“Happy people do brilliant work” – meet Capita Learning’s inspiring new MD
photography by Paul Heartfield D
arren Bance is the recently appointed MD of the Capita Learning group and a relative
rookie in the L&D space. But with 25 years’ experience working with companies in the ever-evolving technology sector under his belt, including 10 years in the Middle East, he’s developed a truly agile style of leadership. Darren’s most recent projects
have involved rolling out a series of IT and digital transformation initiatives for a variety of clients, and his focus on getting the right balance of effort across people, process and technology sets him up brilliantly for the role at Capita, where he’ll be growing a diverse portfolio of businesses designed to address the fast-changing challenges and trends we’re seeing in the L&D market. Darren will also continue as MD
of the Fire Service College (FSC), the renowned training facility for the emer- gency services, where he has nurtured his passion for on-the-job training and getting the best out of individuals in high-pressure environments. So why does he think that L&D is the next big business frontier? What are his top tips for successful leadership? We took a few minutes to discover what makes Capita Learning’s new MD tick.
Why are you moving into the training world – and how did you start?
I am relatively new to L&D as a specialist sector, although I have had plenty of experience in training when implementing digital transformation programmes over the past 20 years. My real jump into the L&D world happened more recently, however, when I returned to the Capita fold to become MD of the FSC after 10 years away in the Middle East. Te FSC was acquired by Capita
from the government four years ago, and the business has been the perfect challenge for me, and one that I have really enjoyed getting my teeth into. Te FSC is a fascinating place with
over 40 years of history, set on a beau- tiful 350-acre estate in the Cotswolds. It provides training to both UK and international emergency services organisations, and the instructors and teaching staff do incredible work in preparing people to be firefighters, police officers and paramedics. I quickly caught the learning bug
at the FSC, experiencing how powerful it feels supporting people to become the best and most successful version of themselves, and the magic that comes from fusing individuals into brilliant teams. Tat’s why I jumped
It’s all about me
Age and education 46, BSc Hons from University of Wales, Cardiff, in City & Regional Planning (it’s a long story!)
My wife, Abby, 17-year-old son, Ethan, 13-year-old daughter, Scarlet and 10-month-old (yes 10-month-old!) daughter, Holly. It is a crazy and fun house.
I was born and bred in Surrey but I’ve now ventured south to the beautiful county of Hampshire.
I love sport – primarily watching these days but I still play a bit of cricket and golf. You can’t tear me away from a rugby match. I can be found most Saturdays watching my daughter play sport at school which I get very excited about (no doubt to her great embarrassment).
Maldives without the kids, Pembrokeshire coast with them in
tow. As a family we have been going to the St Brides Bay coast since I was born. The walks along the headlands are exhilarating and the expansive sandy beaches are breathtaking.
Hmm … I tell my kids to read a lot more than I do! Too many spy novels and sporting biographies. Nothing has surpassed The Wishing Chair for pure nostalgia and good thoughts.
Coldplay, REM, Pearl Jam – my tastes are pretty eclectic!
Gladiator – I like action and thrills. The latest Bond will always get me going. RIP Roger Moore – he was my favourite.
I was a late convert from the BlackBerry to the iPhone, but I have never looked back. I need to use my Fitbit more!
at the chance to take on responsibility for all of Capita’s learning businesses.
Who or what inspires you?
Tose who never give up! As a kid, I thought Ian Botham was just the most inspirational person on Earth. Ian would never throw in the towel and I wanted to grow up to show the same tenacity! I suppose, however, that
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