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Chairman’s Notes – Steve Collier

Q – How did you become involved with Training 2000 and when did you become Chairman?

I first became involved with Training 2000 over 10 years ago when we started recruiting new engineering apprentices into the business that I ran in Blackburn called Cobham Defence Communications. With Training 2000 we have developed some great young apprentices who over the years have progressed onto bigger and better positions. “For a manager there is nothing more satisfying than seeing a young engineer develop their skills to reach their full potential”.

Steve CollierAfter several meetings with Steve Grey he persuaded me to join the board and become a director / trustee of the board at Training 2000. Having started my career as a mechanical engineering apprentice (many years ago!) I have a strong affinity to Training 2000 and with my broad experience in engineering and the aerospace industry it was felt that my skill-set would complement the board at Training 2000. In 2013 I was asked by the board to become chairman of Training 2000, a position I was honoured to accept and delighted to work more closely with the CEO to help shape the future strategy for the charity and to meet the ever changing challenges that we face today.

Q – What are your interests away from work?

Having recently retired after over 40 years working in various senior director positions in the Aerospace Industry with Royal Ordnance, BAE Systems and Cobham. I am now relaxing and enjoying more time with my wife Maureen. Our hobby for many years has been showing and judging dogs. We have English Setters that we campaign at Championship Show level and have made many of our dogs into Champions over the years. I also judge at the top level and was delighted to be asked to judge English Setters at Crufts in 2009 and in Australia in 2003. I am also a member of the Kennel Club and very active in the training of future judges across the UK.

In addition to the usual pastimes like gardening and playing golf we also enjoy travelling the world, looking for new places to visit and explore. Some of the most memorable places we have visited are; Hawaii, South Africa, Dubai, Caribbean Islands and New Zealand.

Q – What is your vision for Training 2000 going forward?

Working with the CEO and his senior management team we have established a clear strategy for the future (Horizon Plan) that sets out the path for a sustainable growth for Training 2000 over the next 10 years. However, the world for training providers in the UK is constantly changing with the government regularly introducing new regulations, reducing funding as part of their austerity measures and opening-up competition to meet the demand for more apprenticeships and people with technical qualifications. To meet the ongoing challenges, Training 2000 has to be prepared for change and continue to out-perform against the competition.

In particular there are a number of core objectives that we need to maintain or achieve to deliver our long term strategy for growth for Training 2000;

  • Strong management and leadership team. This has been the focus for the last couple of years and we now have an excellent team in place leading Training 2000 forward. Recognised by the recent OFSTED assessment who gave us an “outstanding” for Leadership and Management. The controls and KPI’s introduced by the GMT are vitally important for the board / directors to have accurate information on which to make key decisions on strategy and investments.
  • Outstanding OFSTED results across the board. The OFSTED results are good indicator of where we stand against the competition “the benchmark”. For Training 2000 to become the training provider of choice and maintain our #1 position in the area we need to achieve Grade 1 across the board as soon as possible.
  • Investment in new capabilities. It is important that Training 2000 has the best infrastructure and capabilities possible to meet the needs of our customers and students. The board is committed to continuous investment for Training 2000. The recent investment into IT infrastructure and new facilities at the Blackburn site are some good examples of what is needed to make Training 2000 stand out. We are now implementing a plan for significant investment in a new Advance Manufacturing Centre which will provide excellent capabilities for the future engineering apprentices.
  • Safeguarding at Training 2000. Providing a safe environment for everyone at Training 2000 is fundamental and paramount to what Training 2000 is about. The board pay particular attention to Safeguarding and would like to single out the excellent work done by Lisa Bloomfield and her team in establishing robust Safeguarding policies across the business. We all must remain ever vigilant to ensure Training 2000 remains a safe place for people to study/work.


In summary I believe that Training 2000 has a great future with an excellent team in place and  one of the best providers in the country for delivering apprenticeships. However, we cannot be complacent. There is a lot of competition in the market who are all trying to take our business. So we must aspire to be the best, establish a culture of continuous improvement, invest in our future, adapt and change to meet future needs, exploit our strengths and grow into new emerging markets and become “An amazing place with amazing people.”

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