Neil Bates is the recently retired Principal and Chief Executive of Prospects College of Advanced Technology (PROCAT) which is the first new Further Education College to be incorporated in England since the 1992 Education Act. PROCAT specialises in foundation and advanced technology training for the engineering, aviation, defence, rail, construction, building services and renewable energy sectors.
Prospects has its origins as one of the 150 GTAs established after the 1964 Industrial Training Act. Neil was appointed a Director of SENTRA in 1988 and in 1996 became Chief Executive overseeing a rapid expansion of the GTA and attracting £54m of investment since 2006 in four state of the art technical training campuses located in the Thames Gateway but serving the local, regional and national economy.
Neil is passionate about learning and skills. A recent Ofsted inspection judged strategic leadership of the college to be ‘outstanding’ and in 2013 he was honoured for his outstanding and professional and personal achievements through the award of a Fellowship of the City & Guilds London Institute. In 2017 he was awarded the AELP outstanding contribution award.
Since stepping down from the college after 30 years’ service Neil has established his own company, Technical Professional Education Limited and wants to use this business to drive reform of the skills sector and promote new high-quality models for apprenticeships.
Neil has lived in Essex since 1977 and has worked extensively in Basildon since 1998 when the college relocated its main training centre to Crompton Close, Basildon and invested £25m in building a new technical training centre on a previously derelict industrial site. He is married with two grown up children.