About our executive team

The learndirect Group comprises two business units – Adult skills, employability & e-Assessment and 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
Chief Operating Officer, e-Assessment: Paul Kilgour
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.

Paul Kilgour, Chief Operating Officer of e-Assessment
Paul was appointed COO of our e-Assessment Division in 2015 to deliver upon existing contractual requirements and drive further growth across the UK and Overseas.  Between 2012 and 2015 Paul led learndirect’s Apprenticeship division through a significant period of growth which saw learndirect become the largest provider of Apprenticeship across the UK.  Prior to joining learndirect, Paul was a Partner with EC Harris where he was instrumental in preparing Heathrow Airport for the London 2012 Olympic Games as Programme Director. Paul spent six years in Australia running a number of operations for BIS Industries, an industrial service provider owned by KKR. Paul’s industry knowledge and experience span a number of different sectors from mining, steel, rail, aerospace and defence.

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 Chartered 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.