Nichola Hay

higher and further education

Chief operating officer

Estio Training | Europe

Nichola Hay is the chief operating officer at Estio Training, a digital and tech apprenticeships provider, and has over 20 years’ experience in the further education sector. She has dedicated her life to promoting the power of apprenticeships and apprentices themselves.

Described as an “incredibly inspiring and hardworking individual” and an “inspirational leader”, Nichola is an inspiration to many, especially younger women working in further education. She was chosen by her peers to chair the Association of Employment Learning Providers’ board.

Nichola works hard every day to advocate for a fairer further education system, driving up standards and leading in a wide number of policy areas, according to her peers. She empowers her employees to progress in their careers and realise their potential, according to one nomination. “She has been a constant source on inspiration, a mentor, a friend and above all, taking time out of her day to discuss how and where I can continue to develop.”

Nichola was recognised for her services to apprenticeships and skills in Her Majesty the Queen’s 2021 New Year Honours List, where she was awarded an MBE.

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