Liz Rees has been appointed as the new director of Unionlearn, the learning and skills wing of the Trades Union Congress (TUC).

She takes on the role after a number of years as head of Trade Union Education, where she was responsible for the TUC’s programme of workplace representatives’ training.

Unionlearn works to help unions in the delivery of learning opportunities for their members as well as managing the Union Learning Fund. The organisation is also responsible for providing education and training opportunities for workplace reps and professionals through TUC Education.

Ms Rees said: “I’m really pleased to get the chance to lead this vital area and to work with such a great team.

“Union reps get things done at the workplace in a way that no others can. They are trusted by their colleagues and maintain good relations with employers so can take up issues on behalf of the workforce that external agencies cannot.”

She replaces Tom Wilson, who said: “Looking back, the best thing is the people. TUC staff are a lovely bunch and Unionlearn and union staff are completely committed to union learning and union learners.

“There is a great team spirit and unions are not shy about standing up for what they believe is best for their learners. After all, learning is about gaining confidence, speaking out, and questioning received wisdom.”

In Walthamstow, Sir George Monoux Sixth Form College principal Paolo Ramella is stepping down from his position after seven years.

Current vice principal of corporate services David Ball, who has been at the college for eight years, has been made acting principal until a permanent appointment is made shortly after the New Year.

Chair of the college Alan Wells said: “With the area reviews of sixth form colleges about to take place, Paolo feels that after seven years at the college in which we have seen various improvements, this is an opportune time for him to step down and make some time to enjoy other interests.

“The corporation has agreed to let him promptly hand over to an acting principal. However, he will remain employed and available to advise the corporation until the end of the year as required.

“The corporation would wish to thank Paolo for all of his hard work and achievements since he joined the college and wish him well for the future.”

Dr Alan Taylor has returned to Darlington College for his second stint at teaching, this time as an engineering lecturer.

Fresh from the world of steel, Dr Taylor joins the college from Teeside manufacturer SSI.

He worked for 18 years in research and development for British Steel in Middlesbrough before joining the Teesside Education Improvement Service, studying a PGCE and teaching computing at Darlington College.

Curriculum manager for engineering, science and automotive technology Neil Bowen said: “Dr Taylor will be able to give his students incredible insight into the ups and downs of global industries like steel and engineering.”

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