Seetec Group, the UK’s largest employee-owned provider of employability, skills and justice services today announces the appointment of Neil Bates, former Chairman of the Association of Employment and Learning Providers, as new managing director for its skills and apprenticeships division, Seetec Outsource.

Neil has over 35 years’ experience working within technical and professional education and skills. He spent 30 years as Chief Executive and Principal of PROCAT, the UK’s first new College of Advanced Technology, and is a former Chairman of the AELP (Association of Employment and Learning Providers).

Neil is a member of the City & Guilds Council, and in 2014 he was awarded Fellowship of The City & Guilds of London Institute in recognition of outstanding professional and personal achievements, which include founding the first Technical Trust school in the UK and raising £56 million of investment in three centres for advanced technical education. In 2019 he succeeded Lord Baker, the former Education Secretary, as Chairman of the Edge Foundation, one of the UK’s leading education charities dedicated to improving education for young people.

As Managing Director of Seetec Outsource Neil takes on responsibility for the strategic leadership and development of the skills, apprenticeships and workforce training division of the Seetec Group.

Commenting on Neil’s appointment Seetec Group Chief Executive Officer, John Baumback, said:

“Neil brings a wealth of experience and capability to the Seetec Group and we are delighted that he will lead our skills and apprenticeships business.

“Neil shares our passion and commitment to realising the economic and social potential of people and businesses through enhanced skills, training and qualifications. As the UK’s largest employee-owned provider of skills and employability services, we have a vital role in helping the country to build back better after the pandemic and tackle the challenges including skills gaps and low levels of social mobility that coronavirus has exacerbated.

“I look forward to working with Neil to strengthen how Seetec Outsource empowers our learners to create brighter futures and help businesses develop a talent and skills agenda to emerge from the crisis more productive and prosperous.”

Seetec Outsource Managing Director, Neil Bates, said:

“I’m thrilled to join Seetec Outsource at such a critical juncture, not only for the business as it transitions to an employee ownership structure, but for the wider skills industry which will play a crucial role in reskilling for recovery following the global pandemic.

“Now more than ever businesses need access to skills that will kick start key sectors of the UK economy. In an exceptionally difficult and competitive jobs market, training and apprenticeship opportunities will open doors to young people struggling to find a way in, and to the newly unemployed who want to reskill in order to access meaningful employment.”

Neil Bates takes up his appointment immediately.