Graham has worked in the FE sector since 1994, starting out as a lecturer and progressing through it to become EKC Group’s Chief Executive in February 2018, after he led the merger between East Kent College and Canterbury College. He had his first principalship at the former Thanet College, transforming it from a single site college by incorporating the former K College campuses at Dover and Folkestone in 2014.
Graham received the OBE for services to education, highlighting his commitment to delivering the best opportunities for the thousands of people attending colleges across East Kent, their wider communities, and the whole of the further education sector.
Alongside his work within further education in Kent, Graham has worked to develop and grow the wider sector, acting as a National Leader in Further Education (NLFE) as well as sitting on the Association of College’s main board. Graham has also helped guide the development of national policy within FE after being appointed to the Principals’ Reference Group which feeds directly into Government.
Graham has also helped to ensure key skills gaps are filled within the county, enabling businesses to grow and communities to flourish through his work as a board member of the South East Local Enterprise Partnership, chairing its Skills Advisory Group, and helping guide the development of its strategic plan.
Graham Razey, Chief Executive of EKC Group, said: "From the very first lesson I delivered, I was hooked on how Further Education transforms lives.
"Over the years I have been hugely inspired by our students, who often overcome significant barriers to keep studying, and achieve their aspirations.
"Seeing their smiles when they achieve their first certificate or secure their dream job has been all the reward I have needed.
"I am truly honoured to receive this OBE and hope in some way that it helps to raise the profile of technical and vocational education.
"I have always championed the role that Further Education colleges play within their local communities and I feel privileged to have been a part of many fantastic partnerships between local groups, businesses and the Colleges which I have led.
"I have been blessed with having a great network supporting me, but I would like in particular to thank my wife and son who have been my rocks, and with whom I look forward to celebrating this honour."