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New ConstructionSkills Chief Executive Announced


Mark Farrar has been confirmed as the new ConstructionSkills Chief Executive and will take over from Peter Lobban when he retires in August 2008.

Peter has been at the helm of the skills body for 10 years and his achievements at ConstructionSkills were recognised with the award of an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list for 2008. The list referred to Peter’s leadership in transforming ConstructionSkills into a dynamic, strategically influential body helping to shape the skills agenda for the construction industry and for this being accomplished within an industry of diverse interests.

During Peter’s tenure, the Industry Training Board has kept Levy rates constant and has substantially increased non-levy income so the majority of levy can be returned to the industry in the form of training grants and other employer support.

He was also instrumental in forming the ConstructionSkills partnership with CITB Northern Ireland and the Construction Industry Council which achieved a licence to operate as the Sector Skills Council for construction in 2003. Since then, ConstructionSkills has been widely acknowledged as a leading SSC which has successfully engaged with Government to secure a better skills and training funding deal for the industry through the Sector Skills Agreement.

The present Director of Corporate Services for ConstructionSkills will succeed Peter Lobban after an interview process which involved representatives from stakeholders from major contractors, SMEs, federations, unions, education and partner organisations.

Mark joined ConstructionSkills as Corporate Services Director in March 2007. In this role, he was accountable for managing the CITB-ConstructionSkills Levy and Grant system to ensure as much money as possible can be paid back to industry. He was also responsible for managing the Business Planning, Finance, Human Resources, Information Systems and Legal functions.

During his first year in post, for the first time ever, the aim of ‘£1 for £1’ was achieved – meaning for every £1 of Levy paid, £1 was returned back to firms that train in grants and employer support. Overall, the construction industry got more value for the Levy paid, with £2.03 returned to the industry in total benefits for every £1 paid during 2007.

Mark’s previous role was Chief Executive of CEFAS (a Government science and environment research body), which he joined as Finance and Resources Director before being promoted.

ConstructionSkills Chairman, Sir Michael Latham said:
“I am delighted to confirm that Mark received a vote of confidence from all sectors of the construction industry, and from our other important stakeholders, during the interviews. His excellent track record in his present role also proved to be decisive. 

“The Board and I are very much looking forward to working with Mark in his new capacity as Chief Executive and I am sure he will prove to be a very worthy successor to Peter Lobban.”

Mark will work closely with Peter Lobban over the coming weeks to ensure there is an effective handover before Peter leaves the organisation at the end of August. 

Mark commented:
“ConstructionSkills is a leader in its field so this role is both exciting and challenging. In the coming months I will be working with the Board and Directors to ensure that we continue to build on our successes and maximise the opportunities which are already on the horizon.”

To keep up to date with all the latest news on what ConstructionSkills is doing and find out more about how your company can get involved in helping secure the future of the UK construction industry register for the Skills Update

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