Tuesday, January 3, 2017

News: New Year's Honours for skills sector stalwarts


Chris MacCormac has been awarded an MBE for services to education and business in South Yorkshire in the New Year's Honours.

Chris is the CEO of Rotherham-based Morthyng Group Ltd and was the first president of the unified Barnsley and Rotherham Chamber of Commerce.

A registered charity, Morthyng is a "not for profit" organisation that supports the training of young people and adults. The training provider operates youth training, as Morthyng Vocational College, which operate in Rotherham, Doncaster, Birkenhead and Corby.

Schools in Rotherham use Morthyng's skills and facilities on the regenerated site of the former South Grove School to deliver an alternative curriculum to years 9 to 11 off the main school site.

Chris began with an apprenticeship at British Steel and went on to work on youth and skills projects. In 1995 Chris joined Morthyng Limited as general manager and was promoted to chief executive in 1998.

Ken Barrass was awarded an MBE in the New Year's Honours for his services to further education. Until this year, Ken was chair of the board of governors at Rotherham College - which he has served for 17 years.


Ken is a certified accountant and has also developed significant experience of audit and acquisition work. He served as finance director for several larger firms in Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire, which operated in a diverse range of manufacturing and wholesaling fields. He was previously an accountant at British Steel.

In the late 1990s he began working with College, demerging a joint venture between Rotherham College, Rotherham Council and the Rotherham Chamber of Commerce and becoming founding company secretary of REACT.

This experience was the foundation for Ken's work on the College's board of governors, upon which he has served since 2000, including as a member and chair of the finance committee and as vice chair of the board from 2007 until becoming Chair in 2011. Ken has played an instrumental role in providing stewardship of the financial health of the college, including during a merger with Rother Valley College in 2004 and through successful recent capital building projects.

With the latest merger with North Notts College initiating in February 2016, Barrass became chair of the new RNN Group before retiring in July.

Mr Barrass said: "I have found my time as a Governor and especially as Chair very rewarding with the highlights being the visit of Prince Andrew to open the Wentworth Building, the "Good" Ofsted grade and seeing the improvement in success rates of the students."

Atholl Stott, chair of governers at the RNN Group, said: "Ken contributed so much to the organisation and his foresight and professionalism played such a major part in the formation of the RNN group. This award is much deserved and a wonderful recognition for all Kens hard work and commitment to the community."

John Connolly, chief executive of RNN Group, added: "Ken's leadership of the Board during the period up to the merger date and beyond was instrumental in the successful launch of the RNN Group. He was exceptionally generous with his time and expertise throughout that period, to ensure the merger delivered the best outcome for students and employers across the region."

James Newman, former chair of the Sheffield city region local enterprise partnership (LEP) has been awarded an OBE in the New Year's Honours for services to business, the economy and charity in Yorkshire.

The qualified chartered accountant and former Master Cutler is currently the chairman of Finance Yorkshire and chairman of Rotherham-based retailer, Fishing Republic.

Images: Morthyng / RCAT


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