MGTS is supported by a wonderful Board of Trustees who share their time, skills and expertise to enhance our apprenticeship offering. Ranging from finance, management, recruitment, operations and education, every area of the business benefits from their governance.
We asked the Board to share why they chose to become a Trustee and what they have gained from their time in the role so far.

Giles Lawton: “My Trustee journey started over 20 years ago. MGTS were carrying out some quality management work at Lawton Tubes and the former CEO asked me if I would like to become a Trustee. He was newly appointed to the role and wanted some new faces on the Board.

“I was interested in gaining experience outside of my current role at the time and MGTS presented an excellent opportunity for achieving this. It enabled me to work with a group of very experienced local employers as I was only in my early 30’s, allowing an insight into how their businesses worked and providing ideas I could use at Lawton Tubes. Over time I became Deputy Chair and was promoted to Chairman in 2009. This provided the opportunity to take a more strategic view of MGTS, working with the CEO to make senior appointments and investment decisions.

“During my time at MGTS I have gained a wealth of knowledge, both personally and commercially. I have made a lot of contacts, ones who have helped MGTS and others which have proved useful to Lawton Tubes.

“I have enjoyed my time at MGTS immensely and hope to continue to do so.”

Tony Watson (Since November 2008): “I’ve always had a passion for developing both people and processes and was instrumental in setting up the apprenticeship scheme in my previous organisation. The MGTS Training & Development Adviser who I worked closely with during that period recognised these qualities and nominated me for the Trustee position. Fifteen years later I still have that passion and hope that my contribution to the governance of MGTS over the years has been beneficial to all parties.

“Apart from the comradeship of working with the Board of Trustees, I have had the pleasure of not only seeing MGTS maintain its position during a very volatile period during the pandemic crisis, but to also come through the other side with growth and expansion plans. Furthermore, through my position as Trustee I was presented with a new challenge when Giles Lawton approached me to join his team at Lawton Tubes to improve the organisation’s supply chain, stock management, quality and operational processes…some 13 years later I’m still going strong as the company continues to expand its product portfolio and operational capacity.”

Kevan Kane (Since November 2011): “My aim as a Trustee is to promote manufacturing in the region, help shape the service offered by MGTS and ultimately encourage young adults to consider a career path in manufacturing. The role has given me a good understanding of the ever-changing world and challenges that MGTS face.”

Tracy Reynolds (Since March 2019): “I became a Trustee to support the engineering industry from an employer’s perspective and provide feedback to MGTS on the business issues some companies are facing. Throughout this role I have gained an understanding of how a charity runs and how MGTS must make balanced, informed decisions about the short/long term strategy of the business whilst working within tight budgets. I have also learned about the difficulty of recruiting individuals who have an engineering background and a passion for training delivery. As an employer I have been able to better understand the changes in safeguarding by having an appreciation of the actions MGTS takes to safeguard and support the younger generation.”

Daniel Montgomery (Since May 2020): “I chose to become a Trustee to both broaden my skillset and give something back. My day-to-day work largely involves making operational decisions and I’m very close to the detail. By contrast, whilst being a Trustee does involve providing guidance and support to the executive team on operational matters when required, the governance aspect of remaining impartial and holding the executive team to account is a very different mindset. When an entity functions effectively at Board level the Trustee role can be a mutually beneficial relationship. This is most definitely the case at MGTS.”

Steven Marson (Since May 2022): “I chose to become a Trustee to give something back to an amazing Industry. I have been able to gain an insight into the wonderful work MGTS does in developing both the existing and next generation of engineers across the Midlands and the UK.”

Neil Foster (Since May 2023): “I worked closely with MGTS to build and develop successful Technical Apprenticeship programs at my last two employers. I think the structure and approach that MGTS adopts enables apprentices to enter the workplace with the right skills and attitude to work. I fully believe that in the not-too-distant future when these young people progress to senior roles within UK engineering companies, it will lead to a renaissance and growth in UK manufacturing. As a Trustee I wanted to utilise my skills and experience to support MGTS in making this happen. The role has also helped my own professional development by giving me an insight into engineering management from an educational standpoint.”

Jill Mustard (Since May 2024): “I have been teaching apprentices for over 25 years, at colleges, universities and private training providers, including being part of the teaching team at MGTS for 13 years. I am also a Coventry time served apprentice, so I am very invested in apprenticeship training. When I was asked to consider the role of Trustee, I decided that this was a very positive way of still being involved and continuing to support apprentices as well as the engineering industry in the local area.

“Having been part of the team at MGTS, I know how delivery takes place for the apprentices, especially at classroom level, but I also understand the practical workshop training too. I know many of the staff and hope that I can help support them to do the best that they can for the apprentices. I understand how the various awarding bodies work with their external verification processes and feel that I can bring this knowledge to the Board so that they can understand more of the comments made by these Awarding organisations to further develop and improve delivery at MGTS.  Consistency, reliability and quality are incredibly important in everything we do in life, and I want to help to enhance these at MGTS for the apprentices.

“I hope that, by being a Trustee, I can ask useful probing questions which will bring extra depth to current thinking, enable staff to initiate new ideas and processes to strengthen and improve the educational and quality sides of the various training programmes at MGTS.”

We’d like to acknowledge our appreciation and thank all Board members for their ongoing commitment to MGTS.

Top row – Jill Mustard | Daniel Montgomery | Giles Lawton
Middle row – Kevan Kane | Caro Bell | Neil Foster
Bottom row – Tony Watson | Steven Marson | Tracy Reynolds