Herman Kok is stepping down as Chairman of the Greater Lincolnshire Employment and Skills Board.

The outgoing Chairman of the Greater Lincolnshire Employment and Skills Board believes there is a greater awareness of the county’s training needs now than there was when the board was established more than a decade ago.

Herman Kok said Lincolnshire has a much clearer picture of what challenges its businesses face and a greater understanding of what opportunities exist in overcoming those hurdles. 

Herman, who is Company Secretary of building firm Lindum Group, has chaired the board since its inception following the replacement of the Learning Skills Council by three other boards: the National Apprentice Service, the Skills Funding Agency and the Employment and Skills Board. 

He announced he was stepping down earlier this year and has been succeeded by Pat Doody, who leads NatWest Bank's Commercial Business in Lincolnshire. 

Herman said he believes the board’s strength lies in the fact that private sector membership of the board has been drawn from a large variety of successful Lincolnshire companies and includes a number of local entrepreneurs. 

The ESB preceded the formation of the Greater Lincolnshire LEP by some years and merged with the LEP rather than being formed as a sub-committee of the LEP, as happened in many other LEP areas.

This continuity allowed the ESB to build on its earlier work and provide the support the LEP needed to make sure people have the skills and qualifications that employers need.

“It is often hard to quantify the precise impact of the board, as its role is more about generating funding and providing opportunities and support rather than measuring end results,” said Herman, adding that a recent project to create videos showcasing careers in the food industry was an example of the ways it had made a very specific impact. 

While Herman is stepping away from the Employment and Skills Board, he is remaining in the role of Company Secretary for Lindum, where he has worked since 1987. 

“I met my wife in Amsterdam, we moved to England in 1970 and I was fortunate to start work at the Great Ormond street Hospital for sick children in February 1971, just a week after the introduction of decimalisation in the UK – a lucky break not having to do calculations in pounds, shillings and pence!” he said.

“In my early career I worked in finance and treasury roles in London and the south of England, and in 1985 we decided to move to Lincolnshire, where we had a large number of family connections. 

“With a previous business partner I set up a business in information technologies and worked independently for a couple of years before joining Lindum in 1987. I was Finance Director and Company Secretary until about four years ago, when I reduced my working days and stepped back from the FD role.”