To mark three decades of the IWA’s role in making Wales better, we decided to look forward to ‘the next thirty years’ by introducing some of the people who will be shaping ‘the Welsh agenda’ as the future unfolds. We have teamed up with PricewaterhouseCoopers and their #GreatWales campaign, which celebrates the ideas and people who contribute to the Wales of the future.
Grant Santos, 42, is the Managing Director of Educ8 Ltd
from Tredomen, Ystrad Mynach
I have worked in the training and education sector for over 20 years. I originally started employment as a Trainer/Assessor for a private training organisation based in Gwent, and spent a short time working in a FE institution before moving to a training provider as Director of Operations. I joined Educ8 in 2007 and work alongside the Chief Executive Colin Tucker and our Senior Management Team.
I am passionate about vocational education and improving the perception and parity of esteem between vocational education and academia. I have had personal experience of both vocational and academic education and strongly believe that education should be about individual choice in relation to the most appropriate pathway, as opposed to a prescribed pathway to academic education. It is essential for individuals to enjoy learning; if individuals truly are able to do this, they will excel in their chosen subjects and vocational pathways. Wales has a huge opportunity over the next few years – with the recommendations from the Donaldson review – to develop a curriculum which harnesses the best from both academic and vocational education. We have an opportunity for schools, colleges, training providers and higher education to work together and develop seamless pathways from schools into work which match the priorities for Wales. I am pleased to see the commitment from Welsh Government in securing 100,000 Apprenticeships over the next 4 years and positive impact these will have on individuals lives and the Welsh economy.
I enjoy seeing people succeed and continue to get a buzz from seeing learners from different backgrounds and abilities grow and achieve their personal goals through vocational programmes such as Apprenticeships. The impact this can have on an individual’s confidence and self-esteem never ceases to amaze me.
We have developed a culture and ethos within Educ8 where individuals can grow, develop and achieve their ambitions and aspirations. This has been a core part of our strategy from the outset when business was established in 2005. We are constantly looking for ways to improve and provide opportunities for our staff to reach their personal and professional goals. The impact of this has recently been demonstrated where Educ8 achieved 6th place in the Sunday Times Best Small Companies to Work for 2017. This is a fantastic achievement for our staff and their hard work and a recognition of the dedication and commitment of our team.
As a business, we have many challenges over the coming years but I believe we are in a good position to deal with these and secure opportunities within the marketplace. Over the next 6 months we will undertake a branding exercise culminating in a new interactive website and marketing material targeted to our customers. Technology is also essential for our growth and we look forward to working with Welsh Government in developing a born digital strategy and implementing innovative teaching and training tools and technologies.
I am very excited for the future and have been totally humbled by our recent successes. As Educ8 continues to develop and grow, so do my own ambitions and so do my expectations of myself and our people. Within the next 2 years, we would love to be celebrating as the 1st place Sunday Times Top 100 Small Best Companies to Work For. This would be a fantastic achievement for an organisation based in the South Wales valleys.
Each day, throughout the month of June, we are celebrating the exceptional people on the Next 30 list by publishing a short pen portrait here on Click on Wales, as well as raising their profile on Twitter using #IWAnext30 and #GreatWales to highlight the exciting contributions these people are making to Wales’ future.