Former OCR chief executive Mark Dawe joins AELP

'Anyone delivering apprenticeships and traineeships' should join the Association of Employment and Learning Providers, says former college principal

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Former exam board chief Mark Dawe has been appointed the new chief executive of the Association of Employment and Learning Providers.

Mr Dawe, who left OCR in September after five years at the helm, will begin his new role after Easter. He replaces Stewart Segal, who is leaving AELP after almost three years as chief executive to take up a new job as director of strategy, policy and funding at training provider Aspire Achieve Advance (3aaa).

Prior to working at OCR, Mr Dawe held a number of education roles, including being principal of Oaklands College and working as a civil servant in the former Department for Education and Skills. Most recently, he served under FE commissioner David Collins as an FE adviser, working on college interventions and the area reviews.

Mr Dawe told TES that the “exciting” new role gave him the opportunity to return to vocational education and training.

“One of the appeals of the job is that it’s at the forefront of everything that’s going on at the moment, that makes it very exciting,” he said. “That side of learning has always been of great interest to me. It couldn’t be a better time because, with the levy coming in and with the push for more apprenticeship numbers and traineeships, it’s a really exciting time.

“It’s going to be great to be part of it and help it work. The whole landscape is going to change around apprenticeships and employer involvement. A lot of large employers are to be facing the levy next April and not necessarily [be] aware of the opportunities around apprenticeships.”

Mr Dawe also said he was keen to see more employers and colleges join AELP, which currently has more than 770 members on its books.

Back in November, skills minister Nick Boles questioned why colleges, which he said only delivered a third of apprenticeships, were allowing training providers to “nick [their] lunch”. But, responding to Mr Boles’ comment, Mr Dawe told TES: “I don’t see it as who’s going to eat whose lunch. It’s about high-quality delivery, excellent outcomes for students and businesses, and delivering these apprenticeships. To be honest I think anyone delivering apprenticeships and traineeships ought to be a member of AELP. That’s what AELP is about.”

AELP chairman Martin Dunford said he was “delighted” with the organisation’s new CEO. “We were pleased by the response we had from a number of very high calibre candidates and the selection of Mark has been the result of a very competitive process,” he added.

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Stephen Exley

Stephen Exley

Stephen is TES' Further Education Editor. He has worked at TES since 2010, and was previously the education correspondent at the Cambridge News. He was the winner of the award for Outstanding National Education Journalism at the CIPR Education Journalism Awards in 2015 and 2013.