Ladder Foundation chairman appointed as Deputy Lieutenant of West Midlands

Apr 2, 2024 | News

The Chairman and co-founder of the Ladder Foundation, which was set up to promote the value of apprenticeships, has been appointed as a Deputy Lieutenant of the West Midlands.

Lord-Lieutenant of the West Midlands Sir John Crabtree OBE has appointed Kevin Davis to the post to assist him in his role supporting civic, ceremonial, voluntary, charitable and social activity as the King’s personal representative for the region. 

Kevin has worked tirelessly to help young people, often from challenging backgrounds, get into work and to make a difference with their lives.

Led by the Ladder Foundation, the Ladder apprenticeships campaign has helped 10,000 people secure work in the last 10 years. The drive was launched in 2014 to tackle unemployment and improve skill levels by getting employers, training providers and people looking for work opportunities to engage with apprenticeships.

Building on the first campaign in London, leading figures from education, employment training, business and the media established the Ladder for the Black Country, followed by counterparts for Shropshire, Staffordshire, Greater Birmingham and Coventry and Warwickshire. 

As chair and co-founder of Mercian Multi Academy Trust, Kevin realised his dream of establishing a new alternative provision school. The Ladder School opened in Walsall in 2019.

Kevin is Group Chief Executive of the Walsall-based Vine Trust Group, a community development trust that includes social enterprises that focus on the education, employment and engagement of young people. He has actively participated in many groups to improve opportunities for young people, including those that encourage diversity and support young black people to reach their potential.

Kevin Davis said: “I am honoured to have been appointed a Deputy Lieutenant for the West Midlands, alongside three others with outstanding achievements. I am looking forward to getting involved in many initiatives to support the community and recognise the people who make a difference to others.”

Sir John Crabtree OBE said the appointments are being announced as the West Midlands celebrates its existence for the last 50 years and reflects the forward-thinking and community spirit across the region.

He said: “It is heart-warming to see so many people giving so much of themselves to help others and these new Deputy Lieutenants are some of the terrific people we have here that are making such a difference to our community. I know they will complement the existing Deputy Lieutenants and help our activities that include community initiatives recognising at every level the people who devote their lives to improving those of others.” 

Kevin is one of four new Deputy Lieutenants for the West Midlands, bringing the total of Deputy Lieutenants in the Midlands to 75. The other new appointees are Owen Burke OBE, Dave Heeley OBE and Lesley Wilde.

At an event at the Houses of Parliament last month, guest of honour and former Minister for Skills, Apprenticeships and Higher Education Robert Halfon MP, patron of the Ladder Foundation, said seeing the campaign progress had been “a dream come true”. He told the guests: “It is a miracle what you have achieved and I am proud to be your patron and supporter.”

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