From education to employment

LLUK chief quits over health concerns

The chief executive of Lifelong Learning UK (LLUK), the Sector Skills Council, has announced he will be stepping down from the role over health concerns.

David Hunter has battled a serious blood condition for more than three years, but has now accepted advice to relinquish his role at the post-compulsory education skills body to focus on his health.

“It has been my privilege to lead this organisation through the first phase of its existence,” said Mr Hunter.

“I realise this is a difficult time for everyone at Lifelong Learning UK, with the current economic and political climate posing significant challenges. But I have great confidence in colleagues throughout the organisation, and I have nothing but praise for the way they have handled what has been a very demanding period of late. I am only sorry that my health will not permit me to stay on for the next stage in Lifelong Learning UK’s story.

“I have been on an incredible journey myself, from community work on the Shankhill Road in Belfast, to the creation of a single standards body for lifelong learning across the four nations of the UK. Along the way I have seen the context for skills development change in quite unimaginable ways. But nothing I have seen has shaken my belief in the transformative power of lifelong learning and the critical role of skills development for the lifelong learning workforce.”

Sir David Melville, LLUK’s chairman, added: “David brought a unique perspective to what is a hugely complex yet vital area of education policy in the UK. Without the right skills, all the many different professionals and volunteers who make up the workforce in lifelong learning would quickly fall behind the rapidly-changing demands of learners, their communities and employers. Without an overarching standards body that spans the whole of the UK, the task of keeping that workforce world-class would be all the more difficult. And without David’s breadth of experience and knowledge, it seems unlikely that such a body would have got off the ground at all.”

Former Association of Colleges deputy chief executive Sue Dutton will assume the post on an interim basis.

Ms Dutton, who now runs her own consulting business, said: “There is no doubt that David will be a hard act to follow, and that the challenges to which he alludes are very real. But, like him, I have every confidence in the team at Lifelong Learning UK and look forward to picking up where he left off and steering LLUK into the future.”

Jason Rainbow

(Pictured: LLUK chief executive David Hunter)

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