London South East Colleges has appointed Stephen Howlett as the new Chair of its Corporation. Stephen takes the helm from Roger Dawe, who stepped down earlier this summer after five years in the role.
Stephen took up his new position this month, having spent the past 13 years as CEO at Peabody, one of London’s largest and oldest housing associations. Peabody owns several thousand homes in Bexley and Greenwich. Prior to this, Stephen was CEO at Amicus Housing Group which owned and managed homes in Kent, Sussex and London.
Along with his expertise in the property and commercial sectors, Stephen comes with a wealth of experience of the education sector – having been Pro-Chancellor at the University of Greenwich for four years (from 2013) and a Board Member and Vice Chair for Canterbury College for nine years (from 1995).
Having attended an FE College himself, Stephen is hugely supportive of the sector, which he credits for helping him achieve career success.
Commenting on his appointment, Stephen says:
“I am a product of Further Education and would never have gone to university without going to college. It enabled me to work in a different way, supporting me to develop new skills.
“I am therefore committed to the FE sector and am delighted to be taking up the role of Chair at London South East Colleges.
“My aim is to give more young people in the region access to high quality skills-focused education – which is crucial for social mobility and will benefit the economy as a whole.
"Apprenticeships are key to this so I am pleased to see the College’s commitment to delivering these across a range of industries.
“It has never been more important to equip young people with skills – both in terms of their own careers and for businesses needing to secure skilled workforces.
“Colleges are ideally placed to deliver hands on education yet successive Governments have failed to adequately invest in FE. This must change and I look forward to working with London South East Colleges and supporting such an important sector.”
Principal and CEO of London South East Colleges, Sam Parrett, says:
“We warmly welcome Stephen as the new Chair of our College Corporation. His background and commercial expertise will be of huge benefit to our students and the communities we serve.
“Following last year’s merger of Bromley College with the former Bexley College and Greenwich Community College to create London South East Colleges, we have been working hard to strengthen Further and Higher Education provision across the region.
“We are now focused on several major developments including a new aviation college at Biggin Hill and the expansion of our construction provision to a larger site. Stephen is extremely well placed to support us with this work and will provide a strong steer for the College.
“Stephen has also been part of several mergers in the past so will help us consolidate the work we have done to date.
“I look forward to working with Stephen to achieve our many ambitions over the next four years.”
Prior to his career in property and housing, Stephen took his A-Levels at West Suffolk College and then went on to study for a degree at Thames Polytechnic – which is now part of the University of Greenwich. From there Stephen gained a graduate role at the Housing Corporation, working his way up in housing to his CEO role at Peabody.
Having lived in the Greenwich area for over 40 years, Stephen currently lives in Blackheath with his wife and three children.
London South East Colleges offers over 1000 courses across its eight campuses in Bromley, Bexley, Greenwich and Orpington. A wide range of qualifications are offered at different levels to suit all abilities and interests; from degrees and professional courses to apprenticeships and vocational programmes.
The college also works with hundreds of employers, ensuring each curriculum meets the needs of employers and therefore creating excellent career pathways for students.
There are places available on courses starting this September. For details on application and enrolment, click here