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Simon Ashworth

Director of Policy - Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP)

Simon is currently Chief Policy Officer for the Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP). AELP is a national trade association, representing the interest of 800+ organisations delivering vocational learning, sustainable employment and employability support. AELP members deliver 76% of England’s apprenticeships plus other skills & employment programmes.
Having studied Accounting and Finance at Loughborough University, Simon’s first job was in the welfare to work sector working for a small local training provider in Derby. Fourteen years later and Simon has since worked for a number of training providers across a number of business functions, including quality, curriculum development, supply chain management and direct delivery.
During his time at JHP Training (now Learndirect) Simon was responsible for the development and national rollout of a number of new apprenticeship programmes within the Skills Division, including Hospitality, Dental Nursing and Providing Financial Services. Whilst at JHP, Simon also led on the successful development of one of the twelve original ATAs in Logistics.
Following on from working at JHP, Simon spent three years at the Digital Youth Academy (DYA). The DYA was an innovative and entrepreneurial start up training provider specialising in leading on the development of Social Media and Digital Marketing curriculum. Whilst at DYA Simon worked with the likes of Pearson, City & Guilds and the Tech Partnership in developing new standards and associated elearning materials. Three years after start-up, DYA was successfully sold to Seetec in September 2015.
In October 2015, Simon joined Babington Group as Head of New Products and Services, launching Babington Group’s own ATA (Babington Apprenticeships Ltd) and was instrumental in the sale of the business from Bridges Ventures to new owners RJD Partners in April 2016. Post sale Simon formally joined the Babington Group Executive Team and took on the role of Director of New Products and Services. Simon was leading on the Apprenticeship Reforms, working on a number of different Employer Trailblazer Groups, engaging with and mobilising a number of levy paying employers in readiness for May 2017. Simon joined AELP in January 2017.