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For our new Curriculum & Learning Manager we’ve put our trust in an old pair of hands

Posted: 05.07.2021

It's the Olympics this year (in case you'd forgotten). And in view of the Olympian task of rebuilding the economy and getting people back into work after the pandemic North Wales Training are limbering up. We’re growing our team, making it stronger, and increasing its capability, the better to achieve our 2021 ambitions. Among the changes includes the revised role of Curriculum & Learning Manager. Following a competitive recruitment process we’re pleased to announce this has been awarded to our very own Martin Craven.

If you know North Wales Training you’ve probably have heard of Martin. Few members of our team need so little introduction. Ironic given Matin’s list of accomplishments. Martin joined the company in 1997, the year after the 1996 Atlanta Olympics (if you’re old enough to remember them). And like Sir Steve Redgrave he’s even got four shiny medals, albeit from his time in the Regular Army and as Commandant of the Army Cadet Force in North Wales. It’s surely only a matter of time before he’s invited to Buckingham Palace. We caught up with Martin to ask him about the new role.

What’s the gig?

The main focus will be working with stakeholders to identify new curriculum opportunities and to design and assemble the resultant programmes, predominantly for traineeships and apprenticeships. Other responsibilities include developing a new virtual learning environment platform, helping the Quality Manager improve and assure teaching, and leading on learner voice (among others).

How does it differ from what he was doing before?

Prior to taking up the role Martin had been Operations Manager Youth Engagement since 2013, and in the predecessor team leader role since 2003 – a whole eighteen years in total. According to Martin the main difference is that with this role his remit is broader – across the business - and he’s gone from having eleven reports to only two. While he enjoys managing a team the reduction is liberating and is enabling him to play to his strengths on the programme development side.

What motivated him to apply?

Since July 2020 more of his time has been going towards the type of work covered by this role including the development of new courses and apprenticeships for Copa Apprenticeships (the company’s England arm) as well as supporting the development of the KickStart scheme. Applying felt like a natural progression. And Martin was keen for a change. After eighteen years heading up Youth Engagement, he was certainly due one.

“I am thrilled! I really enjoy the planning, organising and developing of programmes so I couldn’t be happier”.
Martin Craven - Curriculum & Learning Manager

How does he feel about being appointed?

“I am thrilled! I really enjoy the planning, organising and developing of programmes so I couldn’t be happier”.

What’s he most looking forward to?

“Researching and expanding the number of apprenticeships the company offers and that the programmes developed are innovative, engaging and make best use of technology. I enjoy coming up with solutions…taking an idea from scratch, getting it up and running and making a difference, and the sense of achievement from that.” Also, Martin is motivated by the rapid pace of growth and present company trajectory. “I’ve seen more happen in the past 18 months as in the last 23 years. It’s really exciting to be part of that”.

Anything he’ll miss from his previous role?

“I’ll miss the team and the contact I had with learners” said Martin. “There were times when I’d have to step in for the tutors. I do enjoy teaching. But it’s time to move on.”

What are his priorities for the next couple of months?

Martin says they include finishing the development of the new Level 4 Childcare qualification, researching and assessing the viability of new planned apprenticeships for dental care, construction, digital media and sports and fitness, and helping Hayley Davies, our newly appointed Youth Engagement Ops Manager, launch the company’s summer school for disengaged youngsters.

We’re thrilled Martin is bringing his twenty-three years of experience with the company to bear on developing programmes that will help give people a future, and we wish him all the best in the new role. We’ll also forgive him if he doesn’t stay in this role quite as long.