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Executive Director - Commercial, Quality & Innovation, Birmingham College of Food

Birmingham, United Kingdom
Closing date
27 Mar 2023

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Salary: Competitive
Contract Type: Permanent, Full-time
Closing Date: 27-03-2023 12 Midday
Support/Academic/Management: Management

For many decades, the Birmingham College of Food, at University College Birmingham, has been renowned throughout the world for the quality of its culinary education, supporting through training and education the world of culinary arts, food service, hotel and hospitality management. It has a very long and proud tradition within the heart of the great city of Birmingham, this includes its fine dining restaurant, operated by our students for use by the general public, experienced by many people over many generations.  

The University works in a very exciting partnership with the University of Warwick, a highly successful and prestigious Russell Group university, who accredit a range of our programmes alongside our own degree awards and who work with us to develop new career routes and educational pathways for our students at both Further Education (College) and Higher Education (University) level.  

The role will also be very hands-on and be based in the heart of Birmingham, where the postholder is expected to be based alongside all campus operations and be confident working with commercial, operational and quality performance targets, designed to transform the curriculum, facilities and commercial prospects. The salary and benefits package are extremely competitive to attract only truly exceptional candidates, to include a career average pension scheme with significant employer contributions, 50 days holiday including Bank Holidays, private health insurance, free on-site gym membership and heavily subsidised car parking if required. 

The College of Food now generates around £10 million of revenue towards the University’s income, and the growth in culinary student numbers, including international students in culinary arts, alongside an overall increase in student numbers across the University, has resulted in an expansion in operational catering facilities for our students across our further and higher education offer.   

Reporting directly to the Vice-Chancellor & Principal (the University’s Chief Executive Officer), a hugely exciting opportunity has now arisen for a senior industry professional at executive level to take the Birmingham College of Food to the next stages of its proud history. Capitalising on this opportunity will require the successful candidate to oversee the rapid and extensive development of commercial avenues, the planning and implementation of significant new capital investment to align with industry standards, engagement with a very diverse range of employers within the industry 

The objective continues to be ensuring first-rate senior employment opportunities for our amazing students, and the broadening of activities within the diverse Birmingham community and beyond. It will also include a wide-ranging review of curriculum delivery and new opportunities, in conjunction with the College of Food academic team, which is managed by a Head of School who leads on curriculum education and the student experience and who will support the successful candidate.  

Applicants must have extensive demonstrable commercial, financial managerial experience, strong branding and marketing awareness, high level entrepreneurial skills, extensive networking and partnership development experience and have a track record at very senior levels within the industry. You must hold significant credibility and profile within the industry and have a high-level of empathy for and understanding of the modern needs of employers from the culinary education sector. You will have the ability to articulate a high-level strategy and develop this into an operational plan, one you will manage successfully through to completion using your excellent project management and administrative skills. You will be an excellent communicator and presenter as well as a highly visible presence and advocate for the Birmingham College of Food and for University College Birmingham, possessing significant enthusiasm and energy to strategically develop and operationally implement, driving forward a hugely exciting series of opportunities. This will also include extensive international development and profiling, in addition to within the UK and Europe.   

How to Apply: 

Interested candidates are invited, in confidence, to initially send a maximum two-page letter / expression of interest, very clearly setting out their most relevant experience and specifically how they address the key components of the role as set out in the advertisement to

Following that, a telephone appointment can be made to discuss the role with the Vice Chancellor & Principal, via Svetlana Kanidova or Gemma Wilkie

The selection process and arrangements will then be notified to candidates considered for progression to the next stage. 


  • 50 days’ paid leave per year
  • Teacher’s pension scheme 
  • Private healthcare 
  • Excellent staff development opportunities 
  • Salary sacrifice car leasing, tech and cycle schemes 
  • Heavily-subsidised on-site car parking
  • Hybrid Working Opportunities
  • Free Gym Membership 
  • Employee Assistance Programme 

Closing date - Monday 27 March 2023 at midday.

Standard Information:

UCB is an equal opportunities employer.

University College Birmingham is proud to have been voted UK University of the Year in the prestigious 2022 Whatuni Student Choice Awards. We are also the best university for Student Support. The awards are voted for by students showcasing the incredible relationships we foster here at University College Birmingham between Staff and Students.

University College Birmingham works in partnership with the University of Warwick - Ranked eighth in the 2023 Guardian League Tables and 10th in the UK in the QS World University rankings 2023.

The University of Warwick are committed to partnering with us on a full range of projects which will enhance student opportunity, experience and outcomes. Among these joint pieces of work are aspirations to enhance student employability across the West Midlands region, widen participation in Further and Higher Education and to support regional ‘levelling up’ and key regional skills priorities.

All applicants for employment at the University will be expected to demonstrate an understanding of the principles of Safeguarding and the PREVENT agenda in the context of further and higher education.

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