The commercial director of a railway software, technology and services company is to become the new chief executive of The Sheffield College.
Heather MacDonald’s seven years in post come to an end this summer, at which point she will be replaced by Paul Corcoran, from DeltaRail. He is due to start his post at the college on June 22.
He said: “I am delighted to be joining The Sheffield College to work with an outstanding team, and to continue to build on the many achievements of the current chief executive, Heather MacDonald.
“It is widely recognised that the UK needs to develop a skilled workforce to achieve sustainable economic growth.”
Paul added: “Having worked in both industry and higher education, I believe the college can play a leading role in meeting this challenge by finding innovative ways to bring together the education and training needs of both students and employers.
“Enhancing our students’ career prospects and helping employers meet their many challenges will be among my highest priorities. I have longstanding personal ties with Sheffield and am looking forward to spending more time in the city.”
Mr Corcoran has been commercial director of DeltaRail for the past six years, prior to which he held the post of director of projects for two years.
He has also held director-level positions with Amey Infrastructure Services, Amey Datel and Jasmin Plc.
He previously worked at the University of Derby during which time he was a senior lecturer in engineering and provided consultancy to industry, eventually moving into the role of head of division in electronic systems.
He graduated from Coventry Polytechnic with an honours degree in engineering, and also holds a PhD in engineering from Warwick University. He completed his MBA at Durham University.
Ms MacDonald said: “The Sheffield College plays a key role in the growth of the city region’s economy and it feels right to be handing over the role of chief executive to someone of Paul’s experience and calibre.
“I wish him every success in taking the college forward.”
Richard Wright, governors’ board chair and executive director of Sheffield Chamber of Commerce, said: “Inevitably there is a degree of mixed emotions. Heather MacDonald is leaving us after a superb period when she has steered the college through some difficult times. She goes with all our thanks and admiration.”
He added: “Paul joins us when we are being challenged by government to get closer to employers and understand their needs, to explore alternative sources of funding, and to work hard to better satisfy the needs of students and their parents by ensuring they are well set up for a life in employment as well as their future studies.
“Paul brings a different perspective and set of skills to the college, having come from a higher education background and worked successfully in a commercial environment for many years. We believe he is very well equipped to lead us on this.”