FINANCE AND PROCUREMENT, LEGAL SERVICES AND DATA
Tell us a bit about you
Originally from Sunderland, I couldn’t persuade my wife to move south of the Tyne – so we now live on the North Tyneside coast with our three children. By definition, having a young family precludes my wife and I from having any kind of free time or interests outside of work – but I do remember a time when we had energy, and used to enjoy going to see gigs, music festivals and the occasional night out with friends!
Tell us a bit about your career
After leaving university, I joined PwC as an auditor. It provided a great foundation for a career in finance and allowed me to work with a wide variety of clients across multiple sectors. After leaving PwC, I moved into various Corporate Finance roles, eventually joining Newcastle College Group as it expanded from being North East-based, to a national group of colleges and training providers. I loved this work – helping with mergers, acquisitions, business planning, investments and negotiating and structuring deals to mitigate risk. This was also my first experience of working in the education and not-for-profit sectors. It allowed me to see first-hand how education can have a transformative impact on people’s lives, but also how not-for-profit organisations can be run in a professional, commercial way that balances reach and impact with building a sustainable future – principles which are incredibly relevant to NCFE today.
I was initially asked to join NCFE on a three-month contract to help acquire the CACHE awarding organisation. What struck me during this time was how knowledgeable and passionate everyone was, and I was therefore delighted to be able to stay on at NCFE. Fast forward seven years and it amazes me how far we’ve come – three acquisitions, nine technical qualification (TQ) contracts, a comprehensive transformation programme and, perhaps most importantly of all, a renewed emphasis and respect for our charitable purpose. We have some exciting and challenging ambitions at NCFE, and I think it is safe to say that no two days are ever the same – but I love it here and wouldn’t have it any other way.