Steve Cossins, Chair

Steve is Chair of the NETA Board and is a retired partner of Chipchase Manners, a  well known firm of local Chartered Accountants, where he worked for 42 years.

He was a local employer, has a vast knowledge of management accounts and taxation and  has advised a wide range of local businesses. He has  an extended knowledge of the further education sector, having served as a governor at Stockton Riverside College for 19 years, the last four as Chair.

John Hornby, Vice Chair

John has almost 50 years' experience in Engineering Construction and had a long career, through six corporate name changes, at what became Worley Parsons. He retired in March 2020 having moved from Process/Commissioning to Construction in the 1990s and holding the post of Construction Director for 20 years in the Aker Global Construction and Completions Management Team.

He is a past Chair and current Vice-Chair of the NETA Board, a role which brings together his knowledge of the sector and strong commitment to training young, local people for the engineering and construction industries. John was also a Board member and NE Regional Chair for the ECITB for over 10 years. His grandchildren currently keep him busy and he has a wealth of anecdotes from his work around the world in some "challenging" locations.

Phil Cook, Principal & CEO

Phil is the Chief Executive and Group Principal of the Education Training Collective (Etc.). With a previous track record in college change management, he has 20 years of experience delivering further education improvement.

In February 2020, Phil was named among the Department for Education's National Leaders of Further Education with providing strategic mentoring and support to colleges in need of improvement. He is also an Ofsted Complaints Panel member. Other roles include national representation on the Independent Commission, Sub-Group: "The College of the Future" and the Independent Commission, FE Sub-Group: "Climate Commission".

Russ McCallion

Russ is Group Human Resources Director for PD Ports, a role he has held since 2002. His previous experience includes wide-ranging HR and operational management roles within a variety of industries including transport (both road and air) and food manufacture.

As a representative of a major employer in the Tees Valley, Russ believes it is important to support the Further Education sector and the now ever more essential technical training, reskilling and upskilling of the Tees Valley’s key resource – its flexible and dedicated people – as we go through and come out of the current economic difficulties presented by Covid-19. 

The government's ambitions for ‘levelling out’ the economic performance of the UK’s regions makes the skills agenda even more important to the Tees Valley and our great people. Russ is a keen supporter of Darlington Mowden Park Rugby Club.

Phil Heathcock

Phil is Chief Financial Officer at Cleveland Bridge UK in Darlington, a role that he took on in early 2018.  Born & bred in Teesside, he is an ACCA qualified accountant and has worked in established businesses in the Oil & Gas, Engineering, Construction and Manufacturing sectors. 

NETA is an organisation that Phil has worked with throughout his career and when the opportunity came to join the Board he jumped at the chance to help shape the future of the organisation and continue to give training opportunities to young people in the region.  In his spare time Phil enjoys all sports, particularly football, cycling and running.

Mark Wilson

Mark has lived within the Tees Valley all his life. He achieved an honours degree in Chemical Engineering and Fuel Technology from Sheffield University in 1981 and is a Fellow of the Institute of Chemical Engineers.

He started his career with the international turnkey contract company Davy McKee in Stockton and then moved to ICI in 1988, staying with the company for 20 years. In 2008 Mark joined the entrepreneurial management team at Ensus, the first UK top Tier COMAH brewery and distillery manufacturing bioethanol, and then on to Huntsman Tioxide (Greatham Site) in 2012 as manufacturing change manager to help improve the site’s overall performance in people, contracts and projects. He retired in 2016 and is now part of a small team of volunteers developing and implementing the Tees Valley Strategy for the Prince’s Trust as well as being a business and progression mentor for disadvantaged young people on Teesside.

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