Samuel Riley – UK Skills Academy Director and company owner, was in named 2018 North West’s Young Entrepreneur of the Year and has now secured a £1million investment to fund digital upskilling nationwide.
Samuel acquired London-based London Centre College in 2019 and relocated the training provision to the North West under a new name, UK Skills Academy (UKSA).
Now he has secured the £1million investment from a private investment company to help fund his growth plan and respond to the growing skills gap faced by the region.
The plans will create 70 new jobs for local people, including MIS/Data Manager, Apprenticeship Managers, Apprenticeship Sales Director, Skills Coach’s, Administrators and more.
UKSA will create a market-leading apprenticeship programme in Cyber Security, and aims to upskill 1,000 apprentices by 2023.
Government-commissioned research in 2019 showed that more than half of all businesses and charities (54 per cent) have a basic technical cyber security skills gap, and additional findings say 65 per cent of SMEs are losing time and money due to the UK’s skills deficit.
Samuel Riley, Director at UKSA, said: “This is a very rare and exciting opportunity to build a market-leading offer without the pressure of financial targets that a typical training provider experiences. Our investors understand that the main key performance indicator in apprenticeships is quality. With our team’s knowledge and experience, passion for quality and a backing of £1 million, we have the recipe to create one of the UK’s best apprenticeship providers.
“Given the inherent nature of cyber threats to a digital economy, a capability gap such as the one we’re currently experiencing is not sustainable. Our aim is to ensure the North West has a viable supply of home-grown cyber skilled professionals to meet the growing demands of an increasingly digital economy.”
Samuel has over 10 years of experience in the training sector, having delivered over £10 million of government funded training over the last six years.
His ambition is to tackle the cyber security skills gap head on and ensure the right skilled professionals are in the workforce, now and in the future.