Written by
Tom Ritchie

Published
11 Jan 2018

Career profile: Tim Campbell, head of global citizenship, Alexander Mann Solutions

11 Jan 2018 • by Tom Ritchie

Get to know your peers through our career profile series. We speak to the facilitator of our Future Talent Conference 2018, Tim Campbell, about what he’s been up to since winning the Apprentice 12 years ago, BAME representation in business and futureproofing young people’s skills.

It’s been an interesting journey since I won The Apprentice

With the platform the show afforded me, my career has taken a very different direction to the one I thought it would after leaving university. That’s a positive – I’ve had a very entrepreneurial journey. I’ve started a couple of companies, consulted with businesses, and through working with Alexander Mann Solutions, I focus on my true passion of HR, leading future talent initiatives within the company.

Why I’m passionate about apprenticeships

There is no war between academic and vocational qualifications. However, for far too long we’ve had an education system that is predicated on the old way of doing things: sit at a desk, be told what needs to be done and then take a test from memory.

Employers are now saying “we need you to be employable”. Apprenticeships couple the academic element with the hands-on. With degree-level apprenticeships we have a powerful tool to convince some of the biggest influencers of future talent: parents. We have a level playing field where vocational skills are starting to be seen in the same light as academics.

Future-proofing skills

Businesses need to be constantly feeding back into the education system about what they need. There must be a conversation where companies at the forefront of development inform the education system on what young people need to know.

We need diversity of thought

We’ve had discrimination laws in place for a long time, but unfortunately, this doesn’t reflect some of our work practices. You look at the bottom of businesses and there’s a lot of diversity. But then that’s not transferring to senior levels.

Diversity of thought, coming from different groups of people, is incredibly important in coming up with the solutions of tomorrow. I’m fortunate that I can bring my whole self to work. I don’t have to put on a mask. I can let my personality, experience and knowledge all come together at work just as I would at home.

When we’re talking about diversity and inclusion, we should talk about inclusion much more. Diversity is easy, you can just look at the numbers, but making people from different backgrounds feel included is the pinnacle.

If I could go back and change anything

I don’t really want to go back to the time I had spots and an afro, but if I could, I’d tell my younger self “to trust in your heart”. We spend too much time telling people what they’re bad at, when we should be focusing on what they’re good at.

Working for Lord Sugar

An amazing man. Belligerent, tough if you’re on the other side of the negotiating table; but somebody I have so much respect for. Do I want to be on the other side of his finger? No, but I didn’t have to worry about that.

Favourites

Apprentice contestant: Saira Khan – we were in the final together. I still call her my big sister!

Song: Luther Vandross – So Amazing

Film: Se7en or Mississippi Burning

Childhood hero: Besides my mum – Sir Trevor McDonald. He was a decent guy that represented traits I wanted to emulate. Let’s
get him at the conference next year

Piece of advice: In business, my top advice came from Lord Sugar: “Get yourself a good lawyer, a good accountant, and always trust the numbers.”

To hear more from Tim, download or stream our Future Talent Podcast with him, where he discusses his work on apprenticeships and diversity in business further.