David Vickers is the head of training in Swatpro Academy. "Watching people grow and attain their full potential is the absolute best thing about working in the education and training sector. It is what motivates me," says David Vickers.
David joined South West Association of Training Providers (Swatpro) in January 2023 as Head of Training, with a wide-ranging brief to support in-house teams in the delivery of their provision and ensure its quality remains consistently excellent. His career was varied before he was involved in training. After service in the Army, David worked in the air traffic sector, before deciding to follow his love of the outdoors (and trees in particular) and undertake courses in arboriculture and forestry.
From there, he was invited to get involved in Forestry training in the late 2000s and ran businesses in the sector as well as working in training provision in Further Education. A move to the South West to work as Head of Apprenticeships at an FE College led on to working with Swatpro, the region’s largest independent training provider.
"As well as supporting Swatpro’s training teams, I look at areas like compliance, funding streams, ensure best practice is adhered to, and look at our overall organisation. Training is an area where there are always changes and new initiatives arriving from government: We are flexible and proactive at monitoring and responding to those," David says.
"I enjoy sorting out organisational strategy and the challenges of running a training provision. No two days are the same, but our aims remain consistent: To deliver the very best for clients and trainees."
David is also looking at the marketing and business development of Swatpro.
"We’ve got some really good stories to tell. Helped so many people. I’m keen to get the news out there and give us the profile we deserve," he notes.
Away from work, David and his wife are kept busy restoring their Grade II listed farmhouse near Chard, on the Somerset-Devon-Dorset border; "I just love the area!" he says.
He still has a great love of the outdoors and loves to take the campervan and explore the countryside, North Wales is a particular favourite, and he is a keen cameraman, woodworker and amateur radio ham.