in the automotive industry and was promoted during this time to a Senior Advisor. She had always considered moving back to the Education Sector but was unsure of which direction she wanted to go. This was until she had an apprentice start in her department. Watching him develop during his course and seeing the support he received ultimately made her decision to pursue a role within a training provider. After working in the automotive industry for over 4 years, Verity made the decision to change her career and go back to what she loved (although her first love will always be her puppy, Charlie).
Lesleyann Long - PA to the Chief Executive
My previous role consisted of working as a Personal Assistant to the Marketing Director of a Retail company, where I worked for 13 years. With a breadth of knowledge and experience I achieved the position of Personal Assistant to the Chief Executive with The Real Apprenticeship Company, and joined in February 2016. The Real Apprenticeship Company has provided me with a refreshing approach to the education market reforms, for instance the implementation of the new standards and levy to achieve the 3million apprentices by 2020.
I have a young family that take up most of my time, especially my daughter Ruby who is the mini version of me. I thoroughly enjoy spending time with my friends and family. My hobbies are to travel, watching films and dine.
Louise Horne - Finance and Commercial Manager
Louise is a Chartered Accountant with a varied background in both practice and industry.
Growing up in West Sussex, Louise attended Kingston University and joined Arthur Andersen in Birmingham after graduating. She relocated back to Sussex after a couple of years and joined Deloitte, qualifying within the top 10 of her year. A secondment to Deloitte’s Miami, South Florida office soon followed before then leaving practice to move into industry. Louise has had extensive experience in the retail, service and financial sectors both trouble shooting and heading up the accounting functions of businesses ranging from SME’s to Blue Chip organisations.
She joined The Real Apprenticeship Company in May 2018.
Alex Campbell – Training Manager
Alex served 25 years in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers as a Toolmaker. Across the 25 years, Alex’s role was heavily involved in Logistics, covering Warehousing, Transport and Management. During the last 6 years, he delivered training for young engineers, gaining his D32/33 Assessors award in 2000. On leaving the Army in 2003, Alex worked for a number of providers covering a range of awards in the Logistics, Telecommunications, Engineering and Training & Development suites, gaining the D34 IV award in 2003, and working as a regional IV.
After 9 years gaining experience Alex obtained the EQA/SV award in 2012, working for both OCR and Pearson, in a self-employed role. Alex joined TRAC as an Associate in Nov 2012, transferring to a full time role in March 2013. He has undertaken the role of Assessor/Learner Manager, IQA/Lead IQA and is currently the Performance Quality Manager for China, 34where he has delivered the UK Apprenticeship scheme to 40 Assessors and 80 Apprentices on the Logistic awards.
Alex lives in Gloucester with his wife Lynne and four wonderful children, Lena, Ewan, Alastair and Lucy.
Louise Hugill – Learner Services Advisor
Louise joined TRAC in April 2016 and is primarily responsible for Safeguarding and Welfare duties. She works with Apprentices to ensure that they have a smooth transition from School to work. Louise works collaboratively with the learner managers to be able to identify learners that need guidance and support. She understands the unique needs of teenagers and the soft skills needed to succeed in the workplace, and sometimes engages the support of outside agencies to ensure their more particular problems can be resolved.
Nikki Clare – Scheduler
Nikki joined TRAC as a Level 2 Business and Administration Apprentice in September 2015.
Her role involved in completing admin tasks on a day-to-day basis. Which consisted of replying to and sending out emails, answering the phone, delivery and helping out around the office with tasks that may need extra support on or a helping hand.
Nikki has now completed a Level 2 Apprenticeship and also completed an advanced Level 3.
Nikki says… “What I loved about my apprenticeship was that I could be an apprentice and still carry out my day-to-day tasks within the company. Having completing a Level 2 apprenticeship and then undertaking a Level 3, it has allowed me to grow in confidence and knowledge within the working industry. I feel that with these qualifications, it can open up a wide range of options for me in the future”.
Elizabeth Langham - Learner Services Advisor
Elizabeth (Liz) joined the business after graduating in English Literature, and gaining valuable experience in the retail sector. During her time working for a national supermarket chain, Liz completed an apprenticeship herself, so has first-hand experience of the work involved in doing an apprenticeship.
Liz is highly creative, making her own clothes and jewellery, and loves video games. She spends most of her spare time reading anything and everything which interests her.
Ewelina Wydra - Learner Services Administrator
I have joined TRAC as an Intermediate Apprentice in Business and Administration in January 2012 and shortly after was employed as a Learner Services Administrator. I’ve been given this fantastic opportunity to work and learn at the same time. My role is to provide administrative support, ensuring that we effectively manage a learning services records system to meet learning needs. In my spare time I enjoy to being active and spending most of the time with my 6-year-old daughter.
Lorraine Wilby – PA To Chief Executive (covering maternity leave)
Lorraine was appointed in September 2017 to cover Lesleyann’s maternity leave. Lorraine has been working as an administrator in the education sector for the last 18 years, working in various schools in Warwickshire since moving from London where she was a PA to the Headteacher of a large secondary school. Prior to working in schools, Lorraine worked for an entrepreneurial health & fitness organisation as PA to the Managing Director. She brings her experience and knowledge of both sectors to her role at The Real Apprenticeship Company and is effectively ‘holding the fort’ until Lesleyann returns.