Lyons launches FE colleges’ governing bodies public appointments competition

Date published: 03 February 2022

Economy Minister Gordon Lyons has launched a public appointment competition to recruit governing body Chairs for South Eastern Regional College and Southern Regional College.

Appointments to CITB NI board
Appointments to CITB NI board

Commenting on the competition and inviting applications from all sections of the community the Minister said:

“This is an exciting and significant opportunity to influence the provision of education and skills in Northern Ireland. The successful candidates will help us to support our economic recovery and sustain our aim of building a modern economy, which includes supporting the most disadvantaged by ensuring access to learning that leads to sustainable career pathways.

“Northern Ireland’s further education colleges play a dual role in delivering professional and technical education and supporting social inclusion for those furthest from the world of work. As a Governing Body Chair, you will play a key part in meeting these objectives, championing first-class educational provision and supporting the skills needs of employers, helping them to develop, grow and innovate.

“If you believe you can help and want to be part of the further education sector’s mission to support recovery and growth in Northern Ireland, please consider applying.’’

The Department would particularly welcome applications from people with a disability, those from ethnic minorities and young people as they are all currently under-represented. Female Chairs are currently under-represented across all bodies sponsored by DfE and applications from females is encouraged. A Guaranteed Interview Scheme, for applicants with a disability, will operate for this competition.

The closing date for applications is 12 noon UK time on 24 February 2022. 

Further information on the positions, including responsibilities and selection criteria is available at Public Appointment - Chairs of South Eastern Regional College and Southern Regional College

Alternatively contact DfE Public Appointments Unit by phone on 02890529461 or by e-mail:

Notes to editors: 

1. Further education colleges are public bodies sponsored by the Department for the Economy. The governing body is the board which controls the college. It consists of a Chairperson and seventeen members. Further information on the colleges can be found on their respective websites, SERC and SRC.

2. This is an open competition which involves an application form and interview. The competition is being run in accordance with the Commissioner for Public Appointments, Northern Ireland Code of Practice. Independent assessment, openness and transparency are integral parts of the process. DfE is also committed to equality of opportunity for all individuals and applications are welcome regardless of gender, age, marital status, disability, religion, ethnic origin, political opinion, sexual orientation, or whether or not you have dependents.  

3. Appointment will be made on merit from those eligible individuals who best satisfy the five essential criteria – Corporate Governance, Financial Management, Leadership, Delivering Strategy and Analytical Skills and Effective Communications and Working Relationships.  Individuals are also required to meet an eligibility criterion that they should be, or have previously been, engaged or employed in business, industry or any profession. No specific academic or other qualifications are required for these appointments.

4. The South Eastern Regional College appointment will be made in June 2022. The Southern Regional College appointment will be effective from 1 August 2022. The initial term of appointment for both posts is four years. If successful, you can expect to commit around one day a week to college business. This includes attendance at governing body meetings, involvement in sub-committees, representing the college at events and interaction with the Department. The position of Chair is remunerated at £20,000 per annum. Travel and subsistence allowances are also payable for costs necessarily incurred on governing body business.

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