Neil Morrison joins the board of the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education 

Thursday 31st March 2022

Severn Trent’s HR director Neil Morrison has been appointed to the board at the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education. 

This new appointment will see Neil serve as non-executive board member for five years starting from next month.

Severn Trent, which has over 160 apprentices currently on its books, is a major employer in the Midlands.  The business is focussed on helping local communities to thrive through employment, education and investment, recently creating 2,500 new jobs as part of its Green Recovery Programme. The business is also part of the Black Interns Programme, taking on an extra 130 Apprentices and Graduates on top of the 160 already onboard. 

Neil said: “I’m really excited to be appointed to the board and to contribute to such an important and exciting agenda. Technical education has a critical role in a thriving economy and provides a brilliant opportunity for people to develop their skills and progress their careers regardless of their background. Employers of all sizes and from across the sectors have a crucial role to play and I relish the chance to use my knowledge and experience to help the Institute drive this forward.”

Neil started his career in HR management in 1996 and has since worked in a variety of roles within FTSE 100 companies, including Rentokil Initial and GUS (which latterly became Home Retail Group).  Before joining Severn Trent, Neil worked for the publisher Penguin Random House where he was one of the main leads in helping to steer and finalise the global merger between Random House and Penguin.

He is also an experienced T Levels panel member who has helped the Institute shape the exciting new qualifications for the human resources sector.

The institute has also welcomed Sir Peter Estlin to the board, as part of the same announcement. Sir Peter has enjoyed a long career in banking. He was chief financial officer for Salomon Brothers Asia, and then for Citi's investment and corporate banking divisions in New York and London. He joined Barclays bank in 2008 and was appointed acting group chief financial officer in 2013. He also served as the 691st Lord Mayor of the City of London.

Institute chair Baroness Ruby McGregor-Smith said: “It is fantastic news that Sir Peter and Neil have been appointed and I look forward to working closely with them. Their wealth of experience at a very senior level will be of huge benefit as we embark on the next exciting stage for the Institute and extend our employer-led reforms across technical education.” 

Recently celebrating the first birthday of its purpose-built Severn Trent Training Academy in Coventry, during the past year, 17,000 learners have passed through the doors. The £10m facility is aiming to deliver 100,000 hours of free employability training to everyone in the Midlands region during the next two years, to get people back into jobs.

Severn Trent has also helped nearly 500 young people as part of the Government’s Kickstart programme and interns from Hereward College – a specialist College for young people with disabilities and additional needs.  

The Midlands water and waste company also recently claimed a place in the top 10 in the latest Social Mobility Employer Index for the third year running, coming in fifth. The Index ranks Britain’s employers on the actions they’re taking to ensure they’re open to accessing and progressing talent from all backgrounds.