The CEO of Wales’ largest and leading training provider, Andrew Cooksley, has been awarded an MBE for services to education.
ACT’s Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Cooksley, grew up in Cardiff and left school at the age of 15 with no qualifications, before starting ACT in 1988 at the age of 22. He has since dedicated his entire working life to helping others, in a bid to ensure young people have a better start to post-school life than he did.
The father of six, together with his wife Caroline, has made ACT into one of the UK’s most successful training companies. For the past 3 decades, ACT has been responsible for supporting more than 62,000 young people in Wales to realise their career ambitions.
The growth of ACT has been immense, offering courses to just 100 learners back in 1988 when Andrew first opened its doors, to now working with over 10,000 learners per year. In addition, Andrew has set up 2 schools, which offers life-changing programmes for 11 to 16-year-olds who are disengaged from mainstream education.
2018 was a remarkable year for ACT, who in addition to celebrating their 30th anniversary, were also awarded the ‘Responsible Large Business of the Year 2018’ by Business in the Community Cymru. The award joins their growing pile of accolades, which includes being named as one of the UK's top employers in the prestigious Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work for in both 2019 and 2018, and 7th best IIP (Investors in People) Gold Company in the world.
The MBE award recognises Andrew’s achievements for contributing in an outstanding way to put education at the heart of social mobility, raising standards and improving lives.
Speaking about the award Andrew commented, “A lot of people when they win awards will humbly say that they wouldn’t be where they are now without the support of others but I can honestly say that for me that is 100% the case. You are only as good as the people delivering your services and I’m very lucky that ACT has the best team on the planet. It’s hugely flattering to receive this honour, and the timing couldn’t be more perfect having just celebrated our 30th birthday. ACT has come so far as a company and we’ve helped support even more people than I thought possible when I started out. It really is beyond my imagination. This award is the icing on the cake of what has been a really beautiful journey.”