Newcastle and Stafford Colleges Group (NSCG) is pleased to announce the appointment of Craig Hodgson (main image) as Principal and Chief Executive. Craig will step-up from his current position as Vice Principal with effect from 01 September 2022, as current Principal Karen Dobson OBE retires at the end of this academic year.

Following a rigorous two-day recruitment process, the interview panel recommended to the governors that Craig be appointed to the role from September, a decision that was wholeheartedly endorsed by all members of the Corporation Board.

Speaking on behalf of the Corporation, Simon Leech, Chair of Governors said: “I would like to thank the students, staff and governors involved in the recruitment and selection process. It’s an indication of the strength of leadership at NSCG that the perfect candidate to succeed Karen as Principal is one of our own.  Having been with the College for 25 years, Craig is well-known and well-respected by staff, students and key stakeholders alike.  Karen will be a tough act to follow, but we are confident that Craig has the experience and skills necessary to ensure that NSCG maintains its position as one of the leading general further education colleges in the country.  We wish Craig every success in his new role.”

Craig brings a wealth of experience to the position. Originally from a finance background, he has worked for NSCG in a senior capacity for over 25 years.  In 2005 he was appointed as Vice Principal and has since overseen several significant capital projects totalling over £100M, including the redevelopment of the purpose built campus for Newcastle-under-Lyme College and the development of a new Skills and Innovation Centre at the Stafford campus, scheduled to open in September 2023.

Most recently, Craig led the collaboration with employers and other education partners to bring a prestigious new £13M Institute of Technology to the region.  In addition, he has driven the College’s work with employers and until recently, headed up the College’s Outstanding apprenticeship provision. Craig’s accountancy background ensures that he keeps a keen eye on the College’s financial operations, which have had outstanding financial health for the past 20 years.

Commenting on his appointment Craig said: “Having over 25 years’ experience in the sector, I’m passionate about the transformative nature of further education and as such, I feel privileged and proud to have been appointed to lead this wonderful institution through its next exciting chapter. I look forward to picking up the mantle from Karen, and ensuring that NSCG continues to provide outstanding education and training that transforms lives, strengthens our community and ultimately supports economic prosperity.”

Karen Dobson OBE added: “I have enjoyed every minute of my time at NSCG and feel privileged to have worked with many fantastic learners and an amazing staff team.  I am delighted to be able to hand over to Craig, someone I’ve worked closely with for the last 20 years.  I know that his vast sector experience and relentless drive to achieve the very best outcomes for learners will ensure the College continues to move forward in the right direction.  I wish him every success in his new position.”

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