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New chair of London South East Colleges wants to bring “high quality skills-focused education” to Bromley and Bexley

PUBLISHED: 11:36 14 August 2017 | UPDATED: 15:05 14 August 2017

Stephen Howlett

Stephen Howlett

MIles Willis 2012

Stephen Howlett went to a further education college himself, before going to university

The new chair of a Bromley and Bexley college partnership has revealed his desire to create ‘high quality, skills-focused’ education in his new role.

Stephen Howlett has been appointed corporation chair of London South East Colleges, after spending the last 12 years as CEO at housing group Peabody, which is currently working with LSEC and Bexley council on early plans for a construction college in Thamesmead.

But with a background in education, including nine years at Canterbury College as board member and vice chair, the Blackheath father-of-three has high hopes for the impact he can have on the role.

“I am a product of further education and would never have gone to university without going to college,” said Mr Howlett.

“It enabled me to work in a different way, supporting me to develop new skills.

“My aim is to give more young people in the region access to high quality skills-focused education – which is crucial for social mobility and will benefit the economy as a whole.

“Apprenticeships are key to this so I am pleased to see the college’s commitment to delivering these across a range of industries.

“It has never been more important to equip young people with skills – both in terms of their own careers and for businesses needing to secure skilled workforces.

“Colleges are ideally placed to deliver hands on education yet successive Governments have failed to adequately invest in FE. This must change and I look forward to working with London South East Colleges and supporting such an important sector.”

Principal and CEO of London South East Colleges, Sam Parrett, added: “Following last year’s merger of Bromley College with the former Bexley College and Greenwich Community College to create London South East Colleges, we have been working hard to strengthen further and higher education provision across the region.

“We are now focused on several major developments including a new aviation college at Biggin Hill and the expansion of our construction provision to a larger site. Stephen is extremely well placed to support us with this work and will provide a strong steer for the College.

“Stephen has also been part of several mergers in the past so will help us consolidate the work we have done to date.”

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