About our executive team

The learndirect Group comprises two business units

  • Adult skills, employability & e-Assessment;
  • Apprenticeships
    • These are led by:

      • Chief Executive, learndirect Group: Andy Palmer
      • Chief Financial Officer, learndirect Group: Richard Doar
      • Chief Operating Officer, Adult skills & Employability: Pamela Rae-Welsh
      • Managing Director, learndirect Apprenticeships: Jenny Parkes

      Andy Palmer, CEO learndirect Group

      Andy has been involved in the learning and skills development world for almost 20 years. He started working for a global HR consultancy right out of university before joining the Sector Skills Council, e-skills UK. Andy moved into a new role as Director of Education and Skills at BT seven years later, with responsibility for BT’s Apprenticeship, Graduate and MBA schemes. During his time at BT, Andy was also a Board Member at Ofsted. Since his time at BT, Andy has led two large-scale Apprenticeship providers. The first was the largest provider of Apprenticeships in the Automotive sector and the second grew to become the largest provider of Apprenticeships for young people aged 16-18 operating from more than 40 locations across the country.  Andy joined learndirect in early 2016.

      Richard Doar, CFO learndirect Group

      Richard joined the learndirect team in 2016 and was appointed CFO in June 2017. Richard now leads our finance teams across the group. Prior to joining learndirect Richard worked for Deloitte for c.13 years in both Audit and Corporate Finance roles, with varied experience spanning many different sectors, including commercial training. He was also Financial Controller for another Apprenticeships provider. Richard is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.

      Pamela Rae-Welsh, Chief Operating Officer, Adult Skills

      After studying Management at Reading University, Pamela joined the competitive Aldi Graduate Scheme, where she spent 6 years as an Area Manager. Pamela moved on from Aldi to take up a leadership position at retail giants Dixons and subsequently B & Q for two years each before joining the learndirect team in 2014. Pamela is responsible for the operational delivery of our Skills Funding Agency, Adult Education Budget and Welfare to Work contracts across a national network of owned centres supply chain partners. Pamela is focused on delivering high-quality customer experience and value for stakeholders and commissioners.

      Jenny Parkes, Managing Director, learndirect Apprenticeships

      Jenny is a Fellow of the CIPD and joined learndirect in 2014. She leads the corporate services support teams which include Human Resources and Health & Safety. She also oversees the Information Technology and Learning & Content Design teams within our Apprenticeship business unit. Prior to joining learndirect, Jenny was Head of HR at Intraining for six years. She has also worked in HR roles at a national law firm and a not for profit organisation. Jenny attended university in Leicester and now lives in Rotherham, South Yorkshire.