Press release

Barbara Spicer announced as interim Chief Executive of Skills Funding Agency

Skills Minister Matthew Hancock announces the appointment of Barbara Spicer as the interim Chief Executive of the Skills Funding Agency.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


Skills Minister Matthew Hancock has today (20 November 2013) announced the appointment of Barbara Spicer as the interim Chief Executive of the Skills Funding Agency (SFA).

Barbara leaves her post as Chief Executive of Salford City Council. She will take up her role on Monday 25 November 2013, taking over from Kim Thorneywork who took up the post in May 2012 and is currently off due to ill health.

Skills Minister Matthew Hancock said:

I am delighted that Barbara Spicer has accepted the post of interim Chief Executive at the Skills Funding Agency.

Her wealth of knowledge and experience will be a valuable asset to the Agency, ensuring that quality and reform is driven forward in the sector.

I would also like to thank Kim Thorneywork for her commitment and hard work in the role and look forward to welcoming her back next year.

Barbara Spicer said:

I am delighted to have been asked to join the team at the agency. For me skills are a critical part of our economic policy and being part of a system that makes such an important contribution to our economic success will be both personally exciting and challenging.

I want to support the ambitious reform agenda and work with the sector to continue to focus directly on the current needs of employers, the skills that the UK will need in the future, and how we connect our individual learners to those needs.

I’m looking forward to working with the Minister, the Advisory Board and of course all of the team over coming months to ensure we have the most fit for purpose system to help our economy grow.

In the meantime I wish Kim Thorneywork all the very best for her recovery.

Notes to editors

  1. Barbara Spicer will take up the post on Monday 25 November 2013.

  2. She leaves her post as the Chief Executive of Salford City Council and Chief Executive of Greater Manchester Police Authority. As Chief Executive of Salford City Council Barbara has responsibility for a budget in excess of £700 million and a workforce of around 10,000.

  3. The government’s economic policy objective is to achieve ‘strong, sustainable and balanced growth that is more evenly shared across the country and between industries’. It set 4 ambitions in the ‘Plan for Growth’, published at Budget 2011:

  • to create the most competitive tax system in the G20
  • to make the UK the best place in Europe to start, finance and grow a business
  • to encourage investment and exports as a route to a more balanced economy
  • to create a more educated workforce that is the most flexible in Europe

Work is underway across government to achieve these ambitions, including progress on more than 250 measures as part of the Growth Review. Developing an Industrial Strategy gives new impetus to this work by providing businesses, investors and the public with more clarity about the long-term direction in which the government wants the economy to travel.

Published 20 November 2013