Group Chief Executive of the City & Guilds Group, Chris Jones, has been announced as the new Chair of the corporation at Activate Learning.

Chris, who has been a member of the corporation since 2011, replaces Graham Blackburn, who steps down after nine years’ service, including four as Chair.

As Chief Executive of the City & Guilds Group, Chris plays a prominent role in driving the national skills agenda. The Group is a leader in global skills development, setting the standard for professional and technical education and corporate learning and development. The Group works with education providers, employers and goverments in over 100 countries across the world.

Speaking about his new role, Chris said: “I am excited to be taking up this new role with an organisation which is leading such innovative approaches to teaching and learning, as it seeks to increase opportunities for learners. Activate Learning has a strong governing body and I look forward to continuring to work with members of the corporation, the senior team, staff and students to realise our shared vision to transform lives through learning.”

Chris takes up the position at Activate Learning following a period of significant growth. The organisation, which operates across Oxfordshire, the Thames Valley and overseas, now comprises three UK further education colleges, four schools, two apprenticeship and training providers and four colleges in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Sally Dicketts, Group Chief Executive of Activate Learning, said: “I am extremely grafeful for the time, commitment and expertise that Graham has given the group during a period of considerable change. During his time as Chair, the organisation has transformed from a single college to a group of organisations designed to meet the needs of learners and employers. During this time he has helped us to remain focused on raising standards of teaching and learning.

“Chris joins us as Chair as we enter an exciting new chapter in our development. This includes launching a new faculty structure across our three group colleges, which will see us working much more closely with employers in key industries to design relevant learning programmes that offer learners a direct line of sight to employment.

“Chris’ considerable experience and expertise in vocational education, and a shared passion for empowering people to unleash their talents and achieve their full potential, will help to steer us forward into this next phase.”

Before joining the City & Guilds Group, Chris held several senior management positions in publishing and education. He is also a member of Business in the Community’s Talent and Skills Leadership Group.

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