New role business leader

Former CBI chief to chair SkillForce charity

Iain McMillan Picture, ColourFormer CBI Scotland director Sir Iain McMillan has been appointed the next chairman of the national education charity SkillForce. 

Sir Iain, who takes up the role on 1 September, said: “SkillForce is all about improving the life chances of children and young people, including those who are at risk of exclusion and dropping out of education, by helping them to gain the skills they need to succeed in education and life.

“It’s a great privilege to have been asked to take on this role. I look forward to working with SkillForce colleagues, and the young people and communities that we serve.”

He was knighted for services to the Scottish economy in 2015 and led the CBI Scotland for 19 years until his retirement in 2014.

He was awarded a CBE in 2003 for services to the business community and lifelong learning in Scotland.

Prior to joining the CBI in 1993, Sir Iain spent 23 years with the TSB Group. He sat on the boards of the Scottish Qualifications Authority, Scottish Ambulance Service and Teaching Awards Trust. 

SkillForce works with 200 primary and secondary schools across Scotland, England and Wales developing character, self confidence and resilience in five to 19-year-olds, preparing them for their next steps in education, work or training. The charity’s Royal Patron is the Duke of Cambridge. 

SkillForce draws on the skills of predominantly ex-Services personnel. They work as instructors delivering education programmes and motivational mentoring which help to raise pupils’ aspirations, attendance and attainment. 

Sir Iain takes over from Lord Freeman, who has supported SkillForce since it was founded in 2000. He has been chairman for the last 12 years.

Ben Slade, the charity’s chief executive, said: “I am thrilled to welcome Sir Iain to SkillForce as we build on our work to transform lives.

“Our ambition is to become the leading provider of character education and resilience training in the UK education and skills sector. I would like to thank Lord Freeman for everything he has done for SkillForce.

“He has been a fantastic supporter of the charity from its inception, and played a major role in ensuring its success to date.”

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