New Chair wants an apprenticeship available for ‘Every Young Person in Scotland’

The employer-led body in charge of apprenticeships in Scotland has appointed a new business leader to Chair its group of industry experts.

Peter Farrer, Scottish Water’s Chief Operating Officer takes on the role of Chair of the Scottish Apprenticeship Advisory Board’s (SAAB) Group Board, to lead the strategic direction of its five groups, which operate as ‘the voice of industry on apprenticeships in Scotland.’

It comes at an important stage in the evolution of the skills landscape, with employers now placed firmly at the centre of the apprenticeship system. 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 CEO of HSCB in Scotland, who stood as Chair for period of four years.

Peter brings with him over three decades of industry experience and expertise in the field of apprenticeships, having been central to the development of Scottish Water’s people strategy which utilises apprenticeships as a model of developing talent.

Peter Farrer 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 Scottish Apprenticeship Advisory Board’s strategy going forward.

“I am now proud to be in the position where I can help to lead such an exceptional group of people and businesses to ensure apprenticeships get the recognition they deserve.”

“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: “Peter is a welcome addition to the already exceptional membership which is the SAAB. 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.”

Frank Mitchell, CEO of Scottish Power and Chair of Skills Development Scotland said: “SAAB has been hugely successful and has created a strong ‘employer-led’ platform for the future growth and development of apprenticeships in Scotland. We shouldn’t underestimate or undersell the distance travelled by the Board so far – with thanks to Alison McGregor as outgoing Chair, for her expert leadership so far. SAAB are one of the few, truly independent, employer-led bodies, offering a genuinely authentic employer voice. I look forward to seeing Peter continue this remarkable work.”

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