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VTCT, Vocational Training Charitable Trust, is pleased to announce it has appointed Alan Woods OBE, to succeed Dr Stephen Vickers, as its Chief Executive Officer (CEO) with effect from 1 January 2016.

VTCT is a Government-approved awarding organisation which has awarded world class qualifications since 1962 and has been at the forefront of developing the vocational system of qualifications in the United Kingdom ever since. Its full qualification package includes Hairdressing & Barbering, Beauty Therapy, Complementary Therapy, Sport, Active Health & Fitness, Hospitality, Business & Retail and Learning & Development.

Alan arrives after leading on Apprenticeships and Vocational Education with the University of Law (ULaw) for the past 18 months. During his period with the University, Alan has developed innovative new apprenticeship schemes and developed new partnerships with leading Further Education and 6th Form Colleges. Prior to working with ULaw he led Skills for Justice (as Group Chief Executive). Skills for Justice is a Sector Skills Council (SSC) licensed by the Government to work with employers on competences, skills and apprenticeships.

With more than 800 approved centres, VTCT has an ever expanding list of centres throughout the UK, Ireland, Italy, Malta, Cyprus, Kenya, India and South Africa. VTCT is a charitable organisation and its main activity as an awarding body is also its first charitable objective; to develop and provide high quality education and qualifications for the service industries.

Chris Laws, Chair of VTCT, said: "We've signalled our intention to develop the scope and reach of VTCT. Alan's appointment as our new CEO is a key next stage for us, as we engage with new employers and potential partners, as well as delivering the best services we can to existing employers and education providers. He brings a wealth of knowledge to VTCT in skills development and we are looking forward to him leading the staff of VTCT and delivering the strategy of the Board of Trustees. I would also like to pay tribute to his predecessor Stephen Vickers, who after his retirement will continue to work in Assessment across the EU, for the work he has done in leading VTCT to this new stage of its development. Stephen will be supporting Alan, until February as he takes up the reins.”

Commenting on his appointment, Alan Woods said: “I am delighted and honoured to be appointed as VTCT’s new CEO as it develops its ambition to be the Awarding Organisation of choice for learners and employers. I am particularly looking forward to leading, with a great set of staff colleagues at VTCT, on new areas of work including: on-line assessments; working with employers to engage with new, higher and more bespoke qualifications; new partnerships with education providers and centres to develop outstanding Technical centres of excellence, particularly within Hair and Beauty Therapy, and to support the ambition of our employers to support the apprenticeship revolution that is sweeping the UK.”