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Fiona Stilwell appointed Managing Director of Activate Apprenticeships

02 May 2019

Fiona Stilwell has been appointed as Activate Apprenticeships new Managing Director to strengthen the flourishing organisation based in Oxfordshire. 

Activate Apprenticeships, a leading provider of apprenticeship opportunities and employer partnerships in the Thames Valley and nationally, today announced Fiona’s new position.  

Fiona will lead a growing and ambitious team in order to expand apprenticeship provision across the UK, with a particular focus on the value apprentices add to our client's businesses within the major industry sectors they work in. 

Fiona, who will be based at the City of Oxford College’s Technology Campus in Oxford, said: "I feel very privileged to be appointed to lead such a dedicated team, who are committed to developing our apprentices to achieve their potential. 

“I too am committed to ensuring we deliver innovative learning solutions for our apprentices and clients alike.”

Fiona previously worked as the Chief Operating Officer of the organisation for five years and brings a wealth of expertise to her new position. 

Fiona has supported the implementation of recent apprenticeship reforms, developed apprenticeship standards and pioneered the national #500futures campaign, one that saw Activate Apprenticeships seeking to secure 500 apprenticeship places nationally. 

Fiona has worked in the apprenticeship sector for over 19 years, starting her career as an assessor of apprentices in the workplace. Within two years, Fiona led her own team of assessors across Hampshire, Berkshire and Oxford. 

She added: “I continued to broaden my experience covering London, East Anglia and then back down to Hampshire. Each of these areas developed my skills in leading different cultures and client groups.

“By the time I was 32, I was managing a regional team of three managers, 10 team leaders and was responsible for an annual budget of £13million, having been promoted through three mergers and a series of restructures. 

“At this point I decided I needed to develop my knowledge and demonstrate my ability to progress to the next stage of my career and undertook an MBA through the Open University.” 

On her career, Fiona said: “It’s been a fantastic journey. As I was finishing my MBA, I was approached by a head hunter to support a start-up apprenticeship organisation. Which is where I am still employed today.” 

Fiona Stilwell replaces Pablo Lloyd (former Chief Executive Officer) of Activate Apprenticeships. Mr Lloyd led the organisation for 5 years and now looks forward to position as Chief Executive Officer of Visionaries, a company which supports the development of entrepreneurs.