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National Skills Academy appoints executive director

The National Skills Academy for Environmental Technologies has appointed Dr. Cathryn Hickey as its executive director.

Cathryn will be responsible for providing strategic management and leadership to drive the Skills Academy forward in its objective to deliver high quality, accredited environmental technologies training.

Cathryn was previously operations director for SummitSkills and had been acting as interim director for the Skills Academy since it gained Government approval in February 2011. Prior to her role at SummitSkills, Cathryn led product, business and brand strategy as commercial technical service manager at Shell UK, and more recently was the West Midlands regional director at the University for Industry (UfI) learndirect.

Cathryn said: “I am delighted to have the opportunity to play such a key role in the National Skills Academy’s development and I am passionate about what it can do for the building services engineering sector, in terms of delivering high-quality, standardised and cutting-edge renewables training.

“Going forward, I am committed to the Skills Academy’s continued success and for it to provide industry-leading training that directly meets the needs of employers and helps businesses take advantage of, and contribute to, the low carbon economy.”

Graham Manly OBE, chair of the National Skills Academy, added: “Cathryn’s breadth of experience in strategic and operational leadership will be of great value to the Skills Academy. 2012 is a crucial year for environmental technologies, with market opportunities set to increase thanks to the Green Deal and Renewable Heat Incentive.

“The Skills Academy’s training infrastructure is now firmly established – with Cathryn’s appointment we now plan to move rapidly to bring the Academy to the wider marketplace and position it as the environmental technologies provider of choice.”

Keith Marshall OBE, chief executive of SummitSkills, said: “Cathryn has ably steered the National Skills Academy for Environmental Technologies through its difficult first months, so I am very pleased to see this appointment. Her vision for the organisation and drive to improve the standards of training suggest a bright future for the Academy and for the quality of environmental training in our sector.”

The National Skills Academy for Environmental Technologies network comprises 20 ‘hub’ colleges that together work with over 100 partner training providers to deliver accredited environmental technologies training. For more information, visit www.nsaet.org.uk.