Jeff Bower will take up the role of engineering and manufacturing industry lead and will use his considerable engineering and education experience to collaborate with key stakeholders and employers.
Specifically, he will support the leadership of Northumberland College’s engineering and advanced manufacturing technical curriculum and its interface with industry.
On his appointment, he said: “The role is an exciting new position and will involve building strong links between employers and industry leaders to ensure there is cohesion and collaboration within our further and higher education provision, and so we can meet the region’s current and future needs in engineering and manufacturing.”
Jeff has more than 40 years’ experience of working in engineering and education. He was inspired by working with skilled craftsmen in his first job as an apprentice toolmaker in Peterlee – they shared their knowledge, techniques and values.
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As an outcome, he has always understood the importance of a vocational approach to learning while studying within education.
After 27 years in industry, Jeff took up a lecturing role at Derwentside College where he was a member of the Derwentside Engineering Forum, a forward-thinking organisation that worked alongside employers and local schools to introduce a range of initiatives to develop the engineering workforce in County Durham.
Later, he held leadership roles at New College Durham and Sunderland College.
Jeff added: “One of the most rewarding aspects for me is to hear of the continued success of students in a range of roles with engineering and manufacturing-related organisations. The further education sector is crucial to the development of our future workforce.”
Northumberland College Principal Nigel Harrett said: “Jeff’s appointment will ensure that we have an engineer at the forefront of our engagement with industry and that our technical engineering and manufacturing curriculum is always aligned to economic and industry need.”
Ellen Thinnesen, Education Partnership North East chief executive, said: “I am delighted Jeff decided to apply for this new role, a first of its kind for Education Partnership North East.
“Over the coming years, we will be further investing in our Ashington Campus – which means the future is bright for Northumberland College and its strategic contribution to people, productivity and place.”