Improve move for Widdowson

Paula Widdowson, commercial director of Improve, is to leave the organisation to join Northern Foods, it has been announced.

Paula Widdowson, commercial director of Improve, the food and drink sector skills council, is to leave the organisation in the middle of December to join Northern Foods in the new position of director of corporate social responsibility.

During her three years as a member of the senior executive team, first as marketing director and then as commercial director, Paula has played a leading role in building awareness of the organisation among employers and learning providers, as well as driving key initiatives such as the establishment of the new National Skills Academy for Food and Drink Manufacturing and the production of the industry's first Sector Skills Strategy.

Jack Matthews, chief executive of Improve, said: "As a member of the executive team, Paula has made a huge contribution in helping to establish Improve as the new driving force in the skills debate in our sector. We are very sorry to be losing her but are extremely pleased that she is going to one of our most supportive companies. I wish her every success in her new role."

Paula Widdowson said: "The last three years have been very exciting and fulfilling because everything we have done at Improve has been new. However, I think the opportunity to take up this newly created role at Northern Foods is going to be equally compelling, and I am sure it will allow me to continue my involvement in skills issues to some degree."

A decision is expected soon as to whether or not the role of commercial director at Improve is to remain in its current form.

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