Finance

New chair wants apprenticeships available for ‘every young person in Scotland’



The employer-led body in charge of apprenticeships in Scotland has appointed a new business leader as chair.

Scottish Water’s chief operating officer Peter Farrer takes on the role at the Scottish Apprenticeship Advisory Board’s (SAAB) group board, to lead the strategic direction of its five groups.

SAAB now lead on the standards and frameworks and overall governance of apprenticeships in Scotland, ensuring that they are industry–owned.

The appointment comes following the departure of Alison McGregor, former chief executive of HSBC in Scotland, who stood as chair for four years.

Farrer brings more than three decades of industry experience in the field of apprenticeships, having been central to the development of Scottish Water’s people strategy.

He said: “I want there to be an apprenticeship available to every young person who wants to do one in Scotland, and for any employer to be able to offer apprenticeships in their field – this will be at the heart of the SAAB’s strategy going forward.

“Plans are underway to refresh the SAAB’s strategy for the next two years and identify key areas of work which will help continue to strengthen the employer voice in apprenticeships and ensure effective collaboration of all bodies involved in Scotland’s skills system.

Mike Cantlay, chair of Scottish Funding Council – the agency which funds colleges, universities and works with Skills Development Scotland to jointly fund and deliver Foundation and Graduate Apprenticeships in Scotland – said: “This heralds a new phase of collaboration between the Apprenticeship Board and its partners such as Scottish Funding Council, Skills Development Scotland and Scottish Government.”

The SAAB is comprised of five groups, with the board providing overall leadership to the four others: Employer Engagement Group; Employer Equalities Group; Standards and Frameworks Group, Apprentice Engagement Group.

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