A new, simplified structure for the Learning and Skills Council was announced this week.
Ten new regional directors have been appointed, and will cover the same areas as the Government's regional development agencies. London gets two directors because of the complexity of the partnerships within the capital.
The RDs have been drawn from the 47 executive directors in local learning and skills councils. Three, those in South Yorkshire, London East, and Coventry and Warwickshire, have assumed responsibilities in new regions (see right).
The regional directors will continue to manage a local LSC so that they remain close to delivery on the ground. But the other executive directors in their area will report to them. The new top tier will be responsible for performance across the region.
Mark Haysom, chief executive of the LSC, said effective regional partnerships were essential to success, not least in the delivery of the Government's Skills Strategy.
"The appointment of the regional directors strengthens the role of local LSCs, allowing for a more streamlined, manageable and responsible reporting structure that avoids bureaucracy.
"It will free up the front line, giving extra strength and confidence to local decision-making, resulting in truly local leadership delivering local solutions to local needs."
He insisted the new arrangements would save time and cut red tape. Changes in the national LSC office are expected soon.
Chris Roberts, 53, North-east, currently executive director of Tyne and Wear. Strong background in local government. Executive member of the North-east Assembly, and national adviser on skills.
John Korzeniewski, 55, North-west,executive director of South Yorkshire.
Began as lecturer in business studies, moving through the ranks to principal of Solihull sixth-form college. Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
David Cragg, 58, West Midlands, executive director of Birmingham and Solihull. Began career in FE, worked in local government and was first chief executive of Birmingham Training and Enterprise Council. Strong regional leader.
Margaret Coleman, 53, Yorkshire and Humberside, executive director of West Yorkshire. Has worked in HE,FE, teacher education, adult skills and sixth-form colleges. A former principal, she founded own training company.
David Hughes, 38, East Midlands, executive director of Derbyshire. He acted as the voice of 2,500 voluntary and community organisations. Chairs the regional assembly's policy forum. Board member of the Connexions Partnership.
Mary Conneely, 48, East of England, currently London East. Founded charity, recognised for work in regeneration.Track record in public and voluntary sectors as well as business. Former college chair of governors. Fellow of the RSA.
Henry Ball, 56, South-east, executive director of Sussex. Teacher and manager in schools and further education for 30 years. Former principal. Active involvement in local regeneration. Member of the bureaucracy taskforce.
Malcolm Gillespie, 58, South-west,executive director of Coventry and Warwickshire. Senior management posts in engineering industry. Was chief executive of local TEC. A former governor at college and university level.
Jacqui Henderson, 64, London, executive director of London Central. Former chief executive of the TEC National Council. Former lecturer, and director of adult education at LEA. On the board of UK Skills and Institute of Leadership and Management.
Verity Bullough, 36, Operations, London, executive director of London North. At City amp; Guilds London Institute developed qualifications for industry. Board memberships in local Connexions and New Deal. Fellow of the RSA.