Helen Higgs (Chair)
Helen Higgs is the chair of the board of directors of the National College for Nuclear.
Over the past 20 years in the nuclear industry, Helen’s focus has been on building effective workforce strategies, delivering the right people for the business and project whilst impacting social mobility and diversity. Currently, Helen is Lead on Construction Workforce Capability for EDF Energy new build projects at Hinkley Point C and Sizewell C involving oversight of effective construction workforce strategy, working closely with supply chain and international projects on lessons learnt. A key focus is working cross sector with major UK infrastructure.
Prior to working on HPC, Helen was country HR Director for French international company AREVA with a focus on the decommissioning side of the nuclear industry where she built strong ties with national skills bodies and Higher Education.
Before moving to nuclear, Helen ran a strategy consultancy supporting SMEs on growth plans and public organisations including universities and local councils, on strategic projects.
Outside of work, Helen is a qualified coach and mental health first aider and aims to support young people who are finding themselves on the outside of society. This is part of a long-held desire to unite business and work opportunities with disaffected groups and includes volunteer roles supporting young carers, also on Youth Justice Panels.
Chris has been the principal and chief executive at Lakes College since 2013, where he held the deputy principal role for five years previously.
With a background in finance and banking, Chris went on to develop a career as a teacher, manager and senior leader in Further Education and Higher Education colleges.
Chris prides himself in having particular interests in apprenticeships within the skills system, and the role colleges play in transforming lives for local communities and the wider economy.
In his current role, he provides leadership and direction through the college mission and vision of sustaining an excellent technical college, and maximising opportunities for the communities and industries of Cumbria and beyond.
He sits on several boards and forums including as a member of Association of School and College leaders, a member of the West Cumbria Headteachers and Principals Group, as a governor for Lakes College as well as Cockermouth High School and he is also a founder member of the Lakes College Maths Centre for Excellence. Chris also acts as a full board member of the National College for Nuclear.
As Director (Business Development and Innovation, Institute of Business, Industry and Leadership) has strategic responsibility for the University of Cumbria’s Project Management activity, including the Project Academy for Sellafield, and its work into the nuclear and other related industries. He also plays a key role in leading the development of the University’s work in non-standard/core academic activity.
Ian’s previous posts within the University, and its legacy institutions, include Associate Dean for Academic Development and Innovation, Head of External Relations, Head of UK Partnerships/ Executive Director of the Lifelong Learning Network, Head of School (School of Applied Social Science), Head of Youth and Community Studies and Principal and Senior Lecturer.
Prior to moving into Higher Education in 1999 Ian was a youth and community work manager and practitioner for Lancashire County Council, where he worked for over 12 years primarily involved in developing inter-agency projects for young people and communities in urgent social need, and a range of youth and community development projects. He has also worked with young people in the criminal justice and care systems as an Intermediate Treatment Worker, and as a part-time youth and community worker in a range of projects.
Matt is a highly credible leader who has acquired exceptional experience and understanding of managing high-performing teams, building and nurturing multi-level stakeholder partnerships, delivering transformational change and – significantly – delivering innovative, exciting and hugely efficient technological solutions to identified regional and national skills training needs.
As Director of Business Development, Marketing and Digital Innovation at Bridgwater & Taunton College he has presided over significant year-on-year growth in apprentice numbers – up from just 700 in 2012 to nearly 3000 in 2020 – that flies in the face of current trends, and positions the College as the leading Apprenticeship provider in the South West.
He is also a founder Board member of the National College for Nuclear (NCfN) – one of only five National Colleges – and has been instrumental in the award of the South West Institute of Technology to BTC as part of a two university, five FE College partnership focused on the regional priorities of digital learning and advanced manufacturing.
Peter Flewitt is a professor in the School of Physics at the University of Bristol and the University representative on the College Board.
He was awarded a DSc, London University, via Imperial College. He was a senior technical manager with Magnox North Limited , Berkeley Centre ,and its predecessor companies following privatization of the Central Electricity Generating Board. His research focuses on supporting continued safe operation of nuclear and conventional power plants.
He is a non- Executive Director of the South West Nuclear Hub , University of Bristol; a member of the Board of the Bristol-Oxford Nuclear Research Centre; a Director of the U K Forum for Engineering Structural Integrity; a member of the EPSRC Peer Review College and a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering .
As an HR and transformation professional, Gaenor has worked both nationally and internationally at senior levels in the private sector for over 15 years.
Her career has included a range of roles across HR and business transformation mainly within the project management, engineering and nuclear sector.
Her experience in complex highly regulated global businesses ensures that behavioural safety, leadership capability and technical/scarce skill development will be key areas of focus.
Gaenor became HR Director at Sellafield Ltd in August 2020.