Business Development Managers

Our Business Development Team are located across the UK, each with a specific region. They are on hand to support colleges and training providers with all aspects of qualifications, apprenticeships and skills development.

Find their contact details below and reach out to the Business Development Manager in your region.

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John Beck

National Manager

John is a seasoned professional with over 25 years of experience within the childcare and education sectors. For the last eight years he has led the Field Sales team here at City & Guilds. As the National Manager, John supports all 13 Business Development Managers across the whole of the UK in their responsibilities in providing guidance to our FE Colleges, HEI and MoJ customers.

"I love joining my team on their customers visits and seeing the wide range facilities the customers have for their learners and seeing the positive outcomes those learners achieve through the support of City & Guilds and the customer"

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Andrew Marubbi

Wales and Northern Ireland

Andrew has worked in the Welsh FE and Apprenticeship sector for over 18 years, managing compliance, funding and all facets of Apprenticeship delivery within a large FE college. Since joining City & Guilds in early 2023 Andrew has helped support his customers in Wales and Northern Ireland to navigate the funding challenges and changing qualification landscape across both Nations.

As the Business Development Manager for Wales and Northern Ireland Andrew has focused on building relationships with customers to ensure they and their learners have the best possible learning experience, seamless engagement with the wider support teams within City & Guilds and helping customers grow and develop.

“Having spent my entire career working within tertiary education, I am passionate about the opportunities that education and learning can provide and helping learners realise their full potential is extremely rewarding.”

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Elizabeth Akinlaja

London South & Kent Region

Elizabeth Akinlaja, joined City & Guilds in September 2021 bringing with her extensive experience in recruitment, apprenticeships and management.

As the Business Development Manager covering London, Kent, Surrey and Sussex, her responsibilities encompass a wide range of crucial tasks to support City & Guilds customers.

Elizabeth provides guidance on qualifications and programmes, ensuring that clients have the necessary information to address skill gaps within their organisations. She is passionate about fostering positive connections and making sure clients feel supported and valued when engaging with City & Guilds and prioritises a forward-thinking approach to maintain City & Guilds continued success in the ever-evolving landscape of education and skills development.

"I love solving problems and empowering young people and the less privileged. With this job I am able to do both."

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Sandra Connor

London North Region

Sandra has worked in the FE sector for 20 years. She started her career as a maths lecturer and has since gained extensive experience as a quality lead, curriculum manager and head of department working in FE colleges, a training provider and local government. 

Sandra joined City & Guilds in June 2024 and is focused on supporting customers in the London North region to meet local skills needs while empowering their learners to succeed in their chosen careers. Sandra is also keen to ensure that all college staff can access the excellent wraparound support and resources that City & Guilds offers. 

“I have always been passionate about ensuring that young people and adults receive the best support to help them achieve their personal and career goals. The relationships I build with college staff are essential to making that happen. It is incredibly rewarding to see learners overcome challenges and achieve their dreams”.

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Jo Islam

North West Region

Johurul has worked in education for over 12 years, beginning his career within the education sector at a secondary school in Manchester where he held several different roles from pastoral to teaching. He also worked for one of the largest further education providers in the UK as a Partnerships Manager and Careers Adviser for the Greater Manchester, Lancashire, and Yorkshire counties.

As a Business Manager for the Northwest region Johurul is focused on building relationships with colleges and stakeholders from the private and public sector to better support organisations meet their skills strategies and giving young people the best start to their careers.

Johurul is passionate about providing the best customer experience as the dedicated direct point of contact for his customers through his advice and guidance.

“The best part of my job is making sure that young people get the best chance in life through the courses and apprenticeships that City & Guilds provide across key sectors.”

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Jon Price

East Midlands Region

Jon has been a Business Development Manager at City & Guilds for 2 years, working with FE Colleges in Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Lincolnshire, South Yorkshire, Staffordshire, and Crown Dependencies which include the Isle of Man, Guernsey, and Jersey. Jon’s role is to support and develop existing and new qualifications such as T Levels alongside providing End Point Assessment support and aiding the development of bespoke training Programmes Assured by City and Guilds or ILM.

As a Business Development Manager Jon’s role is to stay close to college partners and to be their primary point of contact for support, and to understand challenges and local skills needs to offer solutions and advice.

At City & Guilds he collaborates with Technical Advisors, EPA Partnership Managers, Quality Teams and Customer Service to ensure colleges have a wraparound service.

“Colleges play a hugely significant role in their local and wider communities for learners of all ages and employers. Whether it is providing apprenticeship training, getting school leavers ready to enter the World of work, or retraining Adult Learners, Colleges have a wide range of staff who require support from City & Guilds to ensure back their fantastic services. This is often around Qualification Reform at Level 2 and Level 3, EPA support and resources and to offer quick responses to queries. I’m very proud to work with so many fantastic colleges in my regions who have so many success stories.”

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Kerry Dunkley

South West Region

Kerry has been with City and Guilds for 22 years, working in customer facing roles supporting customers across the Southwest region to develop and grow their business with City & Guilds.

As a Business Development Manager, Kerry is focused on building relationships with customers to ensure they have access to the wide range of support and resources available to them. This includes year-round help and support, whether with curriculum planning or helping staff navigate the continuous change across the sector, from qualification reform, EPA revisions, policy, and regulation to funding changes.  A key part of this role is to ensure providers can access the support they need to give their learners the best chance of success.

“I am passionate about the power of education and the difference it makes along with the impact it has on people’s lives. I get to see this impact first hand on a regular basis, which is extremely rewarding, and I love working with providers to help make this happen.“

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Kevin Wilkinson

Prisons, Ministry of Defence & Public Sector

Kevin has worked in vocational education for more than 25 years, from running learning and development provision in large organisations to quality assurance and customer facing roles in awarding organisations. During his 18 years at City & Guilds, he has developed a passion for the life changing link between skills development, social mobility, prosperity and success. Kevin currently looks after the public sector working on skills development with the emergency services and prison education providers, helping prison learners gain skills to help reduce reoffending and utilising the many skills prison leavers have to offer.

“I love seeing how City & Guilds provides not only the foundation to a long and successful career, but also helps people progress throughout their life.”

Business Development Manager Graham Smith

Graham Smith

South Region

Graham has had a varied career in the Further Education sector for over 15 years, working in almost every department along the way.

Graham’s role as a Business Development Manager is to ensure that colleges are well supported throughout their provision, meeting regularly with key decision makers to help shape curriculums, signpost support available and help to map the future landscape of the FE sector.

“One of the best things about my role is seeing first-hand the enormous impact our qualifications have on shaping young people and providing them with the tools required to move onto the next stage of their journey. By engaging with City & Guilds you will contribute to developing future talent for your industry and play a significant role in closing skills gaps and increasing industry performance.”

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Krishna Parekh

West Midlands Region

Krishna has worked in Education for more than 16 years and is passionate and enthusiastic about developing and supporting employers, employees and individuals, enabling them to progress and succeed professionally and personally.

Krishna has gained comprehensive experience working within different educational settings including FE, HE and with a Private Training Provider, promoting the benefits of skills development and apprenticeship programs to employers of all sizes nationally and across multiple sectors.

Krishna joined City & Guilds in 2022 and supports Further Education Colleges in the Central South region by leveraging her background to understand and meet customer needs effectively. As a Business Development Manager, Krishna collaborates with colleges to build strategic, long-term sustainable partnerships, supporting them to deliver a fit for purpose curriculum which provides a positive return on investment and helping them navigate to the current challenging educational landscape.

“I have always been passionate about learning & development and apprenticeships. It is wonderful to see individuals develop and progress both in their personal and professional lives regardless of age. It is wonderful to play a small part in helping people achieve their dreams and ambitions”.

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Laura Harrap

Yorkshire Region

Laura has worked with City & Guilds for 16 years, starting in the quality team in the Yorkshire region. Laura then moved into a business development role and works with all the colleges in the Yorkshire region to support their skills strategy and grow their relationship with City & Guilds.

Laura’s key focus is to ensure her customers have access to all support resources available to them and to advise on curriculum planning in a rapidly changing sector. This ranges from 16-19, adult education, apprenticeships and EPA as well as bespoke programmes. Laura is always on hand to support and regularly visits her colleges.

“I love working in further education as it has a real impact on learners and shapes their futures. The people in FE are amazing and the results we see are so rewarding and testament to the brilliant people we have in the sector.”

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Lianne Marston

North East Region

Lianne joined City & Guilds in August 2023, as business development manager for the Northeast of England and her role is to identify and develop new business opportunities and then manage those relationships with FE Colleges in the region.

Having worked in a variety of roles within the FE sector for the past 20 years, the depth of experience she has gained enables her to give a high level, focused approach to her customers, providing technical knowledge of the City & Guilds portfolio, the funding landscape and support with education policies.

“Every day is different, and this is something which I absolutely love about this role. I find it so interesting working with so many colleges and have the privilege in visiting them in person. I may meet with the CEO, Vice Principal, Head of department, Exams, Funding, Finance, Business Development. Our conversations differ from strategic plans to the launch of new City & Guilds qualifications or standards, green agenda, Bootcamps, Digital resources to events.

Learners are at the heart of everything that we do which is to help develop the skills for growth.”

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Rachel Knight

South East Region

Rachel has worked at City & Guilds as Business Development Manager for the East Anglia and Southeast region for seven years. She has worked in Further Education for 15 years across multiple roles in FE colleges and organisations which has provided her with an understanding of the customer experience. Rachel is proud to have started her career as an Apprentice and is a big advocate for apprenticeships and the opportunities they can offer.

As a Business Development Manager, Rachel is the main contact for FE colleges and Sixth Form Providers in the region. Her role is to support customers across City & Guilds and ILM provision from Qualifications, Recognition Services and Apprenticeships.

“One of the best things about my job is getting to work with a variety of brilliant FE colleges and training organisations and seeing the life-changing work they do for people, organisations, and their local communities. Every day is different, one day I’ll be with a Construction department and the next with a Land-based team. I get to see the brilliant facilities FE colleges have to offer and how they prepare learners for the real-world environment. Working for City & Guilds I can clearly see and believe in the impact we have as a skills organisation to champion people into the job, progress on the job and move on to the next one. It is an honour to play a small part in helping these people and their employers achieve.”