THE founder of a training provider which specialises in apprenticeships and recruitment has died after recently turning 70.

Gavin Whichello, who founded Abingdon-based Qube Learning, passed away following a battle with illness.

Mr Whichello was born in south east London in 1950 to Betty and George Whichello.

He started his professional career working on building sites, but had a keen interest in physics.

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In 1974, he became the the first member of his family to graduate from university, after obtaining a degree in Human and Physical Sciences from the University of Surrey.

During his time at university, he played for the football team and showed his mischievous side when taking part in a student takeover of the vice-chancellor’s office.

Mr Whichello qualified as a teacher in 1975 and later became a senior lecturer in computer science.

His career in computing developed at a time when the industry was itself only beginning to rise to global prominence.

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He became an expert on networks software and invested in internet companies.

Mr Whichello would go on to enjoy a long and varied career in the technology and training sectors, creating Training International, which became the UK’s largest PC training company and was floated on the London Stock Exchange in 1987.

He co-founded Winmail, a leading messaging company in Europe, and held a series of executive roles in both public and private technology companies.

In 2005, he joined Isotrak, a fleet management business, as chief executive and took it from near administration to a high value exit within eight years, viewing this as one of his career highlights.

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After acquiring Qube Learning in 2006, when the company had a contract value of £700,000, it now has a net worth today of eight figures.

Mr Whichello was passionate about helping people learn and build on their own professional successes.

His commitment to help people from all walks of life was recognised when he was awarded the prestigious vice- chancellor’s Outstanding Contribution to Surrey award in 2019.

The honour was bestowed on him for his wide-ranging contribution to the University of Surrey, mentoring several postgraduate and undergraduate students and offering financial support to many throughout their studies.

Mr Whichello was a loving father to Anna, Mollie and Lucy from his first marriage and Stanley from his later marriage to Claire.