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Free2Learn is driven by helping people build better lives through education. Our new management team brings a wealth of expertise and a shared commitment to creating life-changing opportunities for all.
Gabriel embodies a remarkable journey of determination and passion. As a Buenos Aires graduate trainee arriving in London with $120, he overcame language barriers and unacknowledged qualifications to forge an exceptional path. From a job in the security industry, he became renowned for his training skills and soon discovered the potential of training unemployed people. This inspired him to collaborate with job centres offering vocational training and eventually establishing Free2Learn. His successful career spans business, hospitality and 25 years in education, including roles such as CEO at the British Academy of Jewellery and founder of The Koppel Project. Today, Gabriel remains driven by his personal journey, empowering people from all walks of life to build successful careers.
With a background as Head of Product Management at Pearson, Shirley brings to Free2Learn a wealth of expertise in Apprenticeships, BTEC’s, Foundation Learning, Functional Skills, and employability. Her inspiring journey began as an apprentice through a Youth Training Scheme, progressing to a Teaching Degree. Shirley also has a degree in Policy and Politics and a Master’s in business. Education has been the core of her career and Shirley has taught in Primary, Secondary, Further Education and Higher Education. Shirley went from teaching to overseeing the development, strategy, and implementation of educational programs at the UK’s largest awarding body. She is also an accomplished author, standards verifier and a passionate agent for our learners’ success. Having overcome her educational challenges, Shirley is driven by empowering people to thrive through learning and ensuring equal access for all.
Sheila brings over 25 years of experience in the Further Education sector and has extensive experience of strategic leadership in the development, delivery and quality of provision at Free2Learn. Her remarkable background includes serving as Group Director of Strategy, Partnerships, and Innovation at Harrow, Richmond and Uxbridge Colleges. And her invaluable contributions as a consultant include working with colleges, training providers, and employers nationwide on leading large contracts, refining systems and develop apprenticeship standards approved by the IAFTE. Sheila finds fulfilment in empowering adult learners, overcoming challenges and leading a great team, and she’s committed to supporting all learners into sustainable employment.
Ray’s invaluable expertise comes from a diverse background in hospitality, business, leadership, management, and education. Over his 30-years career, he progressed from an NVQ Assessor to senior managerial positions in private and further education colleges. His responsibilities included serving as a Head of Department, Director, and Vice Principal, where he played a pivotal role in driving business development, overseeing adult education programs, fostering partnerships, and managing apprenticeships. Ray’s consultancy work supporting private training providers and further education colleges deepened his understanding of adult education and online learning. Today, he is strongly motivated by the positive impact of his work at Free2Learn, providing every learner with skills, support and opportunities to thrive.