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Engaging Employers for the Learning Sector

A National Conference

Monday, 27th September 2010 – Lakeside Centre, Birmingham

Speakers Profile

Chris Banks has recently completed an independent review of fees and co-funding in Further Education, commissioned by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

He has combined a career in national and international food and drink  businesses with an increasing involvement in the UK public sector, particularly in the areas of education, employment and the reform of public services.

Private Sector
Chris was Managing Director of Coca-Cola Great Britain and before that he was in national and international marketing and general management roles with Grand Met (now Diageo), Allied Domecq, HP Bulmer and Mars.

In 2001 he founded Big Thoughts, the company he set up as part of a management buy-out from The Coca-Cola Company, to focus on innovation in food and drink.

Public Sector
Chris is currently Chair of Directgov, the organisation at the heart of the reform of public services; and Deputy Pro-Chancellor of the University of Birmingham. He is Chair of the Public Chairs’ Forum (PCF), a network for Chairs of public bodies working to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of public services.

He was a founding member and until April 2010, Chairman of the Learning and Skills Council, the organisation responsible for Post-16 education and training in England, including public investment of over £12 billion per annum. He was for many years Deputy Chair of the National Employment Panel, advising Government on Welfare to Work reform, and was a member of the Commission for Women and Work, which advised the Prime Minister on ways to reduce the pay gap between women and men.

In 2003, Chris was awarded a CBE for services to young people and the unemployed.