Waving Goodbye After 20 Years

This month we will be saying a sad farewell to one of our Directors, Karen Thompson.

Karen has worked at Skills Training Centre for 20 years and is moving on to join the London Ambulance Service, a life-long ambition of hers.

What made you decide to leave?

I joined as a temp in 2002 when we were still part of the local authority – I never in a million years intended to stay almost 20 years, but every time I would start to get itchy feet another opportunity would come up internally and I would change roles!  I worked my way up from training administrator to director.  I think probably like a lot of people I did a lot of soul searching during the pandemic.  I realised that some of the joy had gone out of what I was doing so I started thinking it might be time to try something new.  Life is too short to spend it doing something you don’t love.  It really wasn’t an easy decision and although I am super excited for what I am going to do I am really sad to be leaving. 

What did you love about working at Skills Training Centre?

The people – we have the BEST team of people and we always seem to attract great people who share the same values and work ethic.  I know it probably sounds cliched or corny to say it’s like a family, but it really is! 

What did you dislike about working at Skills Training Centre?

My journey to and from work!  I live about 30 miles away and the traffic is just getting worse and worse! 

What do you think are important attributes to have for working for Skills Training Centre?

You definitely need to be a team player, be well organised and capable of changing what you’re doing at the drop of a hat!  But above all else, a good sense of humour is essential!

What will you miss?

Definitely the people, the team spirit and the camaraderie.

What work achievements are you most proud of?

Personally, I am proud of making Director and I’m hugely grateful to Paul and Tim for the opportunities they afforded me over the years to help me to get there.  I’m proud that we survived the pandemic and have come out the other side in a strong position and ready to take the business to the next level, but I think the best part of my job is watching new people come on board and helping them to grow and develop in their roles.  We like to promote staff from within so it’s been rewarding for me to see some of the team promoted to more senior positions as a result of the structural changes we’ve made due to me leaving.

What does the future hold for Karen? New career path?

Yes! A completely new career path – I’m joining London Ambulance Service as an Assistant Ambulance Practitioner!  I’m hoping to progress to Emergency Ambulance Crew and then eventually to Paramedic.  I have a level 4 qualification in First Response Emergency Care and have worked some evenings and weekends as an event medic – mainly providing medical cover at music venues and sporting events in London and the South East for about the last 4 years.  I really love helping people and making a difference but I never thought about doing it full-time until I saw LAS advertising for staff on Instagram and once I saw that it was like a calling – I just knew I had to do it!   I’m a little bit nervous as it’s such a big change, but I’m mostly so excited about what the future holds. 

Claudine, Director at Skills Training Centre said, "Karen was a friend, a mentor and confident. Collaborating with her on a daily basis was an integral part of my work. Her contribution to the business was always highly valued, it will take some time to become accustomed to her leaving but wishing her every success and all the best to the best!"


Tim, Director at Skills Training Centre also said, "Karen has worked with us at Skills Training Centre Ltd for over 20 years. In that time she has worked her way through almost every section of the business from being originally a course co-ordinator to finishing her time with us as a company director.

I am very sad to see Karen go. She is very loyal, hard-working honest robust committed and diligent. However at the same time I am very happy for her that she is going on to do something that means a great deal to her and I'm very proud of her following her dream. I know that she will make an amazing paramedic when she has gone through all the training that she has coming up and that a lot of people will benefit from her skills and expertise in the years ahead.

I wish Karen the very best of luck in her new career and hope that our paths cross often in the future."

Karen’s final working day will be on 30 June 2022. On behalf of everyone at Skills Training Centre, we would like to wish Karen all the best in her new role.


If you wish to gain further insight into our company or have any questions about what Skills Training Centre can provide for you, please get in touch.


Karen's Leaving Meal


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