People: The Skills Network and The Northern Health Science Alliance

The Skills Network (TSN), a North Yorkshire-based online training provider, has announced the appointment of Mark Dawe as new chief executive, with effect from 17 August 2020.

Dawe has spent the last four years as chief executive of AELP (The Association of Employment and Learning Providers) and holds a wealth of leadership experience across the education sector.

Prior to AELP, he spent five years as chief executive of OCR, the exam board.

He has also held previous roles as the principal of Oaklands College and deputy director for the Department of Education and Skills.

With a key influence in the education sector, he is currently on the board of WorldSkills UK as well as a range of Government boards such as the ESFA Advisory Board and the DfE’s Apprenticeship Stakeholder Board.

Dawe’s appointment at TSN signifies a significant milestone in the training provider’s development. He will use his knowledge and expertise to underpin TSN’s growth into the future.

TSN provides online distance learning qualifications, apprenticeships, and online learning technology. It delivers qualifications to 35,000 students per year and provide e-learning systems to circa 200 colleges and training providers.

Dawe said: “Whilst I leave behind a great dedicated team with many incredible members at AELP, it certainly isn’t goodbye, and the memories will last for a lifetime!

“The Skills Network has offered me an amazing opportunity to work with an incredibly ambitious and knowledgeable team, who combine two of my main passions – education and training, along with technology and online learning.

“In the face of the Covid-19 crisis, the importance and effectiveness of good quality online learning has been recognised, and I am very excited to be at the forefront of driving this agenda forward.”

Claire Conlaund, managing director at The Skills Network, said: “We’re really proud to welcome Mark aboard in what feels like a really pivotal, exciting step in TSN’s trajectory.

“In the last few years, we’ve gone from strength to strength and Mark will be joining an extremely passionate and talented team.”

Peter McCann, chairman at The Skills Network, said: “We are delighted that Mark is joining TSN.

“Mark brings an unparalleled track-record of outstanding leadership across the education and skills sector, and under his leadership, TSN looks forward to the exciting future as we continue to delight our students, employers and partners.”


Professor Sir John Tooke

THE Northern Health Science Alliance (NHSA) has welcomed three new directors to take forward the organisation into the next stage of its development.

Professor Sir John Tooke, Dr Kath Mackay and Dr Jonathan Sheffield have joined the organisation as non-executive directors.

The NHSA is a partnership established by the leading universities and NHS Hospital Trusts in the North of England to improve the health and wealth of the region by creating an internationally recognised life science and healthcare system.

It links ten universities and ten research-intensive NHS Teaching Trusts with four Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs covering a population of over 16 million).

The organisation brings together health research collaborations across the region, draws in international investment to the North and acts as a voice for its health research system.

Professor Sir John said: “I’m delighted to be joining the NHSA Board to help this remarkable organisation advance population health and wealth through leveraging its many strengths and spirit of partnership.”

Dr Mackay said: “The NHSA has a strong reputation and is poised to make a difference to health research and innovation in the North and wider UK.

Dr Kath Mackay

“I am excited to be joining at such a critical time when health and care is at the front of everyone’s mind. I’m passionate about innovation in health and securing positive outcomes for all.”

Dr Sheffield said: “The NHSA has a unique opportunity to raise the profile and impact of our brilliant scientists, innovators, clinicians and partnering institutions.

“Together we will deliver better health, wealth and care for people in the North.”

Chair of the Northern Health Science Alliance board, Professor David Burn, Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the Faculty of Medical Sciences at Newcastle University, said: “I am thrilled to welcome our three new directors to the board of the Northern Health Science Alliance.

Dr Jonathan Sheffield

“Each of them brings a wealth of experience which will be invaluable to the Northern Health Science Alliance as we move forward in our vision of health and equality for all through the power of northern health innovation.”

The three will join Professor Burn, Dr Séamus O’Neill, chief executive of the NHSA, Dr Liz Mear, chief executive officer of the Innovation Agency North West Coast Academic Health Science Network, Dame Jackie Daniel, chief executive officer of the Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, and Professor Paul Stewart, executive dean of the Faculty of Medicine & Health and dean of the Medical School at the University of Leeds on the board of the NHSA.