The Learning and Skills Council (LSC), the body responsible for the allocation of the budget of more than £10 billion for the FE sector, has announced further new appointments in its restructuring programme.
The announcement will see the newly appointed Regional Chairs working closely with the Regional Directors (RDs) already in place, and it is hoped will continue the LSC’s aim of improving the local relevance of FE delivery and development. This comes just weeks after the announcement on the agenda for change restructuring that resulted in the trimming of some 1300 jobs, or a little over a quarter of the LSC’s original workforce.
The nine regional chairs are as follows. In the North East, James Ramsbotham, Chair of LSC Co Durham and Executive Vice-Chairman of the Esh Group (construction) will work with North East RD Chris Roberts. In the North West, Roger Hoyle, Chair of LSC Merseyside and former Chief Executive of the Liverpool Health Authority, will join North West RD John Korzeniewski. In the West Midlands, Mike Beasley will take up the post. He is the Chair of LSC Birmingham and Solihull and former MD and PLC Board member of Jaguar Cars, and will work with RD David Cragg.
The fourth appointment, for Yorkshire and the Humber, is Clive Leach, Chair of LSC West Yorkshire and former Group Chief Executive and Chairman of Yorkshire Tyne Tees Television plc, who will join RD Margaret Coleman. John Kirkland, Chair of LSC Derbyshire and Chairman of Bowmer & Kirkland Group (construction) will take up the position in the East Midlands, working with RD Verity Bullough. In the East of England, Jim McGivern, Chair of LSC Bedfordshire and Luton and 35 years of Senior Management in the Hospitalities Industry will join RD Caroline Neville.
The new Regional Chair for the South East is Norman Boyland, Chair of LSC Sussex and Director and Former Vice President of Operations at SmithKline Beecham. Norman will work with RD Henry Ball. In the South West, John Savage will work with the RD, Malcolm Gillespie. John Savage is the Chair of LSC West of England and Executive Chairman of Business West (Chamber of Commerce). Finally, Rod Kenyon will take on the role in London. He is the Chair of LSC London West and Director of the British Gas Engineering Academy, and will work with RD David Hughes.
LSC Chairman Explains Appointments
Discussing the appointments, Chris Banks, the Chairman of the LSC, said: “The Regional Chairs have been appointed to ensure that national and regional priorities are delivered in a way that best meets local needs. The Boards will support and work closely with the Regional Director and other senior members of the executive team. They will be responsible for promoting the LSC regionally to external organisations as well as building and maintaining connections with stakeholders and partners, encouraging them to work positively with the LSC.
“The new Regional Chairs will help ensure that the work we do is meeting the needs of learners and employers effectively,” he continued. “I know that they and the Regional Boards will play a critical role in delivering our objectives. All the Regional Chairs are already Chairs of Local LSC’s and will bring closer links between the local, regional and national activities of the organisation.”
The creation of a structure that allows the LSC to react more swiftly on the regional level is a sensible idea. However, concerns remain on the diverse nature of the sector. Much of the training offered in FE is industry specific rather than geographically centred, and as such the ability of the new structure to work effectively with nationwide but skills specific issues must be examined. If the structure is to succeed, a successful liaison between the national and regional strategies must be achieved and a sense of balance must be maintained. Unless this happens, it could result in the LSC laying itself open to yet more criticism of over ““ bureaucratic management that never seems to fade in the public sector.
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