Who we are
Chair - Mark Langshaw MBE
Mark was appointed as Chair of the Corporation in August 2018. He is Managing Director of Continental Teves UK Ltd, a significant employer in the Ebbw Vale area which specialises in the manufacture of high performance engineering components for the automotive industry. Mark has extensive managerial and business experience and provides the Board with a useful insight into the training needs of the mechanical engineering and automotive industries as well as the economy of the Blaenau Gwent area. He also serves on the Board of the Welsh Automotive Forum and is Chair of both the Blaenau Gwent EFFECT Project and the Tech Valleys Board.
Vice Chair - Sue Ball
Sue began her long career in the NHS as a nurse and has held both clinical and non-clinical managerial roles. She is currently Assistant Director of Workforce and Organisational Development at Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, a role in which she is lead on a range of key projects for both ABUHB and NHS Wales. Sue is passionate about the importance of training and skills and the need for organisations to collaborate effectively.
Guy has over 35 years’ experience of teaching and management in both the secondary and further education sectors and was appointed as Principal and Chief Executive of Coleg Gwent in April 2016. In his previous role as Deputy Principal (External Engagement), Guy was responsible for developing the College’s external partnerships and commercial activities, making strong, strategic relationships across the sector. Guy has worked as an examiner for the University of Cambridge examinations syndicate and has been a peer Inspector with ESTYN for over ten years. He is Chair of Colegau Cymru and serves as a Governor at a secondary school.
Baz has over 30 years’ experience in electronic engineering. He served for 17 years in HM Forces, joining as an Apprentice Electronics Engineer and rising to the rank of Warrant Officer. Baz joined VMWare as Director, Solutions Engineer in 2019 following several years as Head of Systems Engineering at CISCO UK Enterprise. He has completed his MBA and is a Chartered Manager. He also sits on the Board of the Power Network Demonstration Centre, which is part of Strathclyde University. Baz Chairs the Board’s Finance & Resources Committee.
Liz gained her own qualifications in the workplace after leaving school at sixteen and recognises the importance of choice in education and training. She worked her way up into management roles in the financial services sector and spent time as a civilian officer with the Police National Computer Bureau. Having achieved her MBA, Liz is now Director of Qualifications, Registration and Fitness to Practice at the Education Workforce Council. She lives in the Newport area and her children have studied at Coleg Gwent.
Andrew brings to the Board a detailed understanding of the FE sector in Wales. With a background in finance and accounting, he recently retired from a career in Welsh Government where his most recent roles included leading on employability, careers and FE policy. He is also a co-opted member of the AQA Examination Board’s Audit & Risk Committee.
A Chartered Accountant, Emma is Associate Director at WillisTowersWatson where she specialises in forensic accounting for complex insurance claims. She has previously worked at two well-known accounting firms and spent some time as an auditor for the European Commission. Emma recently relocated to Gwent and recognises the important role of the college in the local community.
Gavin was elected as Student Governor for Higher Education in January 2021. He is studying for a HND in Construction and the Built Environment at City of Newport Campus and hopes to go on to complete a degree and possibly, a MA. Gavin is a mature student and previously ran his own construction company.
Jamie served for 23 years in the RAF as an aircraft mechanic, technician and training coordinator. He retired from the forces in 2020 and is now Founding Director of YourNorth Ltd. The company delivers mental health and wellbeing training to a range of different organisations. Jamie has also established YourNorth Veterans, a CIC providing free mental wellbeing training to veterans across South Wales.
Aaron is a Student Governor. He is currently studying Engineering Technologies at Crosskeys Campus and is a Class Representative. He is enthusiastic about contributing to the work of the Corporation and wants to work to improve the learner experience. Aaron is a voluntary youth leader and enjoys playing the guitar.
Chris Freegard OBE
Chris first joined the Board of Coleg Gwent in 2010 and served two terms of office. Following a change in circumstances he re-joined the Board in 2020. He retired from his role as Managing Director of Newport City Council in 2009 and has held a number of Board roles since Chris retired as a Governor of the University of South Wales in July 2020 and is currently a Trustee of Kaleidoscope, a substance misuse charity.
Darragh is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants and is a Financial Reporting Manager at the BBC where he is responsible for project managing the Annual Report and Accounts process and for providing technical accounting and reporting leadership. Prior to this, Darragh worked at PriceWaterhouseCoopers where he developed an in-depth understanding of audit and governance requirements in the public sector, including Further Education.
Siân is the Business Support Staff Governor. She was first appointed in 2015 and was re-elected by her peers in November 2018. Siân has worked as a primary school teacher in the UK and Sweden and in a range of library and learning centre roles. She is currently Head of Learner Services for Torfaen Learning Zone and Usk Campus.
Following a long career in senior management in the pharmaceutical industry, Ray is now owner/director of Bluebird Care Newport. The successful franchise provides domiciliary care services to clients across the city. He volunteers with The Alzheimer’s Society and is a Dementia Friends Champion, recently supporting City of Newport Campus to achieve ‘Dementia Friendly’ status. Ray is strongly committed to improving the care sector through training and partnership working and serves on a number of groups across Gwent to support this. Ray is Governor with responsibility for Safeguarding.
John began his career as an apprentice engineer and worked in industry for several years before retraining as a teacher. He worked in education for over thirty years and much of that time was spent in the FE sector. He was Vice Principal at Coleg y Cymoedd for ten years, with responsibility for curriculum and quality development. Since retiring, he has worked as a self-employed educational consultant and adviser. John is Governor with responsibility for Health & Safety.
Matt is a highly experienced manager with extensive experience in the retail sector at store and regional level. He is now self-employed and works under the Business Doctors banner as a management consultant and business coach. His role provides support with strategic planning and implementation as well as ongoing support and mentoring to SME business owners in the region. Matt is a keen sportsman and a former student of the college.
Wendy was elected as Teaching Staff Governor in August 2018. She has worked for the College for over thirty years in different roles and is currently a part-time Health & Social Care tutor at Crosskeys Campus. In her other role as Lead Tutor for the Inspire to Achieve team at Crosskeys Campus, Wendy supports those learners identified as being at risk of dropping out. She is a volunteer on the Torfaen School Inclusion /Exclusion Appeals Panel and has served as a Community Councillor and School Governor in the past. Wendy is the UCU Representative at Crosskeys Campus.
Lizzie is Chair of the Curriculum & Quality Committee. She is a Welsh speaker and brings to the Board extensive experience of the public sector, especially partnership working in the education sector. She currently works for an educational charity and has previously held roles at Qualifications Wales, UWTSD, the Heads of the Valleys Education Programme and in local government.
Martin is Chair of the Audit Committee and brings to this role experience and expertise gained over 30 years in senior finance, audit and governance roles in the Welsh public sector. He is a Justice of the Peace and holds a number of Board and Audit Committee roles at organisations including Sport Wales, Velindre University NHS Trust and Pembrokeshire County Council.
Zoe was elected as a Student Governor in November 2020. She previously studied Childcare but is now studying Media & Production Technology at Blaenau Gwent Learning Zone. She describes herself as an activist and has a strong sense of justice.
External Co-opted Members
Gareth has served as an external Member of the Audit Committee since November 2015. He brings to the committee experience as an accountancy and audit professional in both the domestic and international public sector. Gareth is Head of Internal Audit at the National Assembly for Wales. He has previously held posts at the Wales Audit Office and the United Nations Board of Audit. Gareth is also a School Governor and an honorary auditor for the Unitarian Church.
Marie has been Governance Officer since June 2015. She is responsible for the day to day operation of the Board, providing it with advice on procedure and policy, organising and recording meetings and record keeping. She also acts as Freedom of Information Officer for the College. Marie has worked at Coleg Gwent since 2008, previously in learner support and teaching roles. Prior to that she had a career in the Civil Service which included several years as Clerk to a Government advisory committee in London.