A new chief executive has been appointed to run Barking and Dagenham College and its technology institute, to help fill a growing gap in east London’s emerging technology industry.

Natalie Davison, who quit a high profile role in industry to go into further education, is its new principal and will take over in the New Year.

Natalie studied chemical engineering at university and began her career in manufacturing at Procter and Gamble in Grays, near Tilbury.

But her passion for education led her to switch to teaching at the former Thurrock College and then subsequently college management positions in areas of engineering, computing and construction.

She is well-placed to fill the engineering and technology gap in east London, with the college having badly-needed higher-level specialist training to turn out graduates for emerging high-tech occupations.

“The education the college provides is absolutely essential as a catalyst for change for the communities and businesses around us,” Ms Davison said.

“I know what an incredible college this is, with a track record of realising the potential of thousands of people every year.”

This won’t be the first time Natalie has worked in east London further education, having previously been head of technology at Newham College in East Ham.

She has been in further education for 27 years and now takes on her new role at the Rush Green campus.

College chair of Governors, Andy Forbes, said: “Natalie brings a wealth of experience to address the skills needs of the community and the region.”

Stephen Dowbiggin remains interim principal until Ms Davison takes up her post in January.