Meet the Skillnet Team

Lee Acton


A graduate, MBA with 30 years’ experience in work-based learning working with large national employers. Lee is currently a member of:

  • The Association of Employment and Learning Providers
  • The London Work Based Learning Alliance 
  • The Herts & Beds Provider Network

Lee acquired Skillnet in December 2006.

Eugene Lowry

Managing Director

Appointed as Managing Director in 2020, Eugene has a wide understanding of the business. His experience in managing a diverse range of teaching, assessment and support staff is invaluable. Eugene has led the Team through three Ofsted inspections and is a collaborative and focused leader with a drive to delivering an outstanding service.

Ian Wiggans

Operations Director

Ian is a highly accomplished Operations Director with over 25 years’ experience of leadership gained across a range of organisations from SMEs to large corporate entities. He has significant experience across the full business lifecycle: Account Management; Business Winning; Mobilisation/Transition; Operational P&L; Acquisition and Integration. He brings an approach which includes strategic thinking (planning and execution), continuous improvement, change management and customer relationship management. 

Richard Wilman

Finance Director

Richard qualified as a professional accountant (FCCA) in 1992. As a senior financial professional, his career has covered retail, corporate reporting, vehicle financing and PE backed training in Accountancy and IT. He joined Skillnet in 2017 focusing on developing growth strategies, operational performance and system development.  

Carolann Whitney-Maddocks

Quality Director
Carolann Whitney-Maddocks

A strong and professional individual with over 20 years’ experience within the apprenticeship training industry, Carolann (Caz) has an extensive background in quality, audit and compliance.

Caz delivers results through a positive and focused attitude. In her role of Quality Director Caz ensures successful management and implementation of quality and audit systems and processes.

Richard Kirkby

IT Director

Richard joined Skillnet in 2016 and has spent the past 20 years in leadership roles within the Education sector. 

He is responsible for ensuring the quality of our data and reporting to both internal and external customers, working with them on providing insightful business intelligence.

Chris Kenny

Head of Delivery

After serving an Engineering Apprenticeship, Chris moved into the B2B services industry holding a number of commercial, technical and managerial positions before becoming a Director of a Pan-European technical recruitment business. Chris is a Chartered Manager, an Economics and Politics graduate and holds a Masters in Company Direction. He has recently gained a teaching qualification, become a qualified Assessor and Internal Quality Assurer.

Paul Burdett

Head of Field Team
Paul Burdett

Paul joined Skillnet in 2008 working directly on the Ford Dealer Apprentice Programme. Since then he has progressed his career, becoming the Head of the Field Team in 2020. In this role Paul is responsible for managing the largest team in the Skillnet business which calls for highly developed organisational and communication skills.

Danielle Das Neves

HR Manager

I pursued a career in HR and Recruitment, gaining experience within the Automotive, IT and Financial Services industries.

Since joining Skillnet in 2018 I have led the HR department and have brought to the business a raft of new ideas and developments to help make Skillnet an employer of choice in the sector. 

Unlocking peoples strengths and giving them a platform to grow and progress in a professional and personal manner is what it's all about! Learn what makes people tick and use that to better your workplace's culture, environment and long-term success. 

James Kesterton

Ford Centre Manager
James Kesterton

My name is James Kesterton, I have been the Ford Apprenticeship Centre Manager for the last 36 months.

I have 15 years of experience in Automotive Apprenticeship delivery starting my career as a Tutor.

Martin lake

Centre Manager for Skillnet Independent
Martin lake

I joined the Quality team at Skillnet in May 2016, bringing with me the experience of a broad based career in the automotive industry, with many of these years spent as a trainer, lecturer, assessor, and internal verifier, delivering motor vehicle qualifications across, FE, OLAS, and Apprentice training platforms.

Promoted to Centre Manager for Skillnet Independent in July 2017 my ongoing strategy is to grow, develop and promote Skillnet Independent College as a centre of excellence for Light and Heavy Vehicle Technical Apprentices, whilst encompassing the new and ever increasing technological developments within the automotive world.


Jan Lansdell

Audit and Compliance Manager
Jan Lansdell

Jan has spent the last 14 years in further education working with colleges, private training providers and employer providers. She is passionate about driving performance to ensure that each step of the learner journey is one of high quality. Jan has an in-depth understanding of the Apprenticeship Levy and associated funding rules.

Sean Jeremiah

Head of Data and Reporting

Sean is an experienced Data Management and Business Intelligence professional and has more than 20 years’ experience working in the education sector. His approach is to make data more engaging, easier for users to find and easier for people to understand and use.