Public appointment: Member appointments extended on Skills Development Scotland

Public appointments news release.

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The Minister for Higher and Further Education; and Minister for Veterans, announced the extension to the appointments of Willie Mackie and Grahame Smith as Members of Skills Development Scotland.


Willie Mackie is a fellow of the Institute of Bankers in Scotland. He has over 36 years of experience in the financial services sector, including a spell as the managing partner of Clydesdale Bank’s private and agriculture customer base across Ayrshire and Arran. Since establishing his business consultancy in 2013, he has played an active role in supporting and promoting skills and economic development through several non-executive positions. These include Scottish Enterprise Ayrshire (board member), Ayrshire Chamber of Commerce (past President), Ayrshire College (Regional Chair) and Chair, hub South West Scotland Limited. In 2021 he was appointed to the board of Prestwick Airport where he is also Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee.

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. He is a Non-Executive Directors of the SQA and was previously co-Chair of the Fair Work Convention. He is Chair of the Programme Board for the Carers Review.


The extensions were for three months and began 1 August 2022 until 31 October 2022.

The extensions were regulated by the Ethical Standards Commissioner.


The extension was part-time and attracted a remuneration of £339 per day for a time commitment of two days per month.

Other ministerial appointments

Willie Mackie is interim Chair of Scottish Enterprise for which he receives remuneration of £541 per day per day, for a time commitment of 30 days per annum. Willie Mackie is a Member of the Board of Prestwick Aviation Holdings Limited. He receives £338.00 per day for a time commitment of 28 days per year.

Grahame Smith does not hold any other public appointments.

Political activity

All appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process.  However, in accordance with the original Nolan recommendations, there is a requirement for appointees’ political activity within the last five years (if there is any to be declared) to be made public. 

Willie Mackie and Grahame Smith have had no political activity within the last five years.


Skills Development Scotland (SDS) is Scotland’s national skills body. It contributes to Scotland’s sustainable economic growth by supporting people and businesses to develop and apply their skills. SDS work with their partners to provide services that deliver the very best outcomes for Scotland’s people, businesses and the economy.

SDS is a Non-Departmental Public Body (NDPB) responsible to Scottish Ministers with private limited company status and board members are non-executive directors of the company.

With more than 1,400 colleagues working across the country in schools, careers centres, colleague only office sites and partner locations, SDS are passionate about skills development and its contribution to a modern, innovative and prosperous Scottish economy.

Working with their partners, SDS strives to build a dynamic and responsive skills system, ensuring employers have the right skills at the right time to drive business productivity and inclusive growth. They also work to ensure every individual has the skills and confidence to get a job and progress in the world of work, achieving their full potential.

SDS are committed to building a Scotland which champions fair work practices and a diverse and inclusive workforce.   

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