Meet the Principal

Derek Whitehead is the Principal & CEO of Leeds College of Building. He has been with the College for over 16 years, serving first as Deputy Principal and then taking up the role of Principal in January 2019.

Derek is passionate about education and is dedicated to the construction industry, one of the largest and most diverse employment sectors in the UK.

There has never been a better time to join this exciting industry, with so many companies looking for talented people to join their team.

Derek started his career at 16 as an Apprentice Carpenter & Joiner, experiencing first-hand what it’s like to gain trade skills. He advanced to a management role before moving into Further Education in 1985.

Derek became a Lecturer at Keighley College and then Section Leader for Timber Trades. At Bolton College, Derek was promoted to Senior Lecturer and later appointed Head of Construction & Engineering. Derek also carried out a cross-college self-assessment quality assurance role. 

The pull of Yorkshire eventually saw Derek return to Keighley College as Head of Construction & Engineering before moving to Leeds College of Building in 2004.

Derek’s career is a testament to the diversity of opportunities available in construction. He looks forward to welcoming you to the College as you gain life-long skills in construction, architecture, engineering or even management.