Public appointment: members reappointed to Skills Development Scotland

Public appointments news release.

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The Minister for Higher Education, Further Education, Youth Employment and Training, Jamie Hepburn MSP, today announced the reappointments of Willie Mackie, Dr Carol Evans, Christine Pollock CBE, Nazim Hamid, Elizabeth Corcoran and Grahame Smith as members of the Board of Skills Development Scotland.


Willie Mackie established his own consultancy business in 2013 after an extensive career in financial services. 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 at Scottish Enterprise where he is also Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee.

Dr Carol Evans has over 20 years’ experience of education, stakeholder engagement, strategic leadership and leading and driving change in complex organisations in the private, public and third sectors. She worked a strategic level in AstraZeneca, Kellogg’s, PepsiCo, Reckitt Benckiser, Royal Pharmaceutical Society, a national start up, and currently Bield Housing and Care. Carol was appointed non-executive director for Food Standards Scotland in July 2021. Previously she was a member of several other pharmacy and health related boards and government advisory groups and supported the development of regulations, policies and procedures around education and workforce development nationally. She has been involved in provision and management of learning and development and talent management throughout her career including being Global Clinical Learning and Development Director at AZ where she had responsibility for the talent development of 6000 people worldwide. As a member of global executive teams, she had bene responsible for audit, risk and ensuring the highest standards of corporate governance.

Christine Pollock CBE was the former Director of Learning and Leisure Services in North Lanarkshire Council. She was also previously President of the Association of Directors of Education. In 2012 she was awarded a CBE from the Queen for services to Education and in 2013, she was given a Fellowship in the Scottish Qualifications Authority. Currently, she serves on the Scottish Advisory Council for Outward Bound and promotes the work of the Charity across Scotland. In addition, she is chair of the Creative Learning Steering Group with the remit to oversee the implementation of Scotland’s Creative Learning Plan. She was a member of The Commission chaired by Sir Ian Wood tasked with the production of a report making recommendations on the Development of Scotland’s Young Workforce and now serve as a member of the Programme Board monitoring implementation.

Nazim Hamid brings a wealth of experience and expertise from grass-root community initiatives to local and national public sector, working closely with agencies to address inequality and promoting diversity, community empowerment and organisation governance.

Elizabeth Corcoran currently holds two non-executive roles in Skills Development Scotland and the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants. At SDS, she chairs the RHR Committee and she previously sat on the Audit and Risk Committee and the Finance and Operations Committee. At CIMA, she sits on the Investigation Committee. Previously, at Glasgow Prestwick Airport, she chaired the Audit, Risk and Capital Investment Committee and she also sat on the Safety 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. Currently, he serves as a Non-Executive Director of Skills Development Scotland 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 Careers Review.


Elizabeth Corcoran, Nazim Hamid and Christine Pollock CBE will be reappointed from 15 January 2022 until 14 January 2025. Carol Evans will be reappointed from 22 January 2022 until 21 January 2025. Willie Mackie and Grahame Smith will be reappointed from 1 February 2022 until 31 July 2022.

These reappointments are regulated by the Ethical Standards Commissioner.

Remuneration and time commitment

These reappointments are part-time and attract a remuneration of £339 per day for a time commitment of two days per month.

Other ministerial appointments

Willie Mackie is Chair of the Ayrshire College Regional Board for which he received £265 per day for a time commitment of two days per week. 

Grahame Smith is a member of the Scottish Qualifications Authority for which he receives £5,117 per annum for a time commitment of four days per month. He is also the Co-Chair of the Fair Work Convention which is an unremunerated post, which has a time commitment of six days per month. He is also a member of the Enterprise and Skills Strategic Board, which is an unremunerated post, which has a time commitment of four days per month. Finally, he is Chair of the Programme Board for the Careers Service Review, for which he receives £336 per day for a time commitment of two days per week.

Dr Carol Evans is a member of the Food Standards Scotland Board for which she receives £10,896 per annum for a time commitment of one day per week.

Nazim Hamid is a lay member for the General Teaching Council of Scotland for which she receives £75 per half day for a time commitment of approximately one day per month.

Christine Pollock CBE and Elizabeth Corcoran do 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.   

Grahame Smith is a member of the Labour Party.

Mr Mackie, Dr Evans, Mrs Corcoran, Ms Hamid and Mrs Pollock have had no political activity within the last five years.

Skills Development Scotland

Skills Development Scotland is the national skills body supporting the people and businesses of Scotland to develop and apply their skills. A series of skills and economic strategies interlink to shape SDS's work, making sure that services and partnership activity are meeting the needs of customers and effectively contributing to our inclusive, sustainable growth ambitions for Scotland.

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