A former engineer with a passion and reputation for leadership in the further education sector has been appointed principal at Coleg Ceredigion.
Barry Liles joins Coleg Ceredigion with a range of managerial and teaching experience within the further and higher education sector, in a career spanning 35 years. During his career, which began as an engineering apprentice, he was, for a period, previously employed by Coleg Ceredigion where he taught at the Royal Aircraft Establishment in Aberporth.
Coleg Ceredigion, which became part of University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) group in 2014, will be lead by Mr Liles, who will run Coleg Ceredigion on an integrated basis with Coleg Sir Gâr, where he will also remain as principal. Since 2013, Coleg Sir Gâr has been a member of the UWTSD group and has five campuses across the county of Carmarthenshire.
Having worked through the ranks of industry and education, Mr Liles currently leads Coleg Sir Gâr which supports in the region of 8,000 students a year and he has successfully steered the institution through a time of radical change. During this period, he was awarded a pan-Wales public services leadership award.
Barry Liles has a reputation and renowned energy for driving Welsh talent to the world stage and as the Welsh Government’s Skills Champion for Wales and as a board member of WorldSkills UK, he has an enviable record of success.
He is currently preparing to attend the WorldSkills competition in Abu Dhabi this year to support students representing Wales within Team UK which include two from Coleg Sir Gâr. “In Wales, we are developing the skills of young people to world class levels,” he said. “Training young people for the world of work in particular as apprentices who then become employed in the local area, invariably stay in the area and spend in the area, has a positive financial impact on the local economy.”
With a passion for the Welsh language, Mr Liles is keen to sustain and develop further education opportunities in Ceredigion. “I’ve worked in conjunction with Coleg Ceredigion for the past three years,” he said. “I’ve been so impressed with the staff I’ve met, who have care and support for their students at the heart of their work. I look forward to increasing the range of skills as well as the range of education levels delivered at both campuses in Ceredigion.”