Head of Talent & Learning
Growing up in inner-city Bradford, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do career-wise but I knew I wanted to work with people. I left school having gained my GCSEs and A-Levels and went on to study Psychology and Management at Leeds Trinity University.
I loved my course and in my final year of university, I applied for a PhD at Leeds University but decided to take a year out before committing to another 3 years of studying. It was then, in November 2002, I got offered a few hours of teaching Psychology related modules on the HND Public Services Programme.
At Bradford College….
I had never taught before and many of the students in my class were my age but I had a passion for psychology so I put all my effort into making sure the students were given the best learning experience I could give them. Within a few months I was given more modules as a part-time hourly paid lecturer and by the following academic year was working full-time teaching hours, as well as teaching two evening courses.
My managers supported me to enrol in the Postgraduate Diploma in Post Compulsory Education & Training, delivered at college over one afternoon and evening a week. Although this was an incredibly busy time for me and was hard work, I absolutely loved working with students and helping them progress.
Over the years I had incredible support and mentoring from my managers and took every opportunity available to me to develop my skills and knowledge in Further & Higher Education. I then moved on to working on a district-wide project focussed on reducing Anti- Social Behaviour in Bradford and was supported by Bradford College to do this. The end of this project coincided with an opportunity to be appointed Team Leader in Personal Development where I got to bring together everything I had learned and had experience in to deliver Personal Development opportunities to all our students. In this role I qualified as a Mental Health First Aid Instructor and delivered this to staff and students.
I loved this job but an opportunity came up to apply for a promotion in an area that I felt I had the right skillset and experience. I was encouraged to apply and knew, as I didn’t have a background in People Services, I would be a ‘wild card’. I was so pleased to be offered the role of Head of Talent & Learning and I appreciate the support and belief the college’s management team put in me.
My goal now is to deliver an outstanding Talent & Learning Service.
I’m passionate about supporting others by giving them a helping hand to achieve their ambitions, to transform their lives like Bradford College transformed mine. Since coming into this role, my team and I have launched numerous initiatives to support staff to progress, including wellbeing initiatives.
We believe we need to create opportunities to develop the skills and experience of staff and build their confidence to achieve their goals. We have updated our recruitment process to ensure that talented individuals know they can succeed here, regardless of their backgrounds.