Future of UKCES thrown further into doubt by imminent departure of chief executive

The future of the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) has been thrown further into doubt after it emerged that chief executive Michael Davis will stand down early next year, FE Week can exclusively reveal.

Mr Davis (pictured) took up the top job in January 2011, following the departure of previous chief executive Chris Humphries.

News of his imminent departure comes after FE Week reported details earlier this month of a leaked Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) memo suggesting plans to more than halve the number of its partner organisations by 2020 — which could include UKCES.

Mr Davis was unable to comment ahead of publication, but a UKCES spokesperson confirmed that he plans to quit the post.

She said: “Mr Davis is standing down next March. We don’t know who will be replacing him at this time.”

The leaked memo included proposals to reduce the number of BIS partner organisations — of which the SFA is also one – to 20, cut operating costs by 30 to 40 per cent and consolidate the “BIS family” from around 80 sites into seven or eight “centres of excellence”.

Mr Davis has had a long association with the publicly funded, industry-led organisation that offers guidance on skills and employment across in the UK

He was previously UKCES Interim chief executive, from December 2010 to June 2011, and the commission’s director of strategy and performance, from March 2009 to November 2010, according to his LinkIn page.

His time in the more junior post partly coincided with him serving as chair of governors at Leicester College from April 2007 to March 2011.

The UKCES declined to comment on what Mr Davis plans to do after standing down.

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  1. Ian Pryce

    I think Michael did a really good job but hopefully government now realises you can’t create influential bodies using public funds. All the most influential bodies CBI, 157, Policy Exchange, Professional Bodies etc are fiercely independent and don’t expect to be propped up by public money. Once you depend on that your views will never be worth much.