The International Glass Centre near Dudley has built a solid reputation as a centre of excellence for studies in glassmaking.
Chris Greenaway, who has helped the centre gain this reputation, retires this summer. Taking over the rather wonderful title of "Head of Glass" is 53-year-old John Taylor, who has been shadowing Mr Greenaway since March 1.
"It is a hard act to follow," he admits.
The centre is part of Dudley College of Technology in the Black Country. It offers specialised HND and Open College Network courses, and attracts students from as far afield as Japan and New Zealand.
Taylor is a local boy, Dudley born and bred, and this is his first foray into working in further education. His background is in senior management in the local glass-making industry.
Brierley Hill, where the centre is based, and nearby Stourbridge have been at the heart of crystal manufacturing since the 17th century.
Taylor was production director at the internationally-renowned Royal Brierley Crystal, where he'd worked for 28 years.
This background will be invaluable in his new role. "I think that having had a lot of experience will be of benefit to students.
"That's the real aim - that they'll be able to get something from me. I'm not just here as the manager of the centre."
He believes the specialised training the centre gives students stands them in good stead in an oftenuncertain industry.
"Technology has moved at such a pace that beautiful products that were being hand-gathered and mouth-blown are now being socleverlyproduced by machine that you can't tell the difference.
"The philosophy of Dudley College relating to the glass industry has been one of development of hand-made products using coloured glass. And this is one of the areas where the machine can't compete.
"Many of our students leave to set up their own studios, so this is a particular area of strength."
The centre has already built strong links with the glass industry which Taylor aims to strengthen. There are plans to move in the next year, to a site shared with his former employer.
"I think the big challenge is to achieve targets in terms of attracting students, to increase the prestige of this centre in terms of the work it does, and to see what developments one can make in the range of courses offered.
"For me, it's a wonderfulopportunity. The staff here are very innovative and enthusiastic, so there are real challenges.
"Above all, it's an industry I've known all my life and njoyed enormously.
" It's amazing - once you're involved, it gets into your blood. It's hard to leave."
acting principal since July is appointed now principal
becomes programme manager, learning development. She was lecturer in
communications at the college
is college secretarydirector of finance. He was finance director at
formerly human resouces
officer at Rolls Royce aero repair and overhaul becomes human resources
becomes head of the glass centre, joining from Royal Brierley Crystal
is vice principal, community and client services. She was previously
development and studentservices
Isle of Man
has been appointed deputy
principal. He joins from Brighton University where he was head of planning
manager course programmes becomes director of curriculum in May
becomes principalchief executive. She was deputy principal at Keighley
becomes business development manager. She was head of business college at
is the new director of quality, a new post. He joins from Stafford where he
was quality manager
deputy principal at Finchale
College in Durham becomes principal in May
joins as head of mathematics science and computing in May, moving from
becomes assistant principal in May. She is manager of client liaison and
student services at Shrewsbury
became head of school of business in February
head of faculty for creative studies will become directorof development
becomes head of school,hairdressing and beautytherapy, sport, leisure and
tourism. She was programme area manager at East Surrey
is a new inspector based in Coventry
becomes financial accountant at Coventry
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is senior statistician at Coventry