Owner and Co-Founder - Joel Gage
After earning extensive career experience in the education industry in both sales and consultative roles, Joel discerned a gap in the market for quality professional training solutions. He leveraged his wide exposure to vocational education to create Upskilled, combining passionate staff, a dedicated management team, and an innovative approach to delivering high quality learning experiences to professionals.
Joel's key strengths lie in driving the business forward though development initiatives, creating a culture of success, and motivating the Upskilled team to reach new levels of performance. His peers describe him as a natural leader, an inclusive collaborator, and a true entrepreneur.
Joel is passionate about empowering people through education, and instilling within Upskilled's work culture a family ethos. He believes the key to Upskilled's ongoing success is to create an environment in which great people can make magic happen.
Owner and Co-Founder - Varant Bomoushakian
Varant, who co-founded Upskilled with Joel, leads the team from an operational perspective. His passions include driving Upskilled's use of technology to create a better learning experience, and improving business efficiencies across the board. His vision is to provide an educational offering that is innovative in every sense of the word, from delivery and participant support to back-end administrative systems, all using market-leading technology.
Before founding Upskilled, Varant launched his career in IT as a network engineer, but soon found his professional interests turning to the education sector, where he secured an account management role with Australia's largest technical training company. During his 5 year tenure he managed some of Australia's largest accounts and was involved in the day-to-day operations of the NSW branch.
Varant holds a Bachelor of Computer Science majoring in E-Commerce from UTS, and is currently completing a Diploma of Management in preparation for an MBA.
Chief Executive Officer - Jon Lang
Jon started out with Upskilled leveraging his background in corporate finance consultancy to manage Upskilled's finances, general strategic direction, and operations. His skills and experience encompass every area of corporate finance. Jon's previous experience includes being a key member of a leading corporate finance firm and, prior to this, one of the world's largest investment banks. He has also been involved in conducting corporate training and other related mentoring roles. In 2012, Jon was appointed joint CEO and is charged with taking Upskilled to the next level.
Jon thrives on developing a deep understanding of the education and training industry, and identifying new business opportunities in order to grow Upskilled's financial viability and internal infrastructure. His commitment to Upskilled's ongoing success makes him a key staff member.
Jon has a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Sydney, majoring in Finance and Corporations Law. He also holds a Graduate Diploma in Applied Finance from the Financial Services Institute of Australasia.
Chief Executive Officer- Sadiq Merchant
Sadiq joined Upskilled during its start-up phase in May 2009. Responsible for setting up the Operations Team, he has also played an integral role in building and growing our Sales and Customer Service capability. In 2012, Sadiq was appointed as joint CEO and is charged with taking Upskilled to the next level.
Before joining Upskilled, Sadiq had more than 6 years in the IT industry, and 5 years in the education sector with a leading RTO. He holds a Bachelor of Engineering in Electronics, and has completed postgraduate studies in Information Systems Management.
National Education and Compliance Manager, Head of IT Faculty - Michael Williams
Part of the Upskilled family since May 2010, Michael is responsible for compliance with various government standards in order to maintain Upskilled's Registered Training Organisation (RTO) status. Michael is responsible for the program development, holistic delivery, and assessment management of Upskilled's IT qualifications. Michael also manages Upskilled's Adelaide office.
Michael has held management roles in a large retail organisation, and various technical and leadership roles within IT organisations. Working as a Microsoft Certified Trainer since 2001, his involvement in IT training became full-time in 2006 when, as a member of a leading National IT training provider, he managed a team of trainers in technical training delivery.
Michael holds a Graduate Certificate in Management (IT) from Charles Sturt University, Diplomas of Information Technology (Networking) (Project Management) (Systems Administration), and a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment. Michael also holds a number of Industry Vendor Certifications from Microsoft, Citrix, CompTIA, and ITIL.
National Marketing Manager - Michael Crump
Michael joined the Upskilled team in August 2011 as National Marketing Manager. He is responsible for developing Upskilled's brand and marketing strategy, and manages a small team of marketing specialists.
Michael came to Upskilled from global education provider Study Group, where he was National Marketing Manager for its Career Education Division, and responsible for the domestic recruitment of students for Martin College, The Australian College of Physical Education, and The Australian Institute of Applied Sciences. Prior to this, Michael held senior marketing roles in the technology sector, and spent his early career as a marketing manager with the University of Sydney (various departments) over a 7 year period.
Michael holds a Bachelor of Education (UOW) and Master of Business (Marketing) from the University of Sydney.
Operations Manager - Leanne Courtney
Leanne Courtney recently joined the team at Upskilled as our new Operations Manager and is responsible for ensuring our customer service standards are being met, along with managing the business faculty in terms of quality and compliance.
Leanne brings great experience to the team at Upskilled with a long career in Training and Development highlighted by a 16 year stint at Tafe NSW. Since her time at Tafe, Leanne has since worked with various training companies, moving up to Training Manager along with working as an independent Trainer/Assessor with expertise in a broad range of Training Packages including Tourism & Hospitality, Training & Education, Financial Services, Retail Services, Business Services, Community Services and Information Technology.
With specialities in training team management, workforce development, learning and development strategies and compliance management along with her expertise in an extensive range of training packages, Leanne will be a great asset to Upskilled and our customers.
Leanne holds a Bachelor of Training & Development, Diplomas in Management and Tourism, a Certificate IV in Training & Assessment, and is currently studying a Graduate Certificate in eLearning, Education.