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Meet the Employer Skills Academy Team

The ESA Team offer support to both employers and students within the Employer Skills Academies programme.





Meet the Employer Skills Academy Team

The Employer Skills Academy Team are responsible for supporting local employers and buisiness to establish their academy sponsorship package, assisting with site visits and work placements, as well as recruiting students to the academies.

If you would like more information about becoming an academy sponsor or have any further questions please contact


Rachel Topliss - Head of Employer Engagement

Rachel joined the FE sector 13 years ago after returning to live in the UK, having spent 13 years working as an Overseas Operations Manager for a global corporation.

Rachel is passionate about driving forward employer and student partnerships within the Sheffield City Region to bring together the college's educational offer in line with Sheffield’s own business need.

Heading up the colleges Employer Skills Academy Strategy, Rachel is keen to hear from employers who want to be part of the development of the workforce of tomorrow.


Sarah Braddon - Employer Relationship Coordinator

Sarah is an Employer Relationship Coordinator working within Creative Industries, Hair & Beauty, Catering & Hospitality and Business.

"I’m excited to be part of a team that helps young people gain the skills, confidence and knowledge they need to be work ready. I was a student at the college and thoroughly enjoyed my time here.

I have experience in a number of sectors and have worked with a variety of companies within the local area, giving me a true understanding of the needs and requirements of different businesses.

I am passionate about providing the best possible experience to all employers and students that I work with and believe that this new change will be beneficial to the success of our city."


Shani Hammon - Employer Relationship Coordinator

Shani has worked within the education sector for the last 9 years and has a strong background in employer engagement.

Shani has been working within the community to build the college’s Employer Skills Academies offer.

Shani’s passion comes from her own personal educational experience and she is focussed on being able to develop a student offer that’s a little bit different to mainstream education, to allow our students to build resilience and strive to go further in their careers. The academies do just that!


Neil Wragg - Employer Relationship Coordinator

Neil engages with employers from the following sectors:

  • Construction & Engineering
  • Technology
  • Sport & Protective Services
  • Land-based & Animal Care

"I have worked in the FE sector since August 2012 in a mixture of private training providers and local colleges. For the last 7 years I have worked with small to large employers mainly in the Engineering and Construction sector to help recruit and train their next generation of staff.

I really enjoy working with local companies and understanding their business to see how The Sheffield College can help them. I am really excited to be part of the Work-related Activity Team working to equip all of our students with relevant industry placements to give them real life experience of work which will give them the right skills to find employment in their chosen field."


Michael Rhodes - Employer Relationship Coordinator

"I have worked with the business community of the Sheffield City Region since 2009 and I am delighted to be able to continue to engage with these businesses as part of the employer skills academy team. 

Having been both a student of Sheffield College and an employee of heritage brands within the city, I understand the importance of obtaining work experience in helping prepare the workforce of tomorrow.

The rewards that the work based programme can offer both students and employers within the region are mutually beneficial. I am passionate about communicating these rewards to businesses and helping students fulfill their own potential to the benefit of everyone involved".



27/05/2022 9:50 am
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