David Hughes appointed new CEO of Association of Colleges

The Association of Colleges (AoC) has announced that David Hughes, currently the Chief Executive of the Learning and Work Institute, will become its new Chief Executive in September 2016.

The Association of Colleges (AoC) is a not-for-profit membership organisation which represents and promotes the interests of colleges. AoC’s membership includes 317 further education, sixth form, tertiary and specialist colleges across the UK.

David joined Learning and Work Institute (previously NIACE) as Chief Executive in 2011, following 11 years in the further education sector, working at the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) and the Skills Funding Agency (SFA). David has most recently led the merger of NIACE with Inclusion to form Learning and Work Institute in 2016. At the LSC and SFA David led funding relationships with colleges and providers. David has also worked in in the voluntary sector across a wide range of roles and organisations in the UK and Australia, in social housing, co-operatives, welfare, regeneration and community development.’ – FE News

‘Mr Hughes told TES that he was excited and optimistic about his new role, which he said came at a “pivotal time for colleges”. “It is a big job in an important organisation," he said. “The colleges are facing huge challenges, but also great opportunities. They are a crucial part of their local community. We need to have fantastic colleges everywhere delivering opportunities, and the chance to get involved in that and to support colleges to deliver opportunities is exciting.”

Colleges are “critically important organisations”, Mr Hughes added. “I’m looking forward to working with colleges across the country to ensure that they are able to make the maximum impact they can.”

The apprenticeship levy, which is due to be introduced next year, provides an obvious opportunity for colleges to raise additional funds and engage with more employers, he explained. “There are also some opportunities around level 3, 4, 5 and 6 loans, which have not been successful so far generally. But colleges, with support from local employers, could make those work more effectively.”’ - TES

‘Mr Hughes told FE Week he did not apply when the vacancy was first publicised in January.

This was because he felt it would have been inappropriate as he was overseeing the launch of the Learning and Work Institute in the same month, following the merger of the National Institute of Adult Continuing Education (NIACE) and Centre for Economic & Social Inclusion…

The AoC said Mr Hughes was due to start in September and when asked what changes he had planned for AoC, he said: “Part of the process will be meeting with Martin [Doel], staff, and members to make sure I understand what the colleges want and need.

“One thing I know is that Martin is leaving behind a strong AoC.”’ – FE Week

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