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Picture of Susanna Lawson

Susanna Lawson

CEO & Co-founder, OneFile

Three Tribes Panel


Winner of the 2017 Queen’s Award for Innovation, Susanna is the Co-founder and Director of OneFile, the UK's leading learning software for vocational training and winner of Business of the Year at the Greater Manchester Business Awards 2018.

Since starting out in their Manchester home, Susanna and her husband Chris have built OneFile into a global brand, used by hundreds of thousands of learners around the world.

Susanna journey with work-based learning began over 20 years ago when she completed an NVQ 2 while working as a support worker with adults with learning disabilities. She'd already completed a three-year degree at university, but found the NVQ far more useful as it was practical and relevant to the work she was doing. It made sense.

A few years later, she became an assessor and then an IQA for the NHS trust she was working for. She then left the NHS to work for a training provider who delivered apprenticeships – where she later became national contracts manager.

“As I started her journey into apprenticeships, the inefficiencies soon became clear. A huge amount of paper was required to record the audit trail. Carrying cumbersome paper portfolios was not logistically efficient. Reporting wasn't objective as it wasn’t in real time and was out of date by the time you received it. The whole system was completely out of date, so I thought to myself – surely technology can be used to solve these problems? And so OneFile was born.”

Susanna is a member of the Transatlantic Apprenticeship Exchange Forum, and is helping American leaders pioneer apprenticeships in the US.

She also won Forward Ladies/HSBC Business Woman of the Year in 2017.

Twitter: @SusannaOneFile #VFNW19


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