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Career takes off

Stand by your beds! Armed services training chief Martin Doel has been named as the new chief executive of the Association of Colleges, writes Steve Hook

The Air Commodore faces the challenge of leading a revamped AoC as it attempts to improve its working relationships with ministers and give a higher profile to colleges in its dealings with Government. Mr Doel, 51, is currently director of training and education at the Ministry of Defence, responsible for the development of all military and professional staff. The job involved introducing a skills strategy for the MoD and liaison with the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills.

His RAF career included elementary flying training as well as a range of appointments in human resources, training and intelligence.

The armed services are the UK's biggest provider of apprenticeships.

Mr Doel said: "I would hope that an understanding of how decisions are made at government level will help me to do the job well, as well as an understanding of the pressures that ministers face.

"The need to make a case for FE is as pressing as ever."

Mr Doel initially trained as a teacher before joining the RAF. He is also an FA-qualified football coach.

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