The principal and chief executive officer of a college and the managing director of a long-established manufacturing business have joined the board of the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP).
Marion Plant OBE, who is principal and CEO of North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College, and Tony Minhas, managing director of Foleshill Metal Finishing in Bayton Road, Exhall, both have strong links with the Coventry and Warwickshire area.
Marion, who is also chair of the CWLEP’s Productivity and Skills Business Group, said she was delighted to have been appointed to the role.
“I have had the privilege of sitting on the board for several years in an ‘observer’ status representing Further Education so I have a deep, full understanding of the significant role of the CWLEP within the region,” she said.
“In my new role, I will continue to work to help business and the education sector to work even more closely together to identify and develop appropriately skilled people to support the region’s rapidly developing economy.
“A great example of this can be seen through my leadership of the recently opened MIRA Technology Institute which will deliver advanced skills in disruptive technologies to the automotive industry.
“I believe this is an extremely exciting time to be involved with the CWLEP as Coventry and Warwickshire faces some huge opportunities including Coventry being UK City of Culture in 2021 and the Commonwealth Games the following year.”
Skills is also an important factor why Tony believes the CWLEP can make a real difference to businesses.
Foleshill Metal Finishing was set up in 1978 and has been based in Bayton Road since 1985, now employing 65 staff.
Tony, who is also a governor at Coventry College, said: “The CWLEP provides a framework for co-ordinated inward investment so that we can continue to generate skills and retain skilled people.
“I have a lot of experience of the local business landscape and I know the region well so I am aware of the skills and the apprenticeship agendas.
“We have momentum in Coventry and Warwickshire especially in science, technology and engineering which means we have the skills employers need from traditional businesses to advanced manufacturing.
“It is very important for the supply chain that we have attracted – and continue to attract – global companies to the area as well as for the local economy and general well-being of the region.”
Jonathan Browning, chair of the CWLEP, welcomed Marion and Tony to the board which is made up of members of the business community from the private and public sector.
He said: “Marion and Tony bring a great deal of experience and in-depth knowledge of their sectors to our board and will play a major part in driving forward our strategic aims.
“I am confident they will both make valuable contributions to the CWLEP as we continue to build on being the fastest growing Local Enterprise Partnership in the country in terms of economic growth, GVA per head and productivity.”
Caption: Jonathan Browning (right) welcomes new CWLEP board directors Tony Minhas and Marion Plant