From education to employment

Northern College strengthens its employer expertise with the appointment of two new governors

Northern College is the only adult residential college in the North of England.

Northern College(@NorthernCollege) in Barnsley, South Yorkshire, has strengthened its employer links and expertise with the appointment of two new governors.

Matthew Stephens and Raymond Low have recently joined the college’s governing body with a focus on strengthening the organisation’s links to local and regional employers.

Mark Sanders, Chair of the Board of Governors, Northern College, said:

“Our three-year strategy builds on a long and celebrated history of changing lives through education.

“It clearly states our ambition to ensure that Northern College meets the needs of its students, communities and the economy now and in the years ahead.

“The appointment of Matthew and Raymond will help us to achieve that and we are delighted that they have joined the governing body.

“Their expertise will enable the college to build its links with employers and boost careers and skills development opportunities for students.”

With a career spanning over 25 years, Matthew Stephens has significantly impacted property development and regeneration in South Yorkshire and Wales where he grew up.

As the Property Development Director at Castlebray Services Limited, his portfolio includes landmark projects such as the Gateway Plaza, Barnsley, former National Union of Mineworkers headquarters, Sheffield, and South Quay Residential Development, Swansea.

Matthew’s expertise covers leisure, commercial properties and the build to rent market, earning him awards such as the Insider Media South Yorkshire Property Personality of the Year 2023.

Matthew, who has lived in Yorkshire for 27 years, is President of Barnsley and Rotherham Chamber of Commerce. He also serves on the Barnsley 2030 group and Barnsley Inclusive Economy board, and chairs Goldthorpe Towns Fund board.

Matthew said:

“I am delighted and honoured to have been asked to become a governor at Northern College. I have spent the past 20 years working in Barnsley and across the wider Yorkshire region and am looking forward to working with fellow governors to take the college forward. I am passionate about what the college brings to so many people and I hope that my experience can make a difference.”

Raymond Low has enjoyed a 40-year career providing technology services to the worldwide financial industry including managing teams across 30 countries. For seven of those years, he lived in Washington DC, USA.

Raymond’s expertise includes business management, strategy, growth and delivery. His experience of recruiting and managing teams around the world has given him insight into what employers are looking for when they want to expand their workforce.

Originating from London, Raymond has strong connections to the area having moved to South Yorkshire in 1984 with Midland Bank (later to become HSBC) before becoming Managing Director of Transaction Network Services UK in 1995.

He took the business from a start-up to become one of the leading providers of payment networks in the UK. After that Raymond ran their European and then global payments business.

Raymond said:

“I am excited to join the team of governors at Northern College.

I look forward to working with Emma and the team to help make the college the most successful residential educational facility in the country.”

Northern College is the only adult residential college in the North of England and educates adults from across Yorkshire and further afield.

Based at the grade 1 listed Wentworth Castle within 60 acres of National Trust gardens, the college provides short community courses as well as a range of academic and vocational qualifications.

The college has a distinguished history of providing life changing opportunities to hundreds of adults every year many of whom have not fulfilled their potential previously.

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