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Meet the team

Senior Management Team

Paul Freeman - Managing Director

Paul has built his career in the learning industry, having held roles at Capita KnowledgePool, Reed Learning, Parity Training and Optimise Learning before joining Global Knowledge. He has worked with FTSE 100 clients consulting with them in delivering learning transformation programmes, and is actively involved in helping organisations deliver their Digital Business Transformation journey.  As Managing Director for GKA, Paul leads clients to build digital capabilities and improve professional skills.

Jenny Harman - Director of Operations and Delivery

Jenny’s background is in Technology and HR, working at both Telefonica and Orange. Her first encounter with apprenticeships was in 1997 at Orange where she was responsible for their first technical apprenticeship programme. This led to her starting GKA (formerly PDS), where the focus was working in partnership with clients to create and deliver award winning apprenticeship programmes, which she continues to focus on in her role as Director of Education & Talent.

Gordon Richardson - Head of Quality & Education

Gordon started his career in the RAF as a telecommunications technician working on a range of telecommunications systems. He has worked as an engineer, technical manager and service manager within Orange (now EE) and TalkTalk. During his time in Orange he assessed and managed apprentices. Gordon has been with GKA (then PDS) since 2009 in a variety of roles. As Head of Quality and Education he oversees the quality of programmes offered.

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Mike Craig

Mike Craig - Head Of Business Development

Having had a Sales background in Advertising, Publishing, and Retail, Mike has now served in Apprenticeships and the Training Sector for more than 13 years working in both the IT/Digital sector, and also in Leadership & Management. Mike has led teams with different national training providers to support clients in the utilisation of Apprenticeships as part of their talent and development strategies. Mike now oversees the GKA Business Development team that incorporates the go-to-market strategy, client engagement, and Apprentice recruitment requirements on behalf of our clients.

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Business Development Team

Georgina Smith- Business Development Manager

Georgina started her career in apprenticeships in 2017. She has worked across many roles but her true passion lies in helping companies and young people see the potential in the apprenticeship programs and what they can offer. Georgina has worked with SMEs and large corporate companies alike. She is now working with clients to help them overcome the talent gaps in their business and utilising the apprenticeships available.

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Malcolm French

Malcolm French- Northern Business Development Manager

Malcolm French has over 20 years’ experience in Apprenticeships across Digital/IT, Construction, Education and Business Programmes. Malcolm is based in the North West but has covered the UK providing advice and engagement to employers and learners alike. He is passionate about delivering the highest quality provision helping employers to secure a skilled workforce for the future.

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Craig Hanby- Business Development Manager

Craig works as a Business Development Manager and has 8 years of experience across the Apprenticeship and Training industry.  He prides himself on being a trusted advisor to both employers and learners and is continually focused on ensuring he matches employer demands with learner requirements.  Craig has a background in IT & Technology which is a driving factor when working with his clients. 

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Delivery Team

Richard Green

Richard Green- Delivery Manager

Richard has worked in the apprenticeship industry for over 20 years, racking up experience across several sectors and devolved nations. He has been in several roles across the apprenticeship sector and has an understanding of all areas. He looks after the delivery team of Performance and Programme managers to strive to give the best possible experience for all of our apprentices. He’s been part of the GKA family since 2019.

Kirsty Wood

Kristy Wood - Business Support Manager

Kirsty has had a varied career due to also being a Military Wife, having the opportunity to work across several sectors across the world.  Kirsty has been with GKA (then PDS) since 2016.  Kirsty manages the Administration team and systems, supporting our apprentices and clients delivering celebrity service.

Richard Jackson

Richard Jackson - Apprenticeship Programme Manager

Richard has worked in the apprenticeship industry since 2016 having held roles in Business Development, Client Management and Operations Delivery Management.

Richard joined GKA in March 2020 joining the Delivery Team as a Programme Manager working with our largest client with circa 200 apprentices year on year. 

Outside of work you will find Richard at West Ham United where he is a season ticket holder or when not there come rain or shine watching his son play non-league level.

Paul Shine

Paul Shine- Programme Manager

Paul has worked in the IT & Telecoms industry for over 23 years. Formerly working in the Cable TV and Telecoms sector with Virgin Media, Paul has worked within Delivery to deliver network infrastructure to residential & business customers. For 9 years Paul worked within the apprenticeship program successfully delivering a variety of programmes to support the business. Since joining GKA Paul has been a development coach delivering several Standards. Paul now provides support to clients in the design and delivery of their apprenticeship programmes.

Steph Smith

Steph Smith - Programme Manager

Steph has over 25 years’ experience in Education. Working on professional qualifications at BCS as an Exams Manager and then an Accreditation Manager, she then moved to an Operations Management Company to develop their global accreditation and certification programme. A change in direction led to Steph developing QCF qualifications before moving to manage ESIF contracts across Swindon and Wiltshire. Steph moved into the apprenticeship arena in 2018 as an Apprenticeship Manager at Swindon College before moving to GKA in 2021.

Keith Middleton - Programme Manager

Keith is an experienced IT trainer having worked for HP, Sun Microsystems, and Red Hat amongst others. He has several degree level qualifications and is a qualified teacher in the Lifelong Learning sector. Keith holds several IT certifications including ITIL, RHCE and HP and Sun certifications. Keith has worked for GKA since March 2018 and manages several apprenticeship programmes, mainly in the south of the country.

Melanie Muldoon - Performance Manager

Melanie has 30 years’ experience in teaching and training ranging from working within private training organisations to one of the largest colleges in Europe. Over the past 5 years she has been a Training/Assessment Manager for large organisations such as Capita Knowledgepool working in the Digital training arena and Bright Futures Software, a software house with its own training academy. Melanie joined GKA as a Programme Manager in November 2018.

Joanne Hopkinson - Performance Manager

Jo has worked within the apprenticeship sector since mid 1990’s and has worked with a variety of different providers before joining the GKA team in 2010.  Since 2015, Jo has been a Programme Manager, building bespoke apprenticeship programmes in collaboration with many clients.  She thoroughly enjoys working with a variety of business stakeholders and works closely to support her internal colleagues to ensure successful outcomes for all apprentices.

Lee Jones

Lee Jones- Performance Manager

Lee has worked within the apprenticeship sector since 2015.  His previous employers include Learndirect, PeoplePlus and Quest Vocational Training, delivering apprenticeships to the Retail and Health & Social care sectors.  Lee joined GK Apprenticeships team in 2022 and works as a Performance Manager, helping to manage the delivery coaches. Looking forward to the challenges this role brings and hope to be able to play a part in shaping the future of GK Apprenticeships.

Neil Stringer - Technical Trainer

Neil began his career as an IT apprentice with a major European energy company. His professional experience has given him a wide range of skills and knowledge, complemented by a degree in Computing Science and becoming a qualified secondary teacher in Computing. Now a Technical Trainer with GKA, Neil uses his knowledge and experience to design and deliver training that prepares apprentices to make a positive impact at work and beyond.

Sheryl Higgins

Sheryl Higgins - Technical Trainer

Sheryl’s background is in Telecommunications/IT & TV and Media as a Technical Trainer.  With over 30 years’ experience Sheryl has worked with corporate organisations delivering technical training courses and workshops worldwide.   For the past 5 years she has been a Development Coach for GKA supporting Network Engineers/ Unified Communications and Infrastructure Technicians through their apprenticeships.  Sheryl has recently started the role as SME Technical Trainer for our new Nirvana Project supporting ICT and Digital Communication learners.  Sheryl has been with GKA since February 2018.

Culture and Equity Team

Aimee Harman

Aimee Harman - Culture and Equity Lead

Aimee has worked in the Behavioural Development world for the last 11 years, starting off her career as an Outdoor Instructor discovering a passion for helping people evolve.  She then moved into the world of Apprenticeships where she could put this love into practice even more. Aimee has developed her knowledge of Apprenticeships and Learning through working within a variety of teams within the organisation.

Aimee is our DEIA subject matter expert and responsible for the Cultural review and evolution of our organisation. Not only to positively foster an Inclusive environment for all staff and learners but continually understand how we can fully support our learners with all their needs.

Quality Team

Sian Williams - Quality Manager

Sian has worked in Further Education and Training for nearly 25 years. Sian started her career as a Finance/Administrative Officer at a small college in North Wales from there she found the passion for Apprenticeships and worked in different settings in the apprenticeship sector. Sian’s role at GK Apprenticeship is to manage the Quality Team and ensuring that the apprentices has the highest standard of training throughout their journey with GK Apprenticeship.

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