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New Chief for Ufi


Sarah Jones, a 36-year old business unit director for BAE Systems, has been appointed chief executive of Ufi, the organisation behind learndirect.

She is currently responsible for a manufacturing operation with an annual turnover of £34 million at BAE, where she has worked since graduating from the University of Leeds. She has also completed a part-time MBA from the same university.

Commenting on the appointment, Minister for Adult Skills Ivan Lewis called learndirect "one of the most exciting and ambitious approaches… to changing the way adults acquire new skills".

"I look forward to working with Sarah to further integrate learndirect into the range of provision available for people who wish to improve their skills for work, in particular those employed by small businesses and those aiming for level 2 qualifications," he added.

On taking up her post Sarah Jones will focus on the three major streams of Ufi's five-year strategic plan: online course delivery to people currently qualified below level 2; business training for small to medium-sized businesses; and impartial advice on learning and career opportunities through the learndirect national learning advice service.

Ufi Chairman John Weston said of the new chief executive: "She has a good insight into the skills and learning landscape and agenda, particularly the skills needs of employers, and a proven ability to negotiate and deliver government contracts to demanding targets. These are skills which Ufi needs to have in order to develop its services and deliver to its remit from government, as well as securing contracts from private and public sector sources to diversify its revenue streams."


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