Joint Head of Service - Adult Learning and Skills York and North Yorkshire

We are looking to appoint to the pivotal position of Joint / Executive Head of Service who will lead and further transform North Yorkshire County Council and City of York Council, Adult Learning Services.

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  • Join us to make a positive impact for learners!

Welcome - thank you for your interest in our role.

The brief for this post is to take two services, already rated “Good”, to build a united, agile and resilient service, that together elevate their impact on skills across the region to the next level. Responsible for a combined budget of around £8m you will drive innovation that has positive impacts for adult learners across the city and county.

North Yorkshire is a thriving county, which is a special place for everyone to live, work and visit. Our passion for adult learning services continues to drive us to deliver effective programmes of learning to a range of adults with a particular focus on those from disadvantaged and marginalised communities. We want to offer inclusive services with high quality learning provision and support, which works well across the spectrum of need, whilst meeting the needs of our local economy.

North Yorkshire and York are stunning places with happy and safe communities, and excellent education. Over the past two years, the new national crime figures have revealed that the region has some of lowest crimes rates in the country. It is rich in history and culture, in a backdrop of outstanding natural beauty, vibrant cities, market towns, quaint villages, stunning rural and coast landscapes. We can also boast having three towns in the top ten of the UK Halifax quality of life survey.

Internationally recognised for its unique interface between exceptional heritage and a cutting edge, contemporary approach to creativity. York aims to become the intellectual hub of the Northern Powerhouse the place to do business for a range of distinctive industries, which rely on the local, high-quality skills base.  Exciting new developments like the new York Central business district are transforming the city whilst enabling a shift to higher paid jobs that will ensure no one is left behind. 

Our services have a major role in enabling residents across the region to achieve the best they possibly can and benefit from our thriving economy. Key priorities for the two services are on developing core skills and skills for employment as well as supporting health and wellbeing.

As the newly appointed Assistant Director of the Education and Skills service for North Yorkshire County Council, I am excited about the prospect of appointing to this pivotal position. Together we will lead and continue to shape a newly redesigned service to further develop and improve the outcomes for people across this great region. 

This role is tasked with making a significant impact in developing skills agenda to meet the changing needs of the economy across York and North Yorkshire.

Under your leadership the integrated services have a key role to play the region’s economic recovery post COVID-19. In response to high levels of unemployment and unprecedented economic shifts, your service will deliver skills development solutions that underpin economic recovery, delivering a skills agenda that enables York & North Yorkshire residents, communities and businesses to thrive and adapt to an ever-changing world.

Your business acumen enables you to see the developing needs of our communities and economy, your leadership delivers an ever-changing range of learning solutions to meets these needs - this is an entrepreneurial role! 

I look forward to receiving your application.

Amanda Newbold
Assistant Director - Education and Skills, North Yorkshire County Council


You can find out more about the vacancy, and what you can bring to the role below.

Vacancy: Joint Head of Service - Adult Learning and Skills York and North Yorkshire
Salary: SM2 - £59,526 to £67,815 per annum and a relocation package of up to £8,000
Contract: Permanent
Location: York / Northallerton 

You will work with a committed team that are rated as ‘Good’ and yet far from complacent; we are hungry to achieve more. We want your talent to help us achieve our ambition, so we can deliver high profile results at pace and so that you can positively challenge and influence our thinking. 

Our services have a major role in enabling residents across the city and county to achieve the best they possibly can, the result being the foundation for our thriving economy.  Key priorities for the service are to develop core skills and skills for employment as well as supporting health and wellbeing.

What we deliver will be determined by emerging market needs; you will ensure we are ahead of this thinking. With your leadership, our integrated service will maximise the opportunity of agile and modern methods of delivery improving access, learning and business effectiveness.

Programme areas include 16-18 personalised learning for some of the most vulnerable young people, 19+ high needs support, apprenticeships, family learning, learning to support mental health and wellbeing, personal development and community learning.

This is an excellent opportunity for someone to further develop their career; we are two local authorities with strong track records, relentless focus on delivery and performance, with strong stable leadership, talented teams and well-developed partnerships. 

In many ways we are at the start of a journey, presenting you with an exciting opportunity to shape, lead and influence service integration and delivery models, the result being the provision of liberating and life enhancing skills and learning solutions. This passion drives you.

You will be a strong leader with a collaborative mind-set, an excellent communicator – both verbally and written, with ability to forge strong and authentic partnerships, motivating and empowering others. You are able to make an instant impact at the highest-level, in a high profile, demanding and complex environment, with clarity of focus.

As a high profile leader, you act with integrity, leading by example and taking pride in promoting your service internally and externally. You are innovative and forward thinking, with the ability to lead services through transition and identify new opportunities. Your strong moral purpose drives your strong commitment to the safeguarding and welfare of children, young people and adults. 

You will have worked in or delivered to complex organisations and have a strong track record in the education and skills development sector. You understand and can navigate the complex strategic partnerships in the sector. Your knowledge of the sectors funding mechanisms and standards frameworks together with your robust performance and financial management assures your services deliver to budget, to quality standards, this maximises you and your services reputation and impact. It is important you have significant knowledge of the AEB funding environment and an understanding of how learning services contribute towards the targets within the council plan.

Your knowledge of inspection regimes will ensure that your service is inspection ready by default and that you have a relentless focus on delivering to funding agreements. 

Your leadership will empower and motivate whilst holding staff to account for delivering agile, effective services that are centred-around learners.

Your experience of networking and building robust strategic partnerships with multi-agencies enables you to influence locally, regionally and nationally. This enables you to be knowledgeable about the national and regional issues; supporting the preparation for the devolution of the AEB budget, leading your learning and skill service to meet current and forecast need whilst building the services reputation.

As the leader and provider of learning services, you will personally constantly learn, creating a learning culture throughout your service. 

We are looking for someone who can demonstrate an understanding of the importance of green and digital skills, leading your services thinking about the solutions and methods of service delivery - a priority for both North Yorkshire County Council and the City of York Council.

If you are considering relocating to North Yorkshire we provide a  comprehensive relocation benefits package (pdf / 180 KB).

This features up to £8,000 to cover reasonable costs such as:

  • removal expenses
  • storage costs
  • legal and estate agent fees
  • travelling experiences

North Yorkshire is a thriving region which adapts to our changing world and remains a special place for everyone to live, work and visit. 

The region’s natural beauty is captured in its three areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, National Nature Reserves, stunning coastlines, scenic rural villages, vibrant cities and market towns. 

North Yorkshire features significantly in the ten best places to live in the UK in Halifax Quality of Life Survey 2019. The Quality of Life index aims to quantify where living standards are highest in the UK by ranking local performance across a range of indicators; Richmondshire was placed second in the list, a position boosted by excellent personal wellbeing factors (life satisfaction, happiness). Hambleton was placed fourth and Ryedale was placed eighth, a truly commendable achievement and another incredible accolade for North Yorkshire.

Figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) March 2019 bulletin positions North Yorkshire as the safest place in England with extremely low crime rates.  

The City of York is regularly voted one of the best places to live and visit in the UK. The city was named the best place to live in the North and North East by The Sunday Times 2019. With a population of 200,000, it’s big enough to feel lively but small enough to feel like home.

In addition, the region benefits from excellent road and rail links, with easy access via the east coast mainline, the A1(M) and A19. Leeds, Doncaster, Newcastle, Durham and Teesside are all easily commutable, and London/ Edinburgh just two hours away by train. 

From its lively cities to pretty villages, rolling countryside and grand coastline, the region has so much to offer including a high standard of living working in a stunning location.

Find out more and apply ►

Key dates

  • Closing date: Midnight 26 April 2021
  • Shortlisting: 27 - 28 April 2021
  • Interview date: 12 May 2021


Contact us

If this role sounds like it’s right for you then we welcome you to contact us for an informal conversation:

•    Amanda Newbold (Assistant Director for NYCC Education and Skills) on 01606 532166 or email
•    Charlie Croft (City of York Council - Assistant Director (Communities and Culture) by emailing 


Key documents

Apply for this role

To apply for this role, click the ‘Apply’ button below.

Apply - Joint Head of Service - Adult Learning and Skills York and North Yorkshire

When applying please take into account the supporting information section of your application. This should clearly evidence your ability to meet the requirements we have outlined in the person specification. The information you provide in this section will be used to shortlist applicants for this role and therefore it is imperative that you provide evidence as requested, please note any CVs uploaded will not be considered when shortlisting.


We look forward to receiving your application.


Enhanced Level DBS Disclosure is required for appointment to this post. 

NYCC are committed to directly recruiting staff and will not accept applications nor services from agency suppliers in respect of our vacancies. 

We are committed to meeting the needs of our diverse community and aim to have a workforce reflecting this diversity. We are also committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, young people and adults. We expect all staff and volunteers to share this commitment.  

Why work for the City and York Council / North Yorkshire County Council

We pride ourselves on being the biggest employers in North Yorkshire leading from the front and constantly seeking to innovate and finely tune the system with an unwavering desire to continually improve. We welcome and celebrate diversity and inclusion and the strengths this brings to our communities and work force, we aim to provide excellent and efficient local services enabling everyone to fulfil their potential, to do this we give everyone equal access to services and job opportunities. 

We heavily invest in the development of our employees, providing training and qualifications to further enhance their careers. We can offer you multiple opportunities for career progression working across diverse services and with access to a range of technologies to support modern and agile ways of working.

As a council we are very much committed to encouraging flexible working for our employees, which will include using modern technologies to connect with clients, working from other bases across the county as well as working from home.

We can offer you a comprehensive benefits package including:

  • A local government pension scheme;
  • Family friendly leave;
  • Salary sacrifice schemes;
  • Modern flexible working practices;
  • Learning and development packages; and
  • Employee discount benefits.

 Total Rewards brochure (pdf / 1 MB).

Find out about working for North Yorkshire County Council and the City of York Council