About Placer

Placer helps increase the work readiness of learners, helping them to successfully transition into jobs and apprenticeships.  We achieve this via our Work Readiness Programme through the Placer Skills Academy 

Our Vision: A world where every person has access to the employability skills and work opportunities to thrive in life.

Our Mission: Ensuring every person, regardless of social background, increases their employability to successfully transition into worthwhile work.

Our Purpose: Tackling unemployment by providing access to employability skills training that increases their chances to move into apprenticeships and work

Please contact us if you would like to find out more and a member of our team will be in touch.

Meet the Senior Leadership Team

David Barker – Founder and CEO

Having been not in education, employment or training (NEET) himself at 16 years old, David has experienced first hand the perils of not just ending up in this situation, but the difficulties in getting out of it. David was lucky enough to secure an apprenticeship in tech, but many of his friends weren’t so lucky succumbing to drugs and crime.
David later became one of the UK’s first full-service digital marketing entrepreneurs in the early 90’s, spending the next ten years scaling the business in roles including Head of Innovation, Head of Operations and Head of London.

Exiting his company in 2004 to focus on youth unemployment, David has devoted the last 20 years to focussing on why mass youth unemployment exists, and developing a sustainable and scalable model to try to tackle this huge issue. That’s how Placer was born.


Kelly Nicholls – Director of Partnerships

Kelly has been devoted to upskilling young people for the last 17 years, firstly in academic publishing working with universities, then more lately as CEO of a not-for-profit, skills based organisation working with the tech sector and educators.

Kelly has a genuine desire to want to help young people and cares deeply about the mission of Placer.

Kelly looks after our growing network of partners. From Schools, Colleges and Universities, to Employers and Training Providers

David and Kelly are supported by a network of associates and proven supplier partners as we continue to expand our reach and impact across the UK.

Latest Partners

Latest Testimonials

"By completing these courses, I discovered how to thrive in the workplace and what mindset and behaviours to have. Employers can see I have training in these vital skill sets thanks to being CPD-accredited, which I can use for future opportunities."
Shayhana McGowan
La Retraite T-Levels Student
"You have ensured our T Level students are fully work ready when they begin their industry placement. The courses are CPD accredited which enhances the students CV for future employment opportunities. Highly recommended"
Ruth Coyle
Director of La Retraite Sixth Form