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.
Chief Financial Officer - Ravi Sood
Ravi Sood joined Upskilled in 2012 with 32 years prior experience in accountancy and capital management before joining the team.
Ravi is a Chartered Accountant and has worked in three different continents around the world in various industries with multi-entity organisations from IT, import and distribution, white goods, fine foods, property development, investments, farming and now education.
He is tasked with making sure the businesses bottom line is in tip top shape. To that end, he is good at cost reduction, process improvements, restructuring, capital management, foreign exchange, financial negotiation for special projects and Human Resource management.
National RTO Manager - Michael Williams
Michael started out with Upskilled in May 2010 to develop and implement IT qualifications and prepare Upskilled to become a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) as the National Education and Compliance Manager and Head of IT Faculty. Michael was appointed as National RTO Manager in June 2016.
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 and will complete a Bachelor of Education (AVWL) in 2016 from the University of South Australia. Michael also holds a number of IT Industry Vendor Certifications from Microsoft, Citrix, CompTIA, and ITIL. 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 is now responsible for the RTO’s training and assessment operations across all faculties and manages teams to ensure compliance with various state and commonwealth government standards in order to maintain Upskilled's RTO status. Michael also manages Upskilled's Adelaide office.
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.
Compliance Manager - Debbie Fox
Debbie started out with Upskilled in October 2010 in the compliance team of Upskilled. Debbie was appointed as Compliance Manager in June 2016.
Debbie holds a Diploma of Management. Debbie has held management roles in a large retail organisation and various senior administrative roles in large petrochemical organisations that focused on compliance. Debbie manages compliance of various government contracts and standards at both state and commonwealth levels in order to maintain Upskilled's Registered Training Organisation (RTO) status. Debbie works closely with all Upskilled departments ensuring appropriate policies and procedures are created and adhered to.
IT Infrastructure and Projects - Michael Baxter
Michael joined Upskilled in June 2014 as the Information Systems Manager looking after IT infrastructure and Projects, the main focus being BAU with a look to innovate the processes and allowing greater scalability for growth in the company. Originally coming from a teaching role at The University of Western Sydney for six years, Michael moved into IT and has a Development and Operations background in a variety of Educational, Financial and Media companies starting from 2000, leading and developing teams in the IT field.
Although coming from a primarily Linux oriented background he scopes across a large variety of technologies, Michael holds a Bachelor of Science degree with Class One Honours and was studying to complete a PhD. He has also completed a range of Vendor specific short courses in the IT field.
Sales Manager - Ben Grigor
Ben joined the Upskilled team back in July 2009, where he started out as an Education Manager responsible for looking after a large portfolio of employers/employees all across Australia.
In 2011, Ben was appointed Sales Team Leader with a focus on looking after the internal and external customers of Upskilled, scheduling courses and continuously streamlining the Sales processes.
Ben is very passionate about Sales and has been working in Sales environments for the past 12 years, and in the Education sector for the past 9 years. Having a deep understanding of the market and being performance driven, Ben is responsible for the growth goals and revenue achievements at Upskilled.
Ben has completed a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology from UTS as well as a Diploma of Management.
Head of IT Faculty - Darrell Klar
Darrell started out with Upskilled in September 2010 as a senior IT Trainer. Darrell was appointed as Head of IT Faculty in June 2016.
Darrell holds a Graduate Certificate in Management (IT) from Charles Sturt University, Diplomas of Information Technology in (Software Development) (Website Development) (Database Development) (Project Management), and a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment. Darrell also holds a number of Industry Vendor Certifications from Microsoft, CompTIA, SDI and ITIL. Darrell has held management roles in a large training organisation, and various technical and leadership roles within IT organisations. Working as a Microsoft Certified Trainer since 2006, he moved from practitioner to trainer when, as a member of a leading National IT training provider, he managed a team of trainers in technical training delivery. Darrell started as a senior IT trainer with Upskilled and is now responsible for program development, holistic delivery, and assessment management of Upskilled's IT qualifications.
Darrell has been a member of Toastmasters International for more than 5 years and has achieved the highest level of achievement, “Distinguished Toastmaster” as well as undertaken the Education and Training Coordinator position for South Australia. Darrell is also currently a Learning Master assisting Toastmasters International in updating and redesigning their education program to better reflect the needs of communication and leadership in a technologically advancing world. Darrell has been master of ceremony and host for many corporate and community events with audiences of up to 30000.
Head of Business Faculty - Chris Keceski
Chris holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of Technology, Sydney, a Bachelor Commerce from the University of NSW, Diploma in Leadership and Management and a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment. Chris joined Upskilled in July 2016 and brings a wealth of experience in the Vocational Education sector. Chris has worked as a University tutor, in the financial services industry and across many Registered Training Organisations as a Manager, VET trainer and online facilitator. Chris has also delivered corporate training in large corporate environments. He is responsible for the program development, holistic delivery, and assessment management of Upskilled's Business and Finance qualifications.
Student Support Manager - April Abelgas
April joined Upskilled in 2009 as the sole Operations Administrator in Student Support, providing overall support to all students in accordance with RTO requirements. As the student numbers increased and the Student Support team grew, April was chosen as the Team Leader role of this department.
In June 2016, April was appointed Student Support Manager. She is tasked to ensure that all Upskilled students are provided with the highest level of customer service from our Student Support team.
April holds a Certificate IV in Human Resources and is a dedicated and skilled customer service professional with a versatile administrative support skill set, developed over 10 years experience within such industries as, recruitment, worker’s compensation and education.