PricewaterhouseCooper, (PwC), a corporate finance accounting firm, has appointed partner Damien Ashford as leader for education within its UK Government and Health Services industry practice.
Ashford, who has been at the firm since 1998, has more than 20 years’ restructuring experience from both the public and private sectors and leads projects, driving financial and operational improvement across education, health, local and central government.
He has worked across the education sector including in higher education with Russell Group universities and further education colleges. His support has helped universities undertake significant transformation, leading to a better student experience and also freeing up funds for investment in capital schemes.
As education sector leader, Ashford will lead a team that works across education to deliver “innovative, workable solutions to the challenges they face”.
Ashford said:“As we continue to recover from the pandemic, how educators, businesses and the government work together to respond to the new environment will be critical to the future success of the UK and its economy.
“Equipping young people with the skills for the future, and the ability to continue learning throughout their lives, has never been more important, particularly as we transition to net zero, jobs become greener and we look to improve social mobility and mental health.”
He added: “Universities, colleges and schools are already making a valuable contribution to addressing regional and societal inequality but now the challenge is to do more, especially since we know from our own research that the pandemic has further underlined the scale of the challenge.”
Rachel Taylor, leader of Government and Health Industries at PwC UK, said: “I’m delighted to welcome Damien to our leadership team. Education has never been more important and in a world of rapidly evolving technology and ways of working, it’s clear that we’ve reached an inflection point in how we prepare and equip young people with the skills needed to thrive in the future.
“Damien’s vast experience across a range of sectors enables him to bring a unique perspective to our clients and I look forward to working alongside him.”
Previous education leader Caitroina McCusker, who recently took up the role of PwC’s regional market leader in Northern Ireland, remains in the sector as education consulting leader.