SUNDERLAND College has announced the appointment of an executive director of commercial activity, in an effort to drive forward its relationship with businesses in the region.
With over twenty years’ experience in the public and private sector, Iain Nixon joins the college as part of the senior leadership team to help grow the college’s apprenticeship provision, secure European funding and generate commercial activity through a broad range of employer-facing services.
Having spent 10 years at Newcastle University in a variety of business development roles as well as 10 years running a consultancy business based in the North East, working with Government departments and funding bodies, universities and colleges, and employers to influence policy and practice on innovation and skills, Mr Nixon brings a wealth of commercial experience from working at the interface between business and education to the college.
Most recently, he worked as executive director and chairman of the board of Acua Solutions Ltd, the corporate education and development arm of Coventry University.
A member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, Mr Nixon, from Rothbury in Northumberland, said his new role represents an opportunity for him to ensure Sunderland College continues to play a leading role in the business community.
He said: “I’m thrilled to join the college at a time when employer and Government investment in skills and innovation is so important to the future prosperity of the North East region as well as UK plc. Further education, in my view, has a key role to play in both respects.
“Sunderland College is one of the largest colleges and providers of apprenticeships in the region with strengths in a wide range of vocational areas, with strong success rates and Ofsted grade, and it has a great deal to offer employers of all sizes.
“The college is also benefitting from major improvement in its facilities, with a new build on its Bede Campus and a recently announced £29 million investment in a city centre development, providing state of the art facilities for the delivery of industry recognised courses in advanced manufacturing, sustainable construction and digital sectors, amongst others.
“I hope to see the college become a trusted partner for employers seeking to invest in the development of their workforce and look forward to meeting our stretching targets and supporting the ongoing growth and success of the college.”
Speaking of Mr Nixon’s appointment to the Sunderland College team, principal Anne Isherwood, said: “Iain has a wealth of experience in the education and business sector and I’m delighted to welcome him to the team. His new role will help to ensure that we have strategies in place to further strengthen our relationships with employers and other key stakeholders.”