Pearson Head of Sector Development,Technical and Professional in United Kingdom

Head of Sector Development,Technical and Professional


About the job

Job Purpose:

Pearson has a long and successful history and leads the way in the development of its vocational qualification offer across the majority of vocational sectors and at all levels. Our qualifications are developed against World Class benchmarks to ensure that we equip learners with the underpinning knowledge, skills and behaviours needed for them to be successful in their careers. We also make sure that we support those delivering our qualifications with high quality learning solutions and continuous professional development: a fully integrated approach to teaching, learning and assessment. Alongside these developments we complement our offer by ensuring that, for the future, our solutions are offered digitally

At this time of significant change in the education system and the move to develop differentiated pathways for learners, we need to ensure that we continue to be the leading brand and are at the forefront of providing innovative solutions.

Our focus is applied, technical and professional qualifications, holistic apprenticeship and other tender solutions, integrated teaching and learning support and digitally-enabled learning support and assessment. This role is responsible for Pearson’s integrated offer and the securing and growing of our market share for those parts of the vocational portfolio it is responsible for. It will:

  • Lead development and delivery of coherent sector strategies for the sectors the role manages across all our customers (colleges, training providers, employers and schools)

  • Lead development and delivery of the business strategy for Sainsbury, i.e. for tenders related to technical and professional qualifications at level 2 and level 3

  • Lead development and delivery of qualification and end-point assessment propositions for apprenticeship tenders, working within the over-arching business strategy for apprenticeships led by the Strategic Relationships Director and Head of Apprenticeship Services

Key Accountabilities:

  • To lead development of the business strategy for major qualification and end-point assessment developments and initiatives that contribute to UK business growth

  • To manage teams directly and indirectly to create business strategy and winning propositions for sectors, suites and tenders that ensure we provide excellent customer experience and continue to grow through the lifecycle

  • To manage teams directly and indirectly to maintain a deep and coherent understanding of teaching, learning and assessment for sectors and suites, through close liaison with all sector stakeholders

  • As part of the senior management team for BTEC and Apprenticeships Product Management, to contribute to the continual improvement of how we do things, both as a department, and as a wider business.

Main responsibilities:

1. Developing and maintaining segment, sector and market insight

Heads of Sector Development will manage teams directly and indirectly to:

  • Create and maintain an in-depth evidence base of learner needs in each segment (e.g. colleges, private training providers and employers) and sector through a continuous programme of research with tutors, stakeholders and learners

  • Create and maintain an in-depth evidence base of tutor/centre needs and behaviours in each segment and sector

  • Develop and maintain relationships with segment and sector stakeholders throughout the life of a qualification or service, to build an evidence base for qualification and end-point assessment developments and annual reviews through the lifecycle

  • Develop and maintain insight into best practice (pedagogy, assessment) by segment and sector

  • Represent Pearson at conferences and in meetings with DfE, BIS, Ofqual, SFA, IFA and Tier 2 stakeholders.

2. Developing strategy and propositions, managing budgets, and forecasting

Heads of Sector Development will:

  • Manage a portfolio of qualifications through its lifecycle, making well-timed decisions about withdrawal, extension, redevelopment, new market entry and strategies for mid-cycle growth

  • Lead development of the business strategy for their areas of strategic responsibility (e.g. Sainsbury review), defining winning propositions (e.g. our menu of capabilities across all tender opportunities for Sainsbury)

  • Manage teams to create winning propositions that have clear USPs and meet the financial targets agreed (e.g. tenders related to Sainsbury review and apprenticeships)

  • Manage teams to track, analyse and respond to competitor activity

  • Establish and maintain strategic commercial partnerships for areas of responsibility, working closely with the Strategic Relationships Director

  • Own one- and three-year forecasts for their area, and contribute to the financial and strategic planning for the whole BTEC and Apprenticeships Product Management department

  • Lead on cross-departmental strategic work

  • Work with colleagues across Pearson to identify and capitalise on new business opportunities, in particular tenders that arise from apprenticeship and Sainsbury reforms

3. Supporting customers through the lifecycle and improving customer experience

Heads of Sector Development will manage teams directly and indirectly to:

  • Implement improved monitoring of customer experience at regular points through the lifecycle (from customer satisfaction tracking to regular, in-depth qualitative insight)

  • Work with colleagues from PQS to instigate a step-change in the customer experience of our vocational qualifications, to deliver consistently high satisfaction and retention levels, and to systematically attract new business

  • Anticipate and meet customer needs better than our competitors, defining and at times commissioning sector specific, high-quality free surround and support services at launch, for tenders and/or throughout the lifecycle as part of a coherent, integrated proposition across free and paid-for.

4. Briefing, developing and launching new products and services

Heads of Sector Development will manage teams directly and indirectly to:

  • Create design proposals for qualifications and end-point assessments that draw from a strong, research-driven evidence base (including labour market information), and deliver the strategy and proposition agreed

  • Contribute to qualification and end-point assessment developments through the writing, submission and resubmission process (e.g. sourcing and briefing writers, reviewing materials, ongoing content research and development) to ensure they are fully in line with stakeholder and customer requirements and our strategy

  • Secure customer and stakeholder support, endorsement and exclusive partnerships for our qualifications

  • Work with sales and marketing colleagues to devise and implement an effective data-driven campaign strategy and customer journey

  • Work with professional development and marketing colleagues to plan, commission and deliver customer-facing events and networks; and to recruit, train and deploy sector specialists for events

5. Leadership and people management

Heads of will:

  • Build and lead teams to ensure a positive working culture, in support of Pearson UK strategy

  • Build and facilitate strong relationships with other parts of Pearson UK (e.g. PQS, Learning Services, Sales and Marketing)

  • Contribute to the overall management of the BTEC and Apprenticeships Product Management team

  • Lead on departmental initiatives to deliver better service to our customers and learners, drive growth, develop commercial partnerships with stakeholders and other third parties, and influence major stakeholders such as DfE, BIS, SFA, IFA and Ofqual

  • Develop resource plans and staff development plans to meet the requirements of our business strategy

  • Attract, recruit and retain the best people to work at Pearson.

About you

Desired leadership competencies:

  • Leadership, people management team building skills (including virtual team building skills)

  • Strategic thinking skills: the ability to think strategically, identify attractive market segments and key sources of competitive advantage, and to balance a strong commercial focus with regulatory and legal requirements, assessment reliability/validity and operational requirements to create solutions for customers that are practical and have competitive advantage

  • Creative thinking and customer empathy: the ability to articulate new propositions based on customer needs

  • Relationship building: in particular, with customers, employers, professional bodies, commercial partners, government agencies and within Pearson

  • Communication, networking and influencing externally and internally (in particular to work effectively with colleagues in Pearson across different sites and within a matrix structure)

  • Commercial and financial planning skills: the ability to plan and monitor revenue and profit

  • Organisational and project management skills

Essential skills, qualifications and experience:

  • Qualified to degree level or equivalent

  • Experience and understanding of qualifications and the UK education market and environment (e.g. colleges, private training providers, employers, professional bodies)

Pearson competencies:

  • Organisationally AgileProvides context for change to empower others to understand their roles and adapt quickly. Proactively seeks information to understand the reasons for change and adapts approach accordingly.

  • Influences without AuthorityIdentifies stakeholders, seeks input and actively listens to build, support and identify best solutions. Identifies stakeholders, seeks input and actively listens to build support and identify best solutions.

  • Prioritises and makes Effective DecisionsBreaks down work into manageable parts, assessing the priorities and schedule required to deliver on time. Ensures the quality of the data provided to analyse possible solutions and support effective decision making.

  • Build RelationshipsCreates and maintains relationships, internally and externally, to increase simplicity, efficiency and shared success. Proactively networks with other teams to discuss common issues and share knowledge.

  • Outcomes OrientedHas an in-depth understanding of stakeholder requirements (including learners and customers) and works in partnership with them to identify desired outcomes. Understands the intended outcomes of own work and how they contribute to Pearson’s broader objectives including customers and learners.

  • Continuously improvesChallenges the status quo where opportunities are identified. Demonstrates willingness and flexibility to adapt own approach to new ways of working to achieve improved outcomes.

  • Evidence InformedTranslates evidence into actionable insights that lead to improvements. Organises and analyses information (into meaningful / related areas) to form robust, evidence-based conclusions.

  • Commercially AwareInterprets internal / external business challenges and creates commercially practical and innovative improvements to products and services in response. Uses that knowledge to identify better ways of working to meet those goals.

  • Digitally FocusedUses insight into digital trends and patterns to inform decision making and to develop profitable products and services. Recognises the opportunities digital technology creates for Pearson to increase its reach, generate profitable business opportunities and create more effective products for its market.

  • Driven by Customer and Learner RequirementsTakes personal accountability for ensuring that customer and learner insights are used to deliver market leading products and experiences at every touch point. Makes decisions that have a positive impact on customer and learner issues for the benefit of Pearson overall.


Essential skills, qualifications and experience:

  • Qualified to degree level or equivalent

  • Experience and understanding of qualifications and the UK education market and environment (e.g. colleges, private training providers, employers, professional bodies)


Primary Location: United Kingdom

Job: Product Management

Organization: Core

Employee Status: Regular Employee

Job Type: Standard

Shift: Day Job

Job Posting: Apr 21, 2017