Advisory Panel


Our Advisory Panel is made up of key stakeholders in the Apprenticeship arena. They provide advice and guidance to the Apprentice Council and all aspects of our work.


Dawn Baker, Director of Innovation & Investments, NCFE

Prior to heading up Innovation at NCFE, Dawn started out managing the marketing and merchandising for the infamous TV series Spitting Image tourist attraction in London before freelancing in the North. In the mid-90s, Dawn set up one of the first web design agencies in the North East focusing on digital marketing and innovation before becoming Head of Marketing at Sage where she stayed for 10 years. Dawn has always made a conscious decision to work for organisations that give customers something of real worth which is what led her to join NCFE as Head of Marketing before becoming Head of Innovation almost 4 years ago.  Since then she has gone on to become Director of Innovation and more recently had the remit of Investments added to her role.

Graham Briggs, Head of Apprenticeships & Employability Programmes, Greene King

Biography to follow.
Tracy Fairhurst, Head of Apprenticeships, Royal Mail

Biography to follow.
David Gallagher, CEO, NCFE

David is Chief Executive Officer at NCFE, a leading educational charity, with business operations in Awarding, Assessment and Learning Technologies and Resources. David initially joined NCFE in 2018 as Managing Director of NCFE EPA Plus, leading a new team to deliver End-Point Assessment for apprenticeships. NCFE is the 3rd largest Awarding Organisation in technical and vocational education in the UK and has recently been selected by Government to develop and accredit 6 T Level pathways. NCFE’s core purpose is to ‘promote and advance learning’ and all NCFE businesses play a role in supporting learners to achieve the best possible education, career and life outcomes.

David has enjoyed a successful career in employment and skills for over 18 years, spanning from frontline delivery in some of the most disadvantaged communities in the UK to his current role as CEO of an educational charity that is particularly focussed on supporting the most disadvantaged.

David’s diverse career, has shaped his perspectives on education, skills and employment. This has included; working the public sector for the Learning and Skills Council (now ESFA) where he was heavily involved in qualification reform policy and the introduction of the QCF, working with several leading national employment and skills providers, including: Working Links and Ingeus, during periods of significant market shift, such as; the introduction of ‘payment by results’, twice being nominee for an Ofsted inspection and also working with a variety of devolved authorities and stakeholders in the design and delivery of locally responsive skills provision.
Iain Heath, Head of Emerging Talent UK, HSBC
Iain leads the Graduate and Intern Programmes within HSBC UK and also has ownership of Apprenticeships, Degree Apprenticeships, Traineeships, Industrial Placements and Work Experience Programmes across the whole of the UK bank.Iain has over twenty years’ experience leading and developing Emerging Talent programmes, including nine years as Head of Graduates at Centrica before joining HSBC in February 2017.  Iain was a voluntary Board Director for the Association of Graduate Recruiters (now the ISE) for four years, a member of the CBI’s Higher Education Task Force Advisory Board and an Expert Advisory Board member for the government’s Wilson Review into university / employer collaboration.He is currently a member of the University of Birmingham’s Employer Board and one of HSBC’s Political Engagement Ambassadors.  Iain has a degree in Medieval and Modern History from the University of Birmingham and is an associate alumnus of the Said Business School, University of Oxford.
Costi Karayannis, Managing Director, Capita Learning

Costi leads Capita Learning and has responsibility for all of Capita’s business across corporate learning, apprenticeships and employability. He also oversees the Fire Service College, Project Selborne, which is a 12 year transformation of the Royal Navy’s learning capability, and Capita’s shareholding in Axelos, which owns and develops a global best practice portfolio including Prince2 and ITIL. Prior to Capita, Costi held director roles leading and transforming learning and apprenticeship businesses at VShips and Babcock International Group. His early career was as a management consultant at Accenture and PMSI, where he advised investors on the training & education sector. He has a passion for education and a real focus on learner outcomes.
Kirk Lower, National Lead for Talent for Care, Health Education England, NHS

Kirk works for Health Education England, one of the national bodies of the NHS, where he leads on strategies and workstreams connected to i) accessing entry level employment within the NHS and career progression after this - particularly by individuals, groups and communities currently underrepresented in the workforce, ii) supporting employers in the development, use and growth of apprenticeships across the NHS - taking in entry level occupations at Level 2 through to those at post-graduate level and iii) supporting those volunteering into the NHS (and also volunteering from within the NHS workforce) - for example through the development of new training materials.

In addition, Kirk is the Chair of the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education Panel for Health and Science - approving new apprenticeship standards and recommending funding levels.

By way of background, he is an HR professional having worked at director level for a number of organisations in both further and higher education and the NHS.
David Marsh, CEO, Babington


David joined the team at Babington in October 2018 as Chief Executive Officer. Having previously plied his trade as Managing Director of Knowledgepool, a training division of Capital Plc, where he successfully brought together five separate business areas under the single banner of Knowledgepool. Bringing together managed learning, training delivery, and pre-employment businesses amongst others is no small feat, but one that David has accomplished. Prior to his work at Knowledgepool, David also fulfilled a number of other roles, including Head of Academies at Centrica, and Business and Account Director at Babcock International.

David has overall accountability for Babington’s strategic performance, forming and implementing the business plan and goals. As a leader, David is keen to display the culture and behaviours that he believes are at the centre of Babington, including being brave, caring, curious, determined, passionate and trusted.

In March 2020 David was also elected to the AELP board of directors.
Kathryn Marshall, Apprenticeship Senior Manager, Lloyds Banking Group

Kathryn Marshall leads on apprenticeship strategy and delivery at Lloyds Banking Group.  Apprenticeships are integral to the talent and development proposition within the Group and there are typically 2000 colleagues on programme at any time.  The delivery includes over 25 different programmes from level 2 to level 7. Kathryn is an active member of the Apprenticeship Ambassador Network in Yorkshire & Humber and the Multi Regional Group and is also a member of a number of trailblazer groups supporting the development and enhancement of apprenticeship standards and T Levels.

Claire Paul MBE, Director of Leadership & Career Development, BBC

Claire has thirty years’ experience working in the media; currently the BBC’s Director of Leadership & Career Development, she started her career as a presenter and journalist, moving into management when she took on the editorship of two BBC Radio stations and a BBC TV newsroom. Passionate about the power of education to change lives, she’s pioneered the introduction of apprenticeships at the BBC and has won numerous national awards and accolades. Claire received an MBE in the 2018 New Year’s Honours for services to apprenticeships and education.
Richard Turner, Head of Apprenticeships, Network Rail

Employing 1,400 apprentices across 52 different apprenticeship standards, Richard Turner is Head of Apprenticeships for one of the UK’s largest apprentice employers in Network Rail. He chairs the Rail Apprenticeship Quality Board as well as several Trailblazer groups, and is a member of the Department for Transport’s Apprenticeship Taskforce – providing leadership and governance for high-quality apprenticeships for the entire transport industry. He started his career training apprentices in the Royal Air Force, before setting up an apprenticeship “employer-provider” operation at Virgin. Today he lives in East Yorkshire with his wife and two children.