A FORMER apprentice has been appointed as the new chairman of Burton and South Derbyshire College’s board.
Jamaican-born Everton Burke has taken the reins at the Lichfield Street site and the 55-year-old, who has been on the college’s governing body since July 2011, revealed he was ‘delighted’ to have been offered the job.
“It means a lot really, because not many people have the opportunity to be chair of corporations of further education colleges, and I’m delighted the board members were 100 per cent behind me,” said the graduate of Wolverhampton, Birmingham and Sheffield Hallam Universities.
Burke’s ‘world of employment began back in the Seventies as a government trainee’ on a chef’s apprenticeship course before entering the teaching profession and progressing to hold senior management roles in both education and business.
He has also worked on several national steering committees advising government on qualifications for the hospitality industries.
He said: “I am a passionate supporter of the further education sector. I understand from personal experience how vocational pathways, such as apprenticeships, provide great platforms to build excellent careers.”
Speaking about the qualities and changes he will bring to the role of directing the college, which delivers a broad range of apprenticeships, Mr Burke said: “My leadership style is one of being collegiate, so I would certainly wish to build consensus in whatever we are going to do as a board or feel is the right direction.
“Where there are moments where we are not sure, and I feel there is a right decision, I’ll be doing my damnedest to persuade them, because, ultimately, that is what leadership is about.
“Sometimes if you’re clear in your mind that it’s the right decision, you’ve got to inspire that confidence in them to achieve and be successful.”
College principal Dawn Ward said: “Everton will be a huge asset to the college and I look forward to navigating the challenges with him.”