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About Us

Making learning and skills accessible

We have proudly supported over 1.6M learners over the past decade develop life-long skills and learnings.

There has never been a better time to develop your skills and learning!

The Skills Network is an organisation that is truly different.

We are an online learning and skills training provider that is underpinned by market-leading technology, but more importantly we are an EdTech company that understands training, skills and pedagogy. The combination of the two is incredibly powerful. Our philosophy to empower our staff in decision making and encourage entrepreneurialism has driven growth and a different way of thinking.

From our end-to-end learning and development solutions, through to our processes driven by the latest technologies, we have created a business that has a reputation for excellence.

Underpinning our success is The Skills Network’s bespoke technology solution, EQUAL. Developed around our own delivery expertise and need, it is the foundation in learning delivery, resource development and technology solutions that are embedded within our customer base.

Our Mission

Our mission is to combine innovative technology and outstanding customer service to help enrich lives through learning and to inspire and nurture this ethos worldwide.

Our Vision

Our vision is to be the number one provider of technology based learning and skills.

The Board

Mark Dawe

Chief Executive

Mark joined the business in August 2020. He brought with him significant leadership experience as well as a deep understanding of education and skills, through a wide range of senior roles. He was CEO of the Association of Employment and Learning Providers (representative body for all Independent Training Providers), and led the Exam Board, OCR. Prior to that he was principal of Oaklands, a large FE college and a senior civil servant in the Department for Education. His career started as a chartered accountant with KPMG and in the late 90s was part of a team that started a tech company servicing the portal and procurement needs of the public sector.

Eliot Grant

Founder Director

Eliot co-founded The Skills Network in 2009, having met fellow Co-Founder Mick Cox at a large private service provider. Eliot soon realised there was a gap in the market to create a business which combined high levels of customer service with an ability to respond quickly to sector demands, ensuring quality outputs and excellent levels of learner satisfaction.

Since founding The Skills Network, Eliot has helped drive significant growth within the company by leading and developing the senior management team. Eliot is expecting to work 2 days per week going forwards, assisting with the strategic direction of the company.

Peter McCann

Executive Chairman

After an initial career in accountancy and hotel management, Peter achieved teaching, training and management qualifications within a Further Education career, in which he went on to achieve rapid promotions, before becoming Deputy Principal at Leeds City College and then Principal of Kirklees College.

Since 2017, Peter has worked as an Education and Training Consultant, undertaking interim principal and consultancy functions across the education and training sector, before taking up the role as Chairman of The Skills Network in May 2018. His role at The Skills Network includes chairing a number of committees including Quality and Curriculum, Safeguarding and Equality and Diversity. This role and these committees are fundamental to underpinning our core goal of providing exceptional quality in our provision of funded and non funded adult education.

Sian Thomas

Executive Director - International

Sian joined The Skills Network in March 2021. She is a specialist in transnational education and has a wide-ranging background in senior leadership in international vocational and HE pathway education, schools, awarding bodies and charitable organisations. She holds an MA in Development Education from UCL and has specialisms in sustainable education partnerships and a background in teaching, capacity building and leadership.

In addition to her background in development education, she has a successful track record of commercial leadership in international education and the awarding body sector where she has led on revenue generation, programme development, department turnaround, quality improvement and governance and high-level stakeholder relationship building. Sian has the overall responsibility of driving growth within the International service line of The Skills Network.

Paul Wakeling

Executive Director - Curriculum, Quality and E-learning

Paul joined the team in April 2021 and is currently responsible for our delivery, development of materials and resources and the quality across all educational aspects of the business. Before this Paul has had senior roles in colleges including Principal & CEO of Havering Sixth Form College; Principal of Havering College of Further and Higher Education and Group Deputy Principal at New City College.

Paul has always had a focus on high quality learner experience and effective teaching and learning. Paul is a contributory author of Reflective Teaching in Further, Adult and Vocational Education and Challenging Professional Learning. It is this expertise in teaching and learning as well as strategy and operations that shape his approach to developing our resources, services and quality.

Luke Goodlet

Executive Director - Operations

Luke joined the team in May 2018. For the two and a half years prior Luke ran an independent consultancy, providing specialist information systems, analytics, advice and support to a variety of colleges, training providers and other businesses. Before this, Luke worked for a number of highly regarded FE colleges and universities where he developed an impressive track record in senior management roles.

His expertise includes data analysis, process reengineering, quality improvement and efficiency, combined with strong people skills and the ability to predict and respond to customer requirements. It is this blend of skills and experience that shapes his leadership of The Skills Network's technology, information and service operations.