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The Minister for Higher Education and Further Education, Youth Employment and Training, Jamie Hepburn MSP, has announced the reappointment of Frank Mitchell as Chair of Skills Development Scotland (SDS).

Frank Mitchell, CEO of SP Energy Networks, took up the post of Chair of SDS in 2018. Frank has more than 30 years of experience in working internationally across the energy sector and leading large multi-skilled teams across diverse locations and leading business change and innovation.

He brings extensive experience of working with key external stakeholders including customers, communities, governments, regulators and trade unions.

The reappointment will run for three years from 1 October 2021 to 30 September 2024. Mr Mitchell will continue to donate remuneration as Chair of SDS to a charity of his choice.

Mr Hepburn said:

“I am pleased that Frank has accepted to continue in his role as Chair of Skills Development Scotland for a further three years. Frank has shown leadership and commitment to SDS and to the skills agenda, despite the pressures of the pandemic and this has meant that SDS have been able to respond to rapidly changing circumstances and pivot delivery.

“I look forward to continuing to work with Frank as SDS have a critical role to play in terms of the delivery of interventions, as well as ensuring that they continue to work closely with officials and other agencies to deliver the asks of this government.”

Grahame Smith and Willie Mackie have also been reappointed to the SDS Board.

SDS CEO, Damien Yeates, said:  

“I am delighted with the re appointment of Frank as Chair of Skills Development Scotland. His leadership, wealth of experience and insight are invaluable. I also welcome the re appointment of Grahame and Willie which brings continuity to our Board in this critical recovery stage from the pandemic.”

Grahame Smith is the former General Secretary of the Scottish TUC. He is a Graduate of Strathclyde University, where he obtained an Honours Degree in Economics and Industrial Relations. Currently, he serves as a Non-Executive Director of SDS and of the Scottish Qualifications Authority and as co-Chair of the Fair Work Convention. He is also Chair of the Programme Board for the Career Review.

Frank has shown leadership and commitment to SDS and to the skills agenda, despite the pressures of the pandemic and this has meant that SDS have been able to respond to rapidly changing circumstances and pivot delivery.

Jamie Hepburn MSP, Minister for Higher Education and Further Education, Youth Employment and Training

Following an extensive career in financial services, Willie Mackie established his own consultancy business in 2013. Over the past 20 years, Willie has held a number of senior roles supporting skills, education and economic development at a local and regional level. In addition to his appointment to the Board of SDS in 2014, he is also Regional Chair of Ayrshire College and Deputy Chair of Scottish Enterprise, where he is also Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee.

The reappointments of Grahame Smith and Willie Mackie will run for six months from 1 August 2021 to 31 January 2022 with a further six month extension to 31 July 2022.

All three appointments are regulated by the Ethical Standards Commissioner.

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