HELPING students to secure jobs and apprenticeships are among the key priorities of a County Durham college’s new principal.

Natalie Davison will take the reins at Bishop Auckland College in the New Year and says she is committed to supporting growth and prosperity.

The 43-year-old, of Heighington Village, near Newton Aycliffe, joined the college in 2008 and is currently vice principal and director of curriculum and quality at the college.

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She will replace Anne Isherwood, who has been appointed as principal at Sunderland College.

“It is a privilege to take Bishop Auckland College on to the next stage of its development,” said Miss Davison.

“The focus will be firmly on supporting growth and prosperity of individuals, businesses and communities.

“This means helping people to secure apprenticeships and jobs, supporting business start-ups and providing businesses with the training and skills needed for growth.”

Welcoming the appointment, Chair of Governors Brian Allen said: “Natalie has extensive experience in further education, with a wide variety of both classroom and managerial roles.

"She has played a crucial role in the successful development of the college’s curriculum and quality over the past four years and in securing a ‘good’ Ofsted inspection rating this year.”