Why are you passionate about apprenticeships?

I am inspired by witnessing young people learning on the job through an apprenticeship and already climbing the career ladder. Seeing the raft of opportunity apprenticeships can deliver for young people has cemented my belief that this form of vocational education is invaluable in preparing young people for the real world of work, whilst also contributing to the economy. I am committed to ensuring apprenticeships are as accessible as possible, to all people, from all backgrounds.

My commitment to apprenticeships is perhaps rooted in my own experience; as a youngster I attended a comprehensive school but I suffered dyslexia and only achieved four ‘O’ levels. I later went on to achieve success but my experience at school gave me a passion to encourage others to aspire to achieve their goals.


What does being Chair of the ADB mean to you?

The ADB was set up at the start of last year with the aim to drive the delivery of three million apprenticeship starts during this parliament. It is made up of leading apprenticeship employers including Barclays, Channel 4 and the Compass Group.

Our ambition is to advise on how best to expand apprenticeships nationally. We aim to increase the number of apprenticeship places that employers offer in both the public and private sector, by both encouraging existing employers to expand their programmes and securing new employer engagement in the programme.

Personally I won’t sleep until the three million apprentice figure is met. Currently we don’t have enough skilled people in some industries and I believe we need to work with companies that are lacking these skills, whether in IT or nursing, to develop high quality apprenticeships.


David Meller is a non-executive board member of the Department for Education and founder of the Meller Educational Trust, which includes relationships with a number of academies, including Harefield Academy in Hillingdon. The ADB reports directly to Skills Minister Robert Halfon MP, and works closely with the National Apprenticeship Service to stimulate interest in, and take up of apprenticeships.