New appointment at automotive cluster to support skills drive

The North East Automotive Alliance (NEAA), the cluster supporting the region’s automotive supply chain, has appointed Mark David as skills project manager.

Mark, who previously worked at Business Durham, will lead on the North East Local Skills Improvement Plan (NELSIP), an employer-led plan that meets future business needs and provides a resilient and responsive supply of the skills needed to drive economic success and investment in the region.

Initially, Mark will be 100% dedicated to the NELSIP, ensuring the plan is managed and delivered, and he will move to support further NEAA membership skills activity later in 2023.

Mark has over 10 years’ experience in the skills and education sector, including over six years at the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB), working on current and future training needs, which included digitalisation of the construction sector and developing new qualifications for emerging areas of construction.

Mark has built a wealth of experience working with the region’s SME community, after starting his business support career at Business Link in 2009 and then moving to Stockton Council to manage a business growth programme.

In his most recent role at Business Durham, Mark managed an ERDF innovation programme whilst supporting the North East Satellite Applications Centre of Excellence where he helped to develop the thriving North East space sector.

It was in this role, whilst working on a large skills and training feasibility study for the emerging sectors within the region, that Mark was introduced to the NEAA and the NELSIP.

Paul Butler, NEAA’s CEO said of Mark’s appointment: “I’m delighted to welcome Mark into the NEAA team. He brings a wealth of experience in skills, training and development having worked at CITB, but in addition to this, he understands the funding landscape and SME business support, which is valuable to a cluster.

“Mark’s fundamental role from the onset will be to manage the NELSIP project, but we recognise the importance of skills and the ongoing challenges in this area, so Mark will be tasked with supporting further skills initiatives and NEAA working groups later in 2023.”

Mark said: “I look forward to getting to grips with the North East LSIP delivery. I can really see how this programme will make a difference to our region, putting employers in the driving seat for skills provision.

“In addition, I look forward to working with the membership and supporting the automotive sector.”

Mark currently sits on the Internet of Things (IoT) construction steering board, of which he will continue in his role at the NEAA.