John began honing his skills as a Mechanical Engineering apprentice before progressing to higher education and completing a PhD in Marine Technology.

He has held various positions in academia, including Provost of Warsash Maritime Academy at Southampton Solent University, where he was also Professor of Engineering Education, and Head of the Institute of Marine Studies and Director of Research and Innovation at the University of Plymouth.

John has also been employed with the Civil Service, positions include being a Director of the Learning and Skills Council and the National Apprenticeship Service. Having experience and a strong belief in the benefits and opportunities vocational education brings to young people he was passionate in his role and was instrumental in the development of Higher/Degree Apprenticeships.

John has also acted as a Director and Board Member to a number of companies and organisations. At present he is a Council Member of the RNLI, Board Member of the Engineering Council and Chair of its Registration and Standards Committee.