From Grantham College to Chief Operating Officer

Chief Operating Officer of the Skills and Education Group talks about his time at Grantham College

Meet Simon Feneley-Lamb, Chief Operating Officer, member of the Executive team and Charity Secretary for the Group’s charities at the Skills and Education Group. 

Simon was once a student at Grantham College, starting out with evening classes and moving on to a day release BTEC. 

After living abroad for six years, Simon and his family returned to Grantham where his mother is from and settled. Despite wanting to join full time further education after finishing school at the age of 16, Simon’s traditional father encouraged him to find a job. “I enrolled at College evening classes to prove a point!” said Simon.

Simon started work on the Youth Training Scheme earning “the grand sum of” £25 per week and after proving he had some ambition by starting night classes in 1982, East Midlands Electricity Board (EMEB) in Alma Park where he was working offered him a full-time position. As part of his development, EMEB gave Simon day release at Grantham College to study a Business and Finance BTEC in 1984. 

Simon comments on his time at college: “College was so different after school.  The service schools I attended were strict and discipline enforced.  This was not a bad thing – it meant that I had a very good school experience.  
“The College, however, treated us like adults and I learnt to manage my own time.  Instead of being told what to do, how and when, it was largely left to me.  I guess I grew up very quickly (and discovered the local pubs!). 
“In my case, leaving school at 16 and entering the world of work was the best pathway, although I probably didn’t think so at the time.  I worked, earnt and learnt and was able to buy my first house at the age of 20 – something that young people can only dream of today.” 

Simon had successive promotions at EMEB, moving into the companies Training and Development Department in 1991. “By this time, I had completed an HNC in Business and Finance at Nottingham Trent University and was part way through my professional studies – Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (ICSA),” commented Simon. 

After leaving EMEB in 1995, Simon joined a Nottingham based college as Funding Manager, where he was responsible for European funded programmes and stayed there for five years before joining emfec (now Skills and Education Group) as the Regional European Manager. He was later appointed as Director of Business Development where he stayed until 2006 before taking on a new role at Nottinghamshire Community Foundation. Missing further education, Simon returned to emfec in 2008 in his now role of Chief Operating Officer, member of the Executive team and Charity Secretary for the Group’s charities at the Skills and Education Group.

Simon has since returned to Grantham College in a professional capacity to work with Principal and Chief Executive, Paul Deane on funding bids. He has supported staff with Erasmus activities and also worked alongside the College’s former Chief Executive, Linda Houtby, a Skills and Education Group Trustee and Chair of one of the Group’s Boards until recently. 

Simon’s thirst for study continued long after leaving college. In 2000, he returned to Nottingham Trent University to complete an MBA. He is now Fellow of the Nottingham Trent University Alumni and works with the University to support undergraduates and postgraduates. 

Are you Grantham College Alumni? If so, we’d love to hear your story! Get in touch by emailing marketing@grantham.ac.uk