Amanda Francis, Chief Executive of Rinova Ltd, has over 30 years experience in vocational education, employment and training and has a self-proclaimed passion for “providing opportunities that enable people to achieve their full potential”. Developing strong and effective partnerships is a key element of Amanda’s role, as is leading and supporting the exceptional team of delivery and management staff employed by Rinova.
In 2010 Amanda joined Rick Parkes to act as Chief Executive of Rinova as one of its founding members, becoming a Director of the Board in 2015. Since the company’s inception, Amanda has designed projects and secured funding from the Education and Skills Funding Agency (and its predecessors), the European Social Fund, Greater London Authority, Big Lottery and London Councils. She directs the implementation of our work in the UK, designing, developing and delivering a range of successful programmes that are aimed at providing better opportunities for employed and unemployed individuals. This includes the development of methodologies for up-skilling teachers and trainers, promoting sectors and encouraging the engagement of employers in all aspects of skills development.
Amanda also provides a leading contribution to our international work, including projects financed by Erasmus+ and DG Justice, where she has a special interest in projects in tourism and hospitality, and those with a strong focus on social justice, integration and equality, children and young people’s rights and skills development.
Amanda’s early career began when she joined HMRC as a VAT inspector, quickly followed by a prestigious role at the London Chamber of Commerce, where she was one of a handful of Surveillance Inspectors employed to cover the UK.
It became clear to Amanda relatively early that the world of ‘high finance’ was not where her passion lay and it was by chance, rather than design, that at the age of 23 she found herself employed as a Placement Officer in an ITeC, one of the new Youth Training Scheme models prevalent at the time. Six months after joining, Amanda was promoted to Manager and became the youngest ITeC Manager (one of only 3 women in the 64-strong UK network.
In 1990 Amanda was approached by a local authority and asked to set up an employability programme (FSST) for long term unemployed adults, under the very first round of UK ESF funding. Over the next 20 years Amanda built up the company from a staff of three to a team of 27, becoming Director and CEO of the independent limited company in 2000. Between 1990 and 2010 Amanda headed up the delivery of over 80 ESF projects designing and managing programmes with specialist sectoral and cohort focus (ICT, Business Admin & Customer Care, Finance) for women returners, those who had been through the criminal justice system, loan parents, NEETs and those with special educational needs or considered to be disadvantaged or marginalized, where she also oversaw the piloting of the first ICT National Vocational Qualifications in the UK, along with the Care Home Standard qualifications.