What we do

Collab Group is a national membership body of FE colleges and college groups. There are two main pillars of our work: policy influencing and commercial activities.

Commercial activities

Collab Group offers services to both public and private sector clients. We work with our members to deliver nationwide apprenticeship and training services to large employers, as well as expert consultation services relating to skills and education. The expertise of our network produces meaningful solutions to a range of skills-related issues:

  • We offer commercial training services for organisations looking to bring new talent into their business, or who wish to upskill or retrain their existing workforce.

  • We support employers in critical industries to make the most of their apprenticeship levy as we work in partnership to strategically plan their current and future talent needs.

Policy influencing

We work to raise the profile and prestige of further education colleges and demonstrate the critical role they play in creating a more skilled and prosperous society. We engage with our members, government and industry to influence the implementation of skills policy at both a national and regional level.

We publish thought leadership on the most significant issues impacting the sector including the development of professional and technical skills, policy implementation, and sector funding. We regularly engage with stakeholders in both government and industry to shape solutions that will jointly benefit the sector and the economy.

Our Purpose

Collab Group colleges, using our UK wide collective capability, work with civic and business communities to influence and lead the future of technical and professional education development and delivery to address the challenges of inclusive economic growth.

About our Partners

Collaborating for skills success

Our partners bring external expertise and insights to assist Collab Group and its members to achieve our strategic ambitions. We collaborate with partners in the skills and employment sector as well as organisations in higher education, the legal industry, labour market analysts, awarding organisations and more. By leveraging a broad base of expertise, we can fulfil our ambitions to transform the current system of technical and professional education.

Meet the team

The Collab Group team bring a wealth of experience to their positions. We are passionate about working with our colleges to develop and deliver training that creates value for learners, Government and Industry.

Janet Gayle

Executive Assistant to CEO

Executive Assistant to the CEO and Office Manager, she joined the team in June 2017. As a legal qualified PA, with over 10 years in administration and office management roles, she has a vast amount of experience in small and large organisation in the private and public sector.

Tom Lowe

Director of Membership and External Relations

Director of Membership and External Relations, he joined Collab Group in April 2016. He is the leader of the Policy team and works to raise the profile of Collab Group colleges both inside and outside the FE sector. He previously worked as a Development Coordinator for the NHS.

Lauren Murkin

Business Development Manager

With over 6 years of experience in talent acquisition and recruitment, she joined the team in August 2018 as the Business Development Manager. Throughout her career she has worked successfully with employers in both the private and public sector including large Apprenticeship Levy paying businesses and Local Authorities.

Ian Pretty

Chief Executive

Chief Executive since September 2015, he has had a range of senior roles in a variety of organisations in the public and commercial sector. He deals with a wide range of stakeholders in the development of sustainable technical and professional education to enable a transformation of the productive capacity of the UK economy.

Ash Austin

Commercial Director

Ash joined Collab Group in July 2020, he has a background in identifying, negotiating and winning business across a variety of corporate and public sector organisations. His background working with a variety of tech solutions has helped organisations like Civil Service Faststream digitise their graduate recruitment process and WhiteHat Group innovate their apprenticeship onboarding process.

Jack Havard

Commercial and Marketing Executive

Jack joined Collab Group in 2020. He supports both the Policy and Commercial teams. His background in advertising and business development allows him to successfully support both teams in their plans to help both out partners and colleges grow.

Meet the board

Collab Group is governed by a dedicated Board of Directors who share a commitment to our goals and objectives.

The directors are leaders in Further Education with a vast amount of expertise and experience as well as an overarching dedication to learners and skills delivery in this country.

Shelagh Legrave OBE

Chair (Principal and Chief Executive, Chichester College)

Sally Dicketts

Treasurer(Group Chief Executive at Activate Learning)

Paul Stephen

Vice Chair (Principal and Chief Executive at Newham College London)

Roy O'Shaughnessy

Officer (Chief Executive Officer at Capital City College Group)

John Thornhill

Officer (Chief Executive Officer at LTE Group)

Developing your workforce

Collab Group colleges provide education and training courses across a range of industry sectors to train new staff and upskill existing employees.

Our Services

Collab Group provides a range of services to employers who are looking to get new talent into their business.

Latest News & Publications


Collab Group Position Paper on the Skills for Jobs White Paper

Check out this updated version of our position statement on the Skills for Jobs White Paper.


Colleges supporting economic recovery report

Check out our report on how colleges can support economic recovery efforts.


BAM and Collab Group announce apprenticeship partnership

The Collab Group announces new partnership with BAM UK


Sodexo and Collab Group announce apprenticeship partnership.

The Collab Group is delighted to announce a new partnership with Sodexo


State of the Sector Report

Collab Group and Halpin Partnership have launched a brand-new report on the “state of the further education sector.” The report is based on an analysis of focus interviews conducted with 25 Principals and Chief Executives across UK Further Education colleges.


a collab group position paper on the further education white paper

Find out more about the Collab Group position paper on the anticpated White Paper for further education colleges.