From education to employment

SFA CEO Geoff Russell announces his retirement


Geoff Russell announces his retirement

Geoff Russell will step down from the position of Chief Executive of Skills Funding this summer and return to retirement. Geoff made this decision and informed the Department for Business Innovation and Skills in August 2011, but was happy to agree to remain in post for 12 months to complete the Agency restructuring and allow sufficient time to identify a successor and handover.

Geoff has held the position since its inception in April 2010 and was previously Chief Executive of the predecessor organisation, the Learning and Skills Council.

Speaking of his decision to retire Geoff said:

“I have thoroughly enjoyed the challenge of establishing the Skills Funding Agency and re-shaping it to meet the needs of the further education sector.

“My task was to create an Agency structured and able to perform a new role promoting and funding further education colleges and other training organisations to meet the challenge of equipping England’s economy with the skills it needs to overcome economic challenges. I am proud of the critical role that the Skills Funding Agency is playing in establishing the incentives and accountabilities to assist the further education and skills sector to respond creatively, flexibly and dynamically to the demands of employers, learners and communities. With my task complete, it is time to move on.

“When I first took up my role as Chief Executive of the Learning and Skills Council I only intended to do the job for a year, but I have found working with the sector and Agency colleagues very rewarding and have relished the task of establishing the organisation over my three years in post. It has also been a pleasure to work under a Minister whose passion is further education and skills.

“I know I leave the agency in the very capable hands of the Executive Management Team. I am looking forward to my second retirement, but I will continue to follow the development of the further education sector with great interest. In the meantime, between now and July 2012, I remain fully engaged with the task of pushing forward the changes we have started.”

John Hayes, Minister of State for Further Education and Lifelong Learning, said:

“I would like to thank Geoff Russell for his hard work and strategic leadership over the last 3 years and wish him well in his retirement.

“Geoff has overseen the creation of the Skills Funding Agency and has shaped it into an organisation that is playing a key role in promoting and funding FE and giving young people and adults the skills they need to find well paid and rewarding employment. We look forward to building on Geoff’s work  to continue the programme of reform in which the Skills Funding Agency is a key element . ”

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