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Scottish Ministers are looking to appoint a new Chair of the Board of Skills Development Scotland (SDS).

John F. McClelland CBE, Chair of SDS since 2010, steps down from the role this summer, and Ministers are now inviting applications for his successor.

SDS is the skills agency for Scotland, more than 1400 colleagues working across the country in schools, careers centres and partner locations, contributing towards a modern, innovative and prosperous Scottish economy.

Working with our partners, we strive to ensure employers have the right skills at the right time in high performing, fair and equal workplaces, and that every individual has the skills and confidence to get a job and progress in the workplace, achieving their full potential.

Our support for employers includes tailored skills advice and funding for workforce development, with more than 26,500 new Modern Apprentices starting each year, plus the growth of Foundation Apprenticeships and Graduate Apprenticeships

We also provide careers information, advice and guidance aimed at building the career management skills that will enable people to thrive in a changing economy, with enhanced support now being provided from an earlier age to help school pupils on the path to sustainable and rewarding careers.

Focus on collaboration

The new Chair of SDS will lead on the next phase of development within the organisation, with an increasing focus on collaboration with businesses, schools, colleges, universities and other public bodies for the benefit of young people, the workforce and Scotland’s business base.

This includes further development of the customer-centred services which are the focus of SDS colleagues across the country, combined with world leading web-based services.

It also includes on-going operational delivery of high level Government commitments, such as the growth of apprenticeships, with a target to reach 30,000 Modern Apprenticeship starts per year by 2020, and the continued enhancement of careers information, advice and guidance.

The Chair also will serve as a member of the Enterprise and Skills Board, formed to align and co-ordinate the work of Scotland’s enterprise and skills agencies, and will work on behalf of Ministers to ensure that SDS remains a high performing public body delivering value for money.


The appointment will be for an initial three-year term, formally beginning on 1 October 2018.

Applications can be made via the Appointed for Scotland website, where further details relating to the post are also available.

Completed applications must be received by noon on 8 June 2018.

For further information, contact Dominic Munro, Director Fair Work, Employability and Skills at Scottish Government on 0131 244 5510 or

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