Katie Collins

Managed Service Consultant

"Both the company and apprentice are the main focus of everything I do. Watching both grow in learning is a great reward."

What led you to work for PETA?

This is a great question.

When I look back, after finishing my BTEC National Diploma in Business & Finance and then going off to be an Assistant Entertainment Manager I didn’t realise then that this would be the best grounding to business that I could have had. Working all hours to ensure that people had the best experience, working to deadlines, scheduling, managing budgets, planning shows and events, dealing with difficult customers, being alone on a stage in front of 1000 people, the list goes on. Fun times but tiring with no roots. I decided to return to the Isle of Wight with a job in Education and put my qualifications to a more purposeful use. Throughout my working career I have always opted to work for reputable long-standing, forward-thinking companies with principals and when I was looking for a fresh challenge, PETA fitted my criteria. PETA saw that when the apprenticeship reforms took place in May 2017, that there could be impact to employers regarding how to handle and manage their Levy effectively. The Managed Service evolved from this. I liked the premise of this opportunity and made the leap from working at The Isle of Wight College to commuting to Cosham.

What is your role at PETA and what drives you to what you do?

I am lucky enough to be the Managed Service Consultant at PETA. This means that I get to work alongside many large corporations to help them understand and feel comfortable with their levy, the ESFA rulings, plan for and manage their apprentices and ensure wise and appropriate spend, amongst a whole host of other individual growth requirements. This is an impartial service and I do not operate a ‘blanket’ approach as all companies have their own preferences and guidelines, so it is part of my role to ensure that the Right Apprentice is on the Right Programme, with the Right Training Provider at the Right Time.

What knowledge or experience do you draw upon for your role?

Having worked in education since the turn of the century starting as an Advisor and Trainer on various DWP contracted programmes, then moving into apprenticeships as an Assessor (A1) and on to complete my Cert Ed (with no referrals) all within 5 years, I used this knowledge to work in both the Private and Public Sector. Processes, funding, time operate very differently in each setting. I have learnt so much over the years but always work with someone else’s best interests at heart and with integrity.

How do you approach your role on a day-to-day basis? What skills are required?

With a smile! Every day is different, I love the challenge and I am very much a solution focused personality so always looking for ways to make the seemingly impossible possible. I place employers and apprentices at the heart of my work focus. I have a good balance of looking back and moving forward. Success with moving forward can only be influenced with the skills and knowledge gained from the past!

What are you passionate about outside of work?

Irish Dancing has been my main passion (other than family) since I started learning its many complexities at 11 years old. For 30+ years I have taught children (and Adults) to dance and have had many Open Champions over the years. The children all seem to love it as much as I do, and I hope that my enthusiasm for this dynamic style of dance has been infectious. Also, I’m very happy to discuss the merits of a good biscuit, I am very fond of these too.

What are your personal values, and what is important to you?

Open and honest communication, transparency, fairness to all and being the best that I can be.