Peel Ports Chief Executive appointed as Chair at West Lancashire College

Mark Whitworth, the Chief Executive of one of the UK’s biggest port groups, Peel Ports, has been appointed as the chair of the board at West Lancashire College. 

Based in Skelmersdale, West Lancashire, the College offers a wide range of full and part time courses, as well as apprenticeships, to both school leavers and adults.  The College also works with a large number of local employers in relation to apprenticeships, workforce development and bespoke training and has recently invested a further £2.3 million in a purpose-built construction, engineering and logistics centre.

Mark Whitworth said: “I live locally and have visited the college several times previously, so I’m well aware of the excellent facilities and courses it offers.  As the chief executive of a large employer, I also understand the skills and abilities we’re looking for in the next generation of talent, who will deliver and lead our services in years to come.

“There’s no doubt West Lancashire College can make a real difference to learners, employers and the local community.  I’m looking forward to meeting students and staff in the coming weeks and helping everyone associated with the college reach their full potential.”

Denise Williamson, Principal of West Lancashire College, said: “This is a really fabulous appointment for the College and I am sure that we will benefit from Mark’s experience, alongside the support and expertise of our existing board members, as we move forward.”

Joe Docherty, Chief Executive of NCG, added: “Creating partnerships between education and business is a vital part of our work, helping employers to invest in their workforce and unlocking the potential of people starting or developing their career.  Attracting someone of Mark’s calibre as Chair of the College Board speaks volumes about the ambition of West Lancashire College, and Mark’s insights and leadership will be extremely valuable as we continue supporting individuals and organisations towards success.”

West Lancashire College is part of NCG, one of the largest not-for-profit education and training groups in the UK.  Mark’s role as Chair of the College Board will include oversight of relationships with stakeholders, ensuring that the College maintains a broad and balanced curriculum offer that is responsive to local needs, as well as oversight of the quality of provision delivered to learners.  Mark took up his role in January.

Since his appointment as Peel Ports Chief Executive in 2010 Mark has overseen a £1bn investment programme, which includes L2, the new deep sea container terminal in Liverpool, and the acquisition of Great Yarmouth Port in East Anglia.

Mark started his career with Marks & Spencer plc before moving to then FTSE 250 Speedy Hire plc in 1995 where he held several leadership and board roles. In 2006 he joined Peel Airports Group as CEO.

In addition to his role of Peel Ports CEO, Mark is a member of the Peel Group Board and a Director of the UK Major Ports Group Board.

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