CATALYST Issue 1 - Page 33

Talent Centric A new era of apprenticeship 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. T 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 really inspiring’.” 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 33