Skills Funding Agency wants a chair

The post of Skills Funding Agency advisory board chair is up for grabs.

The agency, which manages an annual budget of more than £3bn, is advertising the three-year unpaid job on its website and is expecting the successful candidate to be in place in around two months’ time.

They will head a board made up of representatives from the FE sector, employers and other stakeholder groups, including Association of Colleges chief executive Martin Doel and NUS president-elect Toni Pearce.

The agency wanted someone with “ideas for reducing bureaucracy” and “better and more simplified ways of implementing programmes”.

The job specification reads: “It [the board] provides independent support and challenge on both the business operations of the agency and on the delivery of its priorities and performance, acting as both a sounding board and source of expert advice, drawing on the particular roles, knowledge and expertise of its members.

“In particular, the board provides practical advice and guidance, as well as challenge to [the agency’s] chief executive on how best to deliver those FE and skills priorities set for the agency by the Secretary of State, including the interpretation of those priorities for particular groups, and on issues such as the impact and implementation of operational procedures on learners, providers and employers.

“The chief executive of the agency is responsible for all individual allocation decisions and for dispensing funding to the sector.

“The board does not have a role in this, nor holding the chief executive or the agency to account for its performance.

“However, the board and chair will be expected to provide feedback to the Department [for Business, Innovation and Skills] and Ministers on the performance of the chief executive and agency.”

The chair could ask to stay in the job for a further three years, but staying on beyond six years would be “exceptional”.

They can expect to be going to around five board meetings a year, and would have to pencil in a further five days over the year for other tasks and functions relating to the post, for which expenses are paid.

Previous board meetings have been chaired by the agency chief executive and also board members, such as Construction Skills chief executive Mark Farrar.

“This is an exciting and rewarding opportunity to be part of a dynamic and fast moving organisation, leading and working collaboratively with a board of high profile figures from across business and the education and training sector,” according to the job specification.

Visit the agency website for more details and for information on how to apply before the deadline of midnight Sunday, May 19.