Marion Plant OBE is Principal and Chief Executive of NWSLC and Chief Executive of the Midland Academies Trust which is responsible for four secondary schools. Marion also served a three-year term as a Non-executive Director at the Department for Education. In March 2018 Marion was awarded the ‘Business Woman of the Year Award’ by the East Midlands Chamber of Commerce.
Neil Bentley-Gockmann OBE is CEO at the Whitehall & Industry Group, an independent non-lobbying charity which fosters mutual co-operation, understanding and learning across business, government, not-for-profits and academia.
Former CEO of WorldSkills UK from 2015-23, he oversaw all WorldSkills UK’s activities, working closely with the board across the UK and internationally – in governments, employers and education. Under his tenure the organisation increased its focus on how international benchmarking from the global WorldSkills network can drive up standards in skills development across the UK.
Dawn Childs DBE is the Chief Executive Officer Operations at Pure Data Centres Group. She has held several previous roles across various industries, including the Change Director for National Grid, Group Engineering Director for Merlin Entertainments and the Head of Engineering at Gatwick Airport. Dawn joined Gatwick Airport in 2012 after serving for 23 years as an Engineering Officer in the Royal Air Force. Dawn is also President of the Women’s Engineering Society.
Mark is the Chief Executive of The Skills Network. He is on a range of government boards such as the ESFA Advisory Board and the FE Reform Advisory Group. Previously, Mark Dawe was the Chief Executive of OCR, the exam board, for 5 years. He has been a governor of primary and secondary schools and a further education 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.
Mark Farrar has been CEO of the Association of Accounting Technicians, the Construction Industry Training Board and the government marine science agency, Cefas. He is on the board of the exam watchdog Ofqual and has held non-executive roles at the Skills Funding Agency and Women into Science and Engineering, as well as being chair of the board at Barking and Dagenham College.
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.
Audrey Nelson is a strategic communications specialist with extensive public affairs experience and an in-depth knowledge of business. Her political and parliamentary expertise was gained at leading business advocacy group the CBI as well as spells in key Whitehall departments, including Number 10.
Justin is a partner at the professional services firm Grant Thornton UK LLP where he leads their People Advisory practice, which involves working with a broad range of organisations on all aspects of their people agenda and how they can attract, retain, engage, and develop their talent.
Sean is Middlesex University’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Provost with responsibility for leadership of education, research and knowledge exchange, and the development and implementation of academic strategies. Starting his career as an apprentice in the engineering industry, Sean has taught engineering and computing for over 30 years and held teaching, research and leadership positions at three universities.