Lee Stanford - Employer Engagement Manager

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Location: Newcastle and Durham

What does your role involve?

My role is all about engaging with the North East’s thriving tech sector via lots of different channels, being their point of contact for apprenticeship queries and helping to create new opportunities that will close the digital skills gap.

What skills, experience or services can you offer North East businesses?

I’ve developed a wealth of experience dealing with apprenticeships across different industries, guiding businesses of all sizes through the world of apprenticeships. I can help start-ups find and utilise available funding - and for large businesses I can help ensure their levy funds are being used to add genuine value.

I’ve been working in apprenticeships and training for the last 4 years and have been with Baltic for a few months now. Before getting into the training sector, I worked for an IT solutions business, so I’ve seen first-hand how effective apprenticeships can be in the industry. I also have experience working in telecoms, payment solutions and software.

What’s the best bit about your job?

The feeling of creating new opportunities for talented people. There aren’t many jobs where you get the same level of satisfaction as you get from knowing you’ve helped someone start their career.

What’s your North East hidden gem?

I’m going to have to say my hometown, Consett. We’re lucky to be surrounded by stunning countryside and as a keen cyclist I never get bored of where the trails around us take you.

Who is your tech hero?

Elon Musk. He takes what people say is impossible and makes it possible: a genuine visionary.

What’s your favourite local landmark?

The Millenium Bridge. There’s just something special about being there when it’s all lit up at night. You also get a great view from there of the Sage and the Tyne Bridge. Iconic.

What’s your go-to Karaoke tune?

There have been a few over the years but the one I seem to go back to is The Gambler by Kenny Rogers.

Potentially divisive… but what’s your North East football allegiance?

I’m a Sunderland fan… and long-time season ticket holder (for my sins!)

What does the future hold for the North East tech sector?

I think it’s hugely exciting. We already have a thriving tech sector and we’re seeing more and more businesses move part of their operations into the area. In our new hub within the Newcastle Helix, we’re surrounded by some amazing tech businesses and I’m enjoying getting to know them.

How can a Baltic Apprentice change the world?

In so many ways! It’s difficult to give a short answer to this one… All I can say for certain is that many of them will. Hopefully in 20 years, I’ll be able to say I helped the next Elon Musk begin their career!