NTfW appoints four new directors to strengthen board
An organisation that represents the network of apprenticeship and work-based learning providers in Wales has strengthened its board with four new appointments.
The National Training Federation for Wales (NTfW) faces an extra workload with new challenges and opportunities presented by the introduction of the apprenticeship levy last month and the Welsh Government’s mission to deliver a minimum 100,000 high quality all-age apprenticeships over the term of this assembly.
The new board members are Grant Santos, managing director of Educ8, Ystrad Mynach, Ruth Collinge, contracts manager for North Wales Training in Mochdre, Colwyn Bay, Alan Mackey, regional director of Skills Wales at PeoplePlus UK and Gareth Matthews, a director of Itec Skills and Employment, Cardiff.
Sarah John, NTfW chair, welcomed the new board members. “They all bring with them a vast amount of experience of the work-based learning sector in Wales and I know they are keen to get on with the business of representing the whole network.
“With the advent of the Welsh Government’s Apprenticeship Skills Policy Plan, the NTfW has undertaken a review of its organisational governance, as well as its strategic and operational plans,” she said.
“We face many new challenges and opportunities with the advent of the apprenticeship levy and as we support the Welsh Government to achieve its aim of delivering a minimum 100,000 high quality all-age apprenticeships over the term of this Assembly.
“The additional board members will allow the NTfW to become more responsive to the increasing demands being placed upon the organisation in terms of external representation, stakeholder engagement and policy development.
“We want to make the NTfW the authoritative ‘go to organisation’ for all those individuals and organisations looking to engage with the apprenticeship programme in Wales.”
Mrs Collinge, who previously served as an NTfW board member from 2008-’12, has been involved in the training industry for 22 years and has grown with North Wales Training, starting as a hospitality assessor.
“It’s a very exciting time to be rejoining the board,” she said. “There is an awful lot of work to be done and I look forward to supporting and helping with some of the projects and representing North Wales. I believe the NTfW can be a lot more influential in the future.”
Mr Mackey, who lives in Porthcawl, has been employed by PeoplePlus for five years and served as deputy chief executive of West Wales TEC earlier in his career. In between, he worked in senior roles within the financial services sector for 10 years.
He said he hoped to use his knowledge of the Welsh business scene and training and skills market place to make a valuable contribution to the NTfW board.
“I am pleased to help support the NTfW and contribute to a network that I believe can make a most valued and important contribution to training and skills throughout Wales,” he added.
Mr Santos, who has worked for Educ8 for a decade and been involved in the education and training sector for more than 20 years, rejoins the NTfW board after an absence of 18 months.
“Work-based learning and the NTfW have both moved forward in the last couple of years and there is a new, fresh outlook from the board,” he said. “High quality work-based and vocational learning have been a passion of mine for 20 years and I want to be involved in helping to shape, influence and promote the apprenticeship programme in Wales.
“I come from Ystrad Mynach and I want to encourage people in the Valleys and across Wales to be more ambitious and aspirational.”
Mr Matthews, from Ynyshir in the Rhondda Valley, has more than 40 years’ experience in skills and employability in a variety of senior operational and business development roles.
Prior to joining Itec Skills and Employment, he worked as Serco’s director for welfare services, delivering employability and skills contracts for the Department for Work and Pensions and the Ministry of Justice. He is also a former executive director of Working Links and has held a variety of senior leadership roles with the Department for Work and Pensions.
His contribution to the employment related service sector was recognised with the ERSA Life Time Achievers Award in 2014 and he was recognised by the Prime Minister as a ‘Community Champion’ for his work improving community engagement and the quality of life in Rhyl.
“I bring to the board knowledge and expertise of the employability agenda, managing major government contracts, working for FTSE 100 companies and delivering strategic priorities,” he said.
“I am interested in helping to put the NTfW in a position where it influences government thinking and policies and shapes them into programmes. It’s all about building relationships and trust so that we get to a position where we are influencing stuff before in happens.”
The NTfW represents more than 100 organisations involved in the delivery of learning in the workplace in Wales.