John Mountford, International Development Consultant
John is an international skills sector expert with extensive experience of leading global and EU projects and programmes. He is an independent consultant specialising in the development of sustainable international programmes and initiatives. He works extensively with UK TVET providers in developing the sector’s international capacity. This includes advising on; strategic development, approaches to market, product development and delivery models. He has previously worked as the International Development Director for the UK’s Sector Skills Council for Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering (SEMTA) and on a national level representing the UK’s TVET College sector as the Association of Colleges’ International Director. John has held senior strategic roles in the Sector Skills Council, FE College, ELT and Higher Education sectors.
He has extensive experience in leading and supporting national TVET reform programmes. These have included initiatives supporting shared approaches to; leadership, Sector Skills Councils, capacity building of Colleges and apprenticeships. He has led numerous projects including in the areas of entrepreneurship, employability, curriculum development and qualification design. He has also spoken on public platforms sharing international good practice in achieving sustainable TVET reform based on embedding employers’ skills needs through a demand driven approach.
He has played advisory and policy roles in supporting UK and overseas Government international initiatives, including; UK India Education Research Initiative, UK China Partners in Education and the UK Education sector’s international strategy. He has extensive experience of the delivering international projects and programmes delivered in partnership with stakeholders including; DfID, FCO, EBRD, DIT, EU Commission and the British Council. John has acted as a Board member of both the World Federation of Colleges and Polytechnics and EUproVET.
He holds post graduate qualifications in International Development, Management and Teaching.
As Kofi Annan memorably reflected; ‘arguing against globalisation is like arguing against the laws of gravity’. Globalisation is the driving force of our times and the FE sector, as much as any other, has to find effective strategies to grasp the opportunities and meet the challenges it presents.
At Semta International, we place great value in our international projects and partnerships, the lessons we’ve learnt from going global through interacting with our partners and by meeting the specific challenges of successfully delivering in overseas markets have immensely enhanced and informed the way we do business in all our markets.
FE News catches up with John Mountford, Association of College's international director, at the AoC Annual conference. He talks about student visas, the international fringe event at the AoC conference, and their work with China.