Business entrepreneur Lord Digby Jones is the new Chairman of Governors at Stratford-upon-Avon College

Stratford-upon-Avon College is delighted to announce the appointment of distinguished business entrepreneur Lord Digby Jones as their new Chairman of Governors from 1st January 2016. 

Digby, Lord Jones of Birmingham – a businessman and politician who has served as Director General of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and Minister of State for Trade and Investment – has a keen interest in education and has frequently expressed support for vocational education.

Born in Birmingham, he was educated at Bromsgrove School, where he was Head Boy, and then read Law at University College London.  After graduating with upper second class honours, he worked for 20 years at Birmingham-based law firm Edge & Ellison.  He serves as Chairman of numerous major companies including Stratford-upon-Avon-based industrial group Grove Industries and Triumph Motorcycles Limited.

Lord Jones’s connection with Stratford-upon-Avon College has already helped enhance its impressive business and educational strengths.  In May this year, he officially opened its refurbished lecturing facilities for the teaching of Art and Design, Sport and Uniformed Public Service students, and in September he visited the College to help launch its Apprenticeship Academy alongside Stratford MP Nadhim Zahawi, who has been recently appointed Prime Minister’s Apprenticeship Adviser.  Lord Jones’ association with the College was further strengthened in October with his appointment to the Board of Governors.

Earlier this month, Lord Jones attended the South Warwickshire at Parliament event at the House of Commons, alongside College Principal and Chief Executive Nicola Mannock.  Organised by the Stratford and Leamington Business Forums, this annual event enables business leaders to meet government ministers and provides local companies and organisations the opportunity to showcase what the region has to offer.  Together, Lord Jones and Nicola forged many beneficial parliamentary and employer links, ensuring the College’s continued prominence in the area.

Moving forward, Lord Jones will lead a drive to build links with employers across the Midlands given his Trade Ministerial and Confederation of British Industry background. He was also on campus throughout 16 December to further strengthen his relationships with staff and students.

Lord Jones commented: “The solution to the UK: productivity problem; poverty gap; nation’s finances – especially to the maintaining of our area; and record of sustainable near full employment, is to maintain a supply of more, better skilled people. The path to self-respect and personal freedom is education. That is why I am delighted to accept the position of Chairman of Governors.  I share Stratford-upon-Avon College’s commitment to providing the best possible skill-based learning and apprenticeship opportunities, ensuring all students secure successful job opportunities.  I am confident that by working together, we will succeed in preparing our young people for future employment and a successful career.”

Discussing the appointment, College Principal and CEO Nicola Mannock said: “We are honoured and delighted that Lord Jones has agreed to become Chairman of Governors.  His wide-ranging business acumen and experience, together with his support for vocational education, have already proved great assets for the College. As Chairman, he will help us ensure that we continue to enhance the employment prospects of young people and work in collaboration with the local economy to respond to the needs of the community.”

For more information on any of Stratford-upon-Avon College’s courses, please visit www.stratford.ac.uk or call the College on 01789 266245.

About Association of Colleges West Midlands

AoC West Midlands promotes and supports the interests of 38 general further education, sixth form and specialist colleges throughout the West Midlands region. The West Midlands is a diverse region and our colleges reflect this diversity. From small specialist colleges in rural locations to large inner city establishments, colleges reflect the needs of their local environment. Working closely with employers, learners and the local community, our 38 member colleges offer a broad range of flexible learning opportunities for individuals at all levels. They aim to give local people the skills they need for success and prosperity, tackling barriers to learning and providing opportunities that meet the needs of individuals and employers
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