Chair WorldSkills UK
Rooney is the former CEO of the national pub retailer and brewer Greene King. Having led Greene King plc for 13 years, Rooney is credited with turning the organisation into a brand-led restaurant and hotel operator, and a FTSE-250 company. He was named Business Leader of the Year at the 2016 Lloyds Bank National Business Awards.
In 2018, Rooney was announced as Chairman of the Casual Dining Group and he also sits on the board of Morrisons.
Rooney is Chair of WorldSkills UK and also chairs the Governance and Nominations Committee.
Marion Plant, OBE FCGI
North Warwickshire & South Leicestershire College, and Deputy Chair, WorldSkills UK
Marion Plant is Principal and Chief Executive of a large FE College; North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College in Leicestershire and Warwickshire. She is also Chief Executive of the Midland Academies Trust which sponsors four secondary schools. Marion also served a 3 year term as a non-executive director at the Department for Education and in March 2018 was awarded the ‘Business Woman of the Year Award’ by the East Midlands Chamber of Commerce.
She serves on several national/ regional bodies including:
- Deputy-Chair and Trustee of WorldSkills UK
- Board member of Coventry University and co-chair of the Academic Affairs committee
- Board member (Director) for the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) and skills lead
- Member of Coventry and Warwickshire Skills Advisory Panel
- Member of the Leicester and Leicestershire Local Enterprise Partnership’s Programme Board
- Trustee of the National Society Council (Church of England)
- Member of the Education & Skills Funding Agency Advisory Group
- Vice Chair of the FE and Skills Productivity Group, West Midlands
Coleg Sir Gar and Coleg Ceredigion
Barry Liles, Skills Champion for Wales and Pro-Vice-Chancellor at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) was recognised in the Queen’s Honours in 2018 for his Services to Skills and Young People in Wales.
He is the former principal and CEO of Coleg Sir Gar and Coleg Ceredigon and is a member of the WSUK board of trustees.
Paul G K Little
City of Glasgow College
Paul Little is the founding Principal and CEO of Scotland’s leading college ranked No.1 in the UK for the standard of its technical and professional skills.
Principal Little has a global reputation as one of the foremost Thought Leaders and Change Innovators bringing a wealth of experience in Tertiary Sector transformation and redefinition, curriculum innovation and performance excellence. A graduate of Harvard Business School and distinguished academic, he brings a wealth of experience in tertiary sector transformation, curriculum innovation, change management and performance excellence.
Over the past 30 years he has successfully led and reshaped five UK colleges earning a national and international reputation as a visionary reformer, successful change agent, merger specialist and thought leader in redefining college education. He gained peer recognition as the top ‘Beacon of Excellence’ College in the UK and his leadership has been recognised with the Queen’s Anniversary Award. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a Member of the Institute of Public Relations and Member of the Nautical Institute.
Mark is the Chief Executive of AELP.
Beginning his career as a chartered accountant, Mark is a member of the ESFA Advisory Board and IfA Quality Alliance advisory group. He is also on the DfE’s Apprenticeship Stakeholder Board. He is currently a governor of Sawston Village College and Stapleford Community Primary School and a scout leader.
Mark is Chair of the Finance and General Purpose Committee.
Merlin Entertainments Group
Dawn is the Group Engineering Director for Merlin Entertainments Group.
Beginning her career with the RAF, Dawn was made an Honorary Doctor of Science by Staffordshire University for services to engineering. She is a Fellow of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers, the Institute of Civil Engineers, the Royal Aeronautical Society and the Women’s Engineering Society. Dawn works as an Ambassador at Alton College.
Dawn is Chair of the Audit Committee.
Sam is the Senior Partner and Head of Corporate at Portland. He leads the UK team in advising global brands on a combination of communication disciplines including corporate comms, public affairs, financial communications, local campaigning, and employee engagement.
Before entering consultancy he worked at The Independent Newspaper, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and was a Teach First Participant.
Chief Executive of Cardiff and Vale College Group
Mike James is an engineer by background and now Chief Executive of Cardiff and Vale College Group. He has over 23 years of experience in the FE sector, including holding senior posts in both Bristol and a major London College prior to Cardiff.
Southern Regional College
Brian has been Principal and Chief Executive at Southern Regional College since the formation of the college in 2008. He previously held the position of Deputy Director for Teaching and Learning at the Newry and Kilkeel Institute. Brian has taught in both the post primary and further education sectors and is a past graduate of Queen’s University Belfast and Ulster University and has recently completed a senior leadership programme at the University of Oxford.