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College welcomes new assistant principal

Telford College has appointed a new assistant principal for employer engagement and skills.

Claire Barker has more than 25 years of experience in the education sector, including 16 years at Stoke-on-Trent College where she was director of workplace learning and partnerships.

She is a former head of apprenticeships at Loughborough College, and was most recently head of service for skills and employability at Entrust, a joint venture between Staffordshire County Council and Capita Plc.

Claire said she was looking forward to working closely with local businesses to ensure Telford College’s apprenticeships and other courses are employer-led, giving companies direct input into the curriculum.

She is also keen to further expand the college’s sector-based skills hubs, and develop more pre-employment services which upskill the workforce to align with the changing needs of employers.

Claire completed a degree at Manchester Metropolitan University in teaching and her masters at Staffordshire University in education leadership.

Her career started as a mental health nurse where she was actively involved in the training, mentoring and support of both existing employees and new recruits. She continued to work part time as a registered nurse to keep her registration status until three years ago.

“I am a great believer in the value of lifelong learning, which is why I took the opportunity to transfer into education and skills as a full-time role,” she said. “Having worked in both the public and private sector supporting both employers and their employees to develop the skills required, I am able to see the issues from a variety of perspectives.”

Claire has taken on a series of additional roles during her time in the educational sector, including a lead for Provider Readiness Groups in the development of new apprenticeship standards.

She has also been a member of the Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Local Enterprise Partnership Skills Advisory Panel Board, board member of the Staffordshire Partnership for Employment and Skills, and member of the Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering Hub Staffordshire.

Claire is a member of the West Midlands Apprenticeship Ambassador Network, the City & Guilds and ILM Employer Industry Board for Business Management and Digital, and is due to resume her role as an Ofsted inspector next month.

Pictured: Claire Barker, Telford College’s new assistant principal for employer engagement and skills