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Scottish businesswoman, former apprentice and champion of apprenticeships, Alison McGregor is the latest Apprentice Greats inductee.

Alison, currently the Interim Chief Executive of the Beatson Cancer Charity, is a passionate and active people champion and has achieved individual success through apprenticeships.



Champion of apprenticeships

Personal home circumstances led to Alison leaving school at 15 and she was successful in securing an apprentice banker opportunity at the Bank of Scotland, where she worked and studied for five years.

Since then, Alison has achieved amazing career success and broadened her experience, working in a number of different roles and financial services institutions including Barclays, National Australia Group and latterly as the CEO of HSBC Scotland.

Alison is a passionate champion of apprenticeships and has supported apprenticeships throughout her career.

Her active pursuit in gaining the next generation of talent within Financial Services has helped boost the number of people now going through apprenticeships in the sector.

Apprenticeships adding value

In 2018, Alison was presented with the prestigious Women in Banking & Finance (WiBF) Award for Achievement, recognising her personal mission to ‘support the growth of the Scottish Economy and its people’ and as a role model for females across the financial services sector and beyond.

In addition to her demanding day job, Alison sits on the boards of both the Confederation of British Industries (CBI) and Scottish Power Energy Networks and is an advisor at Glasgow University Business School.

She has also recently become the co-chair of the Scottish Apprenticeship Advisory Board (SAAB).

Alison said of her own experience: “If I was to compare my pathway with going to University, I would say that I may have achieved my qualification a bit sooner, but I wouldn’t have built my level of resilience, social skills and the understanding of what it means to be part of a team. It’s these are the skills that have become invaluable in my career.

“As an apprentice, I had the chance to work in a range of departments and was already adding value from an early stage.

“Starting off in junior posts and having exposure to different teams meant that I felt I’d done almost every job. I knew so many people and knew how to communicate with them.

“I’ve never forgotten the power of apprenticeships to the success of an organisation and in the leadership roles I’ve had, I’ve always pushed for work-based learning. “

Advocate of diversity and inclusion

Alison was nominated by Margaret McCaig, Global Head Governance & Standards - Regulatory Compliance Monitoring & Testing at HSBC.

In her nomination, Margaret said: “Alison is an advocate of diversity and inclusion and has helped many people inside and outside of the organisations she has worked in.

“A mentor to lots of people, Alison is a true inspiration.

“I believe apprenticeships offer young people the chance to experience a varied career with opportunities to learn and grow, professionally and personally.

“Alison’s successful career is an excellent illustration to young people of what is possible.”


Read Alison's blog

To support International Women's Day during Scottish Apprenticeship Week 2019, Alison has shared her thoughts through this blog on the positive impact an apprenticeship has had on her career and why women in business need to listen to their supporters.

Find out more about Apprentice Greats and make your own nomination on here



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