Principal and Chief Executive at Abingdon and Witney College, Jacqui Canton, The CEO Challenge Interview

In this edition of the CEO Challenge Jacqui  Canton, CEO of Abingdon & Witney College, explains more about the challenges she and her colleagues are facing, the benefits of apprenticeships and T-Levels and how businesses can engage with the college.

To find out more about how your business can work with Abingdon & Witney College, please contact Edward Collett, Head of Business Development, at or visit

Jacqui studied History at the University of York, before starting a career as a graduate manager for Asda. After five Christmases in retail, and enjoying the people side of the business more than the retail side, she moved into training and development, initially working for a large engineering firm running national graduate and apprenticeship training programmes.

Jacqui moved into further education over ten years ago and has worked at various colleges across the country, primarily looking after apprenticeship provision. She joined Abingdon and Witney College in 2011 and has led various areas of the college including apprenticeships, marketing, higher education, community learning and management information services. She became Principal and Chief Executive in September 2020.

“I love the fact that my job genuinely helps me to change lives and communities every day – it sounds cheesy, and it probably is, but that doesn’t stop it being true! Much of the work I do involves making sure that the college runs successfully and efficiently as a business; we employ over 400 staff and have a turnover in excess of £23m every year, so there’s always plenty to do.

“The reason I do what I do here, though, is because this particular business helps 14,000 students each year to learn something new, to try a new hobby, to start a career, to increase their confidence or take their next steps towards independence. And for me, that’s the very best reason to get out of bed every morning!”

Listen Now

B4 is supported by

KingerleeJames White Sales SuccessJames White Sales SuccessBeard logoRoyal Cars logoHoliday Inn Oxford logoStorm Internet logoCherwell College Oxford logoOxford Brookes Business School logoOxford Bus Company logoOxford Professional Consulting logoHawkwell House logoYou HR Consultancy logoWellers logoAston and James Office Supplies logo