A new era of
Head of Global Citizenship and former
Apprentice, Tim Campbell, views business as a
lever for positive change and calls for multiple
pathways into the workplace.
im Campbell’s name is synonymous with
apprenticeship. After all, he was the winner
of the first ever series of Lord Sugar’s
The Apprentice, in 2005, before the wild
contestant boasts and the catchphrases
became a part of TV history.
Since then, he has picked up the baton, championing
apprenticeship as a vital and valuable route into the
workforce and supporting young people, particularly from
disadvantaged backgrounds, to start out in enterprise. Two
years after taking up his £100,000 a year job at Amstrad Plc,
he left to co-found the Bright Ideas Trust, which provides
business support, mentoring and funding to 16-30 year olds
in London, not in employment, education or training (NEET).
And now, as Head of Global Citizenship at Alexander
Mann Solutions, Campbell continues to invest in the next
generation, while helping the company contribute to the
wider community. He is passionate about social mobility;
keen to see emerging talent alerted to opportunities, and
supported to grasp them.
“Going into the The Apprentice opened my eyes to the
power of an individual to convert things,’ he says. “Working
for Lord Sugar was phenomenal, as a mentor and as a boss
– worth its weight in gold; it was like a real-life MBA.
“Working with Lord Sugar awakened me to the
realisation that you could do it without having to win the
Lottery or a golden ticket from Willy Wonka’s factory. He
empowered me to start my very first business.”
Underscoring Campbell’s commitment to making
a difference, this business was charitable, rather than
profit-making. He remains a director of the Bright Ideas
Trust, driving its strategic direction, although its day-to-
day running is now undertaken by a chief executive, while
Margaret Mountford, Lord Sugar’s steely former right-hand
woman, chairs the board of trustees. Celebrating its 10th
anniversary this month, the trust, to date, has invested in
270 businesses, and raised more than £3m.
“I learned from Lord Sugar that you build businesses to
the point that they are able to run and deliver on their own.
If you have to be there constantly, you haven’t created a
business, you’ve created a lifestyle,” he says. “If something
supports the next generation to be better than they were
before, I’m up for it. That’s why Alexander Mann Solutions
is a great place for me to be, and the legacy of the Bright
Ideas Trust continues.”
Investing in apprenticeships
On joining Alexander Mann Solutions in 2013, Campbell
took up the role of head of sales and client services for
emerging talent, with a remit to encourage blue chip clients
to invest in apprenticeships. It is no coincidence that this
fitted with his skill-set and passions; he was personally
invited to join the company by CEO Rosaleen Blair, whom
he had met at an awards ceremony some years earlier.
“I was at an event, and despite a competitive field,
Rosaleen was recognised as ‘Businesswoman of the Year’,”
he explains. “I was so impressed I sent her a note along the
lines of ‘I just had to say that I heard your story and it was
They kept in touch and worked together on several
initiatives around gender equality, before Blair suggested
Campbell should join the team.
He explains: “Rosaleen said, ‘you get to help a couple of
thousand people a year at the Bright Ideas Trust, join me
and you could potentially help hundreds and thousands
of people’ – that’s a compelling argument! So I came in
Issue 1 - 2017