The development of closer ties with industry, recruitment of more students to study apprenticeships and expansion into areas of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) has prompted the creation of a new senior role at the University of Cumbria.
Professor Andrew Gale has been appointed the university’s first Director of Industrial Strategy, Professional Development and Skills. He joins from the University of Manchester’s school of mechanical, aerospace and civil engineering.
With millions of pounds in investment bringing thousands of new jobs to the county, the university has a pivotal role to play in ensuring the feared skills gap doesn’t materialise.
I see this opportunity as an exciting privilege, working with passionate people with a hugely important agenda.
“The attraction of working for the University of Cumbria is strong for me. The mission of the university aligns strongly with my own sense of educational vocation and values,” Professor Gale said. “There is a chance to really make a difference in a region of my country that values what I believe in and feel committed to. Over the last three years, working with many colleagues at UoC and within industry in the region, I have made very good friendships and shared my passion to support the education and development of young people, and enhancing the professional development of practitioners. I see this opportunity as an exciting privilege, working with passionate people with a hugely important agenda.”
The role will see Professor Gale act as the strategic lead for the development of the university’s industrial strategy, particularly focusing on public and private sectors along with employers and stakeholders relevant to both Cumbria and Lancashire.
With a background in creating opportunities such as the successful delivery of the new Project Academy for Sellafield worth over £13m, and the development of project management master classes for managers in Rwanda, Professors Gales’ appointment comes at an important time for the development of the University of Cumbria.
“Without doubt Cumbria is at a crossroads with huge opportunities in the region,” Vice Chancellor Prof Julie Mennell said. “Andrew has already worked successfully with the University of Cumbria. His role is vital in ensuring the university engages with and understands key government direction, policy and initiatives and works with key employers and sectors to build reputation, standing and confidence.”
Professor Gale will take up his post on July 3 2017.