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Skills Development Scotland Chair John McClelland is amongst the members of a new board being formed to co-ordinate the activities of Scotland’s enterprise and skills agencies.

The Enterprise and Skills Strategic Board has been created by the Scottish Government after the recent Enterprise and Skills Review which looked at the activities of Skills Development Scotland (SDS), Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and the Scottish Funding Council.

The Board, which meets for the first time in December, features members with a wide range of business experience, with further representation covering education, research, trade unions, local authorities.

They will create a Strategic Plan that will align the functions of the four agencies plus the new South of Scotland Enterprise Agency, which together account for more than £2billion of public investment per year.

Fresh approach

The Board is chaired by Nora Senior, UK Chair of global communications firm Weber Shandwick and a former Chair of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce, and President of the British Chambers of Commerce.

She said: “It is time for a different way of looking at the enterprise and skills agenda, adopting a fresh approach and responding to changing economic, business and innovation needs.

“With such an ambitious remit, it is essential for the board to feature a range of voices with a depth of knowledge and experience of Scotland’s economy. The calibre of members we have invited on to the board is hugely impressive,

“I am confident that together we can build on the strengths of our system of enterprise and skills support, strengthen the links with other skills organisations and wider community to further drive inclusive growth and innovation across the country.”

"It is essential for the board to feature a range of voices with a depth of knowledge and experience of Scotland’s economy. The calibre of members we have invited on to the board is hugely impressive."

Nation of innovators

The Board will aim to ensure that the enterprise and skills support delivered to businesses and individuals across Scotland is as effective as possible, and contributes towards fostering inclusive and sustainable growth.

Keith Brown, Cabinet Secretary for the Economy, Jobs and Fair Work, said: “The Strategic Board for Enterprise and Skills will ensure that we are really maximising the benefits of our investment in Scotland’s businesses, innovators and entrepreneurs.”

He added: “We are rightly proud of our reputation as a nation of innovators. The support provided through this investment is greatly valued and it is important that it is properly co-ordinated, and focused on the needs of users.”

The members of the Strategic Board are:

  • Nora Senior – Chair
  • Wendy Alexander – University of Dundee
  • Karen Betts – Scotch Whisky Association
  • Liz Cameron – Scottish Chambers of Commerce
  • Mike Cantlay – Scottish Funding Council
  • Sara Carter – University of Strathclyde
  • Lorne Crerar – Highlands and Islands Enterprise
  • Audrey Cumberford – West College Scotland
  • Jeanette Forbes – PCL Group
  • Russel Griggs – South of Scotland Economic Partnership
  • Poonam Gupta – PG Paper Company
  • Steven Heddle – COSLA
  • Bob Keiller – Scottish Enterprise
  • John McClelland – Skills Development Scotland
  • Gerry McCusker – Dog Digital, Chair of BIMA Scotland
  • Scott McLarty – Spirit Aerosystems
  • Grahame Smith – STUC
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