Train to Gain mastermind quits for HE

11th March 2011 at 00:00
He joins university as workplace training scheme is abolished and his role is scrapped

The civil servant who spearheaded the soon-to-be-abolished Train to Gain scheme is to leave the Government to take up a new position in higher education.

Stephen Marston's place at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) was thrown into doubt in November, when it was announced that his role as director general for universities and skills had been abolished.

The post and two others were combined to form one new position - director general for knowledge and innovation.

But it was Adrian Smith, previously in charge of science and research, who was appointed to the role ahead of Mr Marston.

Last week Mr Marston was chosen as the new vice-chancellor of Gloucestershire University.

He will take up the position on 31 July, and a BIS spokesman said he would be leaving the Department to take up the new position.

Mr Marston has held his current post since June 2007. He was previously director general for lifelong learning and skills in the former Department for Education and Skills.

In October's comprehensive spending review, it was announced that Train to Gain, the workplace training programme spearheaded by Mr Marston, would be axed.

It later emerged that only pound;100 million of the scheme's billion-pound budget would be invested in a new work-based training scheme for small businesses.

The Reverend Malcolm Herbert, chair of Gloucestershire University's council, said Mr Marston had an "unrivalled knowledge of the higher education sector".

Mr Marston said: "I am delighted to have the opportunity to lead the university as it prepares for the new higher education environment.

"It is a university which has great strengths, enormous potential and is successfully rebuilding its financial position.

"It is fast becoming the type of agile, high-quality, market-aware university that will thrive into the future."

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