Vision to make Institute one of best colleges in the country
"I AM absolutely clear in my vision – I want the Grimsby Institute to be recognised as one of the top colleges in the country."
Mike Parker has spoken for the first time since taking over as the new chairman of governors at the Grimsby Institute.
The former deputy chief executive of Young's Seafood replaced Phil Jenkinson, whose term came to an end before Christmas.
Describing himself as being "arrogantly ambitious," Mr Parker said he could see "no reason" why the Institute could not achieve his high expectations.
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"I'm very excited about taking on the role," he said.
"Since I left Young's, I've done a number of things, but this particular job, even though it is more than a job, is something that I am tremendously excited about.
"I'm born and bred in this town and I have a very strong feeling for the area and the Institute is a crucial part of Grimsby.
"The ability to get involved with something like that was something that I saw as very positive."
Mr Parker said that he, along with his fellow governors, will provide "constructive challenges" to the management team at the Institute, helping the organisation to adapt to what he called a "changing environment".
"The Institute has some of the same challenges that are faced by all further education providers across the country, such as a much tougher funding regime and raised expectations," he continued.
"But on a more specific level, it is currently undergoing a period of immense change, with new leadership and new management teams, and that brings with it its own challenges.
"Change is hard work, but is exciting, that freshness can invigorate people and if you can harness that energy in a positive way then that makes for a fantastic environment to be in.
"It is not our job to run the college, it is our job to work with principal Sue Middlehurst and her senior team to be a 'sounding board' that will hopefully prove useful for everybody."
Mr Parker, who is credited with having helped to make Young's one of the biggest food companies in Europe and is a former vice chairman of Grimsby Town Football Club, added: "In everything that I've done, I've always been arrogantly ambitious.
"And I am absolutely clear in my vision; I want the Grimsby Institute to be recognised as one of the top colleges in the country, and I don't see any reason why it shouldn't be.
"I want people to look at the Institute and say 'wow', that it is a model in its field, it is serving its community and has national recognition for excellence.
"We won't do that by simply saying that we're doing it, we will do it by having excellence, success and quality throughout the organisation – the courses have to be right and the needs of the learners have to be met.
"The education provision, when I think of it in business terms, is 'the product'.
"That product has got to be right because if it isn't, then the business is not going to work.
"Therefore, if the product that we provide at the Institute is right, the rest should naturally follow.
"I am very optimistic; there is a new team and a new vision here, and there is a buzz about the place.
"That bodes well for the future of the Grimsby Institute."