About the Big Academy

Youth employment is a problem which has been around for decades. Everybody knows it, but nobody seems willing to do anything about it. With initiatives designed merely to manage the problem rather than solve it outright, it's little wonder we have generations of people who are completely alien to the very concept of work.

"There are now enough unemployed young people to fill every football stadium in the Premier League."
Martina Milburn
Chief executive, The Prince's Trust
The Big Academy is a not-for-profit community interest company which arose from a desire to improve the youth employment situation by improving routes into employment for all young people regardless of their social or academic background. For young people still in school, we want to prepare them for work with honest and down to earth advice and great quality work experience in tandem with our pre-work workshops. For unemployed young people, we want to get them into work through a steady stream of top quality opportunities. For young people already employed, we want to make the job work for them through fully funded work-based learning programs with recognized qualifications waiting for them at the end.

The Big Academy's battle plan consists of three I's. Firstly, we aim to innovate; providing new and exciting solutions to age old problems. Secondly, we aim to convince companies and organisations to invest in young people. And thirdly, we aim to inspire young people to achieve. The UK's prosperity tomorrow is inexorably tied to the success of its youth today, and the Big Academy is here to give young people some long overdue and much needed help.

We are most proud of our unique individual and employer profiles. This allows young job seekers to present themselves to employers in a new format, no more one page CVs or even poor quality CVs. As recruitment is a two way street, employers can build a Big Academy profile to showcase the company and attract the best quality candidates.

Meet the Team

  • Adrian Oldfield

    Chairman & Chief Executive

    A self-professed meglomaniac and keen proponent of political incorrectness, Adrian's can-do attitude and experience in the recruitment sector means the rest of us will always have something to do when we shuffle into the office on a monday morning half asleep and grumpy.

  • Andrew Orme

    Commercial Director

    With experience in Digital Media and work-based learning, Andrew provides guidance and leadership to the sales team as they work with training providers. Despite his unconditional support for Liverpool FC, his positive contribution to the Big Academy is indisputable.

  • Luke "The Sheriff" Harrison

    Creative Director

    The true brains behind the Big Academy and by a complete coincidence the author of this text, The Sheriff is the Big Academy's resident web design guy and all-round genius. Known for turning up to the office in a different sports car every day, Luke is an essential cog in the Big Academy's wheel of creativity.

  • Barry Harley

    Lead Web Developer

    Simply put, Barry's job at the Big Academy is to keep the website up and running, he deals with all the complicated technical stuff. This isn't always easy, in fact it's almost always hard. Luckily for us Barry relishes the challenge, just don't ask him why your computer isn't working whilst he's at it.

view all our staff

Our Partners

The Big Academy draws heavily upon a network of partner companies to help us support young people and reach our goal of breaking down the walls which traditionally stop them from securing long term employment.