They are not appointed as representatives of individual organisations and are expected to use the experience and knowledge gained in their own careers when taking decisions on behalf of SDS.
The members are drawn from a range of backgrounds in the private and public sectors.
Link to the Board minutes.
John has extensive experience across the private and public sector. He was President of 3Com’s Business Network Company and prior to that Global Chief Industrial Officer and Board Member of Philips Consumer Electronics. Earlier in his career he was Vice President of Worldwide Operations for IBM’s personal computer company before joining Digital Equipment Corporation as a Senior Vice President.
John is a Board Member of NQC Limited, Chair of Skills Development Scotland and Chair of Hub South West Limited. He is former Chair of the Scottish Further and Higher Education Funding Council and the Renfrewshire Enterprise Company. In 2006, John completed a review of public sector procurement in Scotland on behalf of the Scottish Executive. He is former Vice President of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.
In 1994 John was awarded a CBE for his services to industry and education.Register of Interest
Donald is a partner and Chartered Accountant at Campbell Dallas, a firm of Independent Accountants specialising in Audit and Commercial Advisory.
Donald works with many large and medium sized Scottish businesses and has an extensive knowledge of owner managed businesses. He also advises international companies in respect of their Scottish operations.
Campbell Dallas was one of the first accounting firms in Scotland to create a Modern Apprenticeship scheme, providing access for school leavers directly into the workplace and offering them an opportunity to become a Chartered Accountant directly from school.
Donald has a particular interest in engineering businesses in Scotland, as well as heading up the Technology Media and Communications section within Campbell Dallas.Register of Interest
Beth Corcoran is a management professional with extensive specialist experience at Board level in Strategic Planning, Finance, Personnel, Procurement, IT, Risk and Change management.
A Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, Beth has over 20 years of involvement in management, including across the Environmental, Education, Manufacturing and Scientific sectors.
With former employers including Citizens Advice Scotland, Cumbria Chamber of Commerce and Student Loans Company Ltd, Beth will bring her knowledge and experience to the Skills Development Scotland Board as well as the Finance and Operational Performance and Audit and Risk Committees.
Register of Interest
*Appointed by SDS as a co-opted member of the Board for a term of two years.
Robin is a law graduate of Glasgow University and qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1972.
He is Vice-Chair of the Scottish Further and Higher Education Funding Council and Vice Chairman of Erskine Hospital. He chaired the Scottish Government review of public sector construction procurement in Scotland that reported in October 2014 and he is a member of the Scottish Construction Reform Delivery Group. He was a member of Court of the University of Strathclyde from 2007 to 2014.
Robin was a partner in KPMG for 24 years where he was Head of Services to Manufacturing, Retail and Distribution companies in Scotland and Head of Forensic Accounting. For five years until 2008, he was Chairman of the Scottish Business Crime Centre and from 2000 to 2006 he served as a Member of Council of CBI Scotland.
Robin's appointment to SDS runs from 19 May 2013 until 18 May 2017.
Register of Interest
Willie Mackie is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Bankers in Scotland and brings to the board a background in the Ayrshire and Arran area and in the college sector.
From 2001 to 2012 Willie was responsible for Clydesdale Bank's Corporate, Agricultural and Private Banking business across Ayrshire and Arran.
In January 2013, he established Willie Mackie Consulting Limited providing business consultancy services to a wide range of clients predominantly based in Ayrshire.
Willie holds a number of positions within the Ayrshire community including; Board Member, Irvine Bay Urban Regeneration Company/Irvine Bay Developments; Member of the Ayrshire Economic Partnership; Chair, Taste Ayrshire; Board member, East Ayrshire Community Planning Partnership. In 2016 he was appointed to the Board of Scottish Enterprise where he is also Chair of the Audit Committee.
Willie has also been involved in the College sector for many years including roles as Member of the Board of Ayr College (Chair from 1 January 2013); Ayrshire Partnership Board Member; and Ayrshire College Regional Lead and then Regional Chair from 4 March 2014. In March 2014 Willie was also appointed to the boards of Colleges Scotland and College Development Network where he is also Chair of the Audit Committee.Register of Interest
Seonag has had a lifelong interest in the welfare of young people.
She spent her working life in education, training as a primary teacher and working as a Teacher, Head Teacher, Education Advisor, Quality Improvement Manager and latterly as Director of Education and Children's Services for Comhairle nan Eilean Siar.
Through her work in senior management, she has acquired a set of skills and a strategic objectivity that she believes equips her for the challenges facing the SDS Board.
Whilst involved in various roles in the Education Sector, she was fully aware of the valuable work of Skills Development Scotland and the key role it plays in bridging the crucial gap between school and work and she is keen to play her part in helping the organisation to deliver its identified outcomes and goals.
She is from the Isle of Harris - a native Gaelic speaker - and she currently Chairs the National Gaelic Strategy Steering Group, led by Bord na Gaidhlig.Register of Interest
Christine has extensive senior-level experience in the education sector. She was Executive Director of Learning and Leisure Services in North Lanarkshire Council in the West of Scotland until September 2013.
She is a member of several national advisory groups providing professional advice to Scottish Ministers on areas such as the Scottish Advisory Committee on Outward Bound and the Commission for Developing Scotland's Young Workforce.
In 2012 Christine was awarded a CBE for services to Education and in 2013 the Scottish Qualifications Authority presented her with a Fellowship in recognition of her contribution to national accreditation programmes.
In September 2013 Christine retired from her post in North Lanarkshire but continues to make a contribution to several national groups and works on a voluntary basis one day a week in a secondary school.
*Appointed by SDS as a co-opted member of the Board for a term of two years.Register of Interest
Grahame is the General Secretary of the Scottish TUC, a position he has held since 2006.
He is a graduate of Strathclyde University where he obtained an Honours Degree in Economics and Industrial Relations.
He serves on a number of skills and economic development boards at Scottish and UK level and has contributed extensively to the development of skills and employment policy, most recently as a member of the Commission on Developing Scotland's Young Workforce.
He also led the creation of Scottish Union Learning and serves as a member of its Board.Register of Interest
Caroline Stuart held the post of Scotland Director for Oracle Corporation Ltd, one of the largest software companies in the world, from 2009 to 2016 and worked for them in a variety of roles since 2000.
She previously held positions in organisations ranging from small to medium sized business through to multi-national corporations, as well as running four small companies.
Caroline sits on various boards and committees in Scotland including Digital Scotland Economy and Business Board, Glasgow Caledonian University, Scottish Funding Council, Scottish Police Authority, Scottish Women and Work and Make Maths Count. She currently chairs Tech Partnership Scotland and was a Commissioner on the Commission for Widening Access and Make Maths Count.Register of Interest
Agnes Valentine has significant experience at IT Director level within Financial Services organisations and within the public sector via Management Services Consultancy.
Agnes Valentine has worked in Executive and C-level roles within the IT sector in Scotland for more than 35 years. During this time, her work has been primarily focussed on Financial Services and the Public Sector, including the Health sector and a range of Government agencies.
A key focus throughout her career has been to drive business transformation and innovation through IT enablement. Being passionate about young people’s career aspirations has led Agnes to be actively involved in the Scottish Financial Services IT forum and with the promotion of Modern Apprenticeships in the IT sector.
Register of Interest
*Appointed by SDS as a co-opted member of the Board for a term of one year.
Graeme is Chairman of Energen Biogas, a renewable energy company which he has recently established.
Prior to this he was the Business Director and Head of Operations of Rolls Royce Aero Repair and Overhaul.
Graeme was previously a Director on the board of Scottish Enterprise and previously chaired the Scottish Manufacturing Advisory Service. He is Chairman of the West Regional Advisory Board and is on the Board of the Prince and Princess of Wales Hospice. He is also involved in an advisory capacity with the Glasgow Economic Commission.
Graeme is a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society and was recently awarded Honorary Doctorate from Glasgow University in Engineering.Register of Interest
Damien has been the Chief Executive of Skills Development Scotland (SDS) since its inception in 2008; overseeing the ambitious merger of four public bodies into one.
With a turnover of £220 million and over 1200 staff operating in 110 locations throughout Scotland; central to SDS’s role and purpose is the contribution it makes to the creation of a strong, vibrant and diverse economy. With SDS leading on skills planning and development, Damien is committed to forging strong relationships between providers of education and training, and businesses and industry ensuring support for both employers to get the skills they need and individuals to get jobs and progress in the workplace.
Damien has overseen an extensive modernisation programme spanning a network of 400 school careers staff and 47 local branches to enhance the scope and reach of Careers Information, Advice and Guidance services in Scotland. Passionate about supporting young people and recognising the relevance of high quality digital support for young people in career decision making, he was instrumental in driving forward development of a now award winning digital service, My World of Work. Achieving on average over 235,000 unique users a month, My World of Work is now recognised by Education Scotland for its valuable contribution to careers services.
Damien has also strengthened and developed the crucial links between employer demand for, and the supply of, skilled individuals into employment through strategic initiatives. This includes working in partnership locally and regionally to develop Skills Investment Plans for each of Scotland’s key growth and economic sectors and regional skills assessments throughout the length and breadth of Scotland. Currently delivering 25,000 new Modern Apprenticeships annually, recognising the value to employers, individuals and the economy he is committed to increasing this to 30,000 by 2020.
Damien’s extensive international knowledge of, and advocacy for, work based learning has driven the creation of new opportunities for young people to sustain and achieve success in the labour market; such as the introduction of foundation apprenticeships for senior school pupils. Passionate about skills development and its contribution to a prospering Scottish economy; Damien’s future ambitions for SDS include improving industry engagement in workforce development through foundation and graduate level apprenticeships, supporting inclusion and diversity in fair and productive workplaces and providing greater support to school pupils earlier to help them on the path to sustainable and rewarding careers.Register of Interest