WorldSkills UK appoints first Director for Scotland

WorldSkills UK appoints first Director for Scotland

WorldSkills UK, the education and skills charity, has announced it has appointed Martin McGuire as its first ever Director for Scotland to grow further the impact of its work on young people and the economy.

Martin, who is currently Principal and Chief Executive at New College Lanarkshire, will take up the newly created Director post at the end of the current academic year. He will take responsibility for working with Skills bodies, the tertiary education sector, the business community and other stakeholders  as WorldSkills UK focuses on growing its work in Scotland and harnessing the impact of its international skills development programme to help deliver more world-class outcomes across the Scottish skills system.

Dr Neil Bentley-Gockmann OBE, Chief Executive, WorldSkills UK said about this appointment: “We are investing in Scotland to help more young people succeed in work and life and we are therefore absolutely delighted that Martin is joining us. He brings a wealth of experience to WorldSkills UK, having worked successfully with other colleges and businesses across Scotland to raise skills  standards. With his knowledge, Martin will spearhead our drive to help ensure that our world-class training know-how is embedded further into the skills system in Scotland to help boost productivity and inclusive growth.”

Scottish colleges are consistently amongst the top performers in WorldSkills UK’s UK-wide skills competitions; and Scottish young people consistently achieve the world-class benchmark when they compete at the international WorldSkills Competitions. 

Martin McGuire, incoming Director, Scotland at WorldSkills UK said: “I am very excited to take on this new challenge. Over recent years, I have seen at first-hand how young people, teaching staff and employers can all benefit from the work of WorldSkills UK and I look forward to working with the relevant agencies to ensure these opportunities are open to all young people in Scotland.”

Donogh O'Brien, Assignment Director, Aspen People said:  "This is a great appointment for Scotland. WorldSkills UK is an incredible organisation which paves the way for those learning a skill or trade relevant to the Work place to aspire to achieve “world class” levels. As part of team GB, many colleges in Scotland already produce outstanding results from their competitors, however with Martin’s first class leadership skills there is likely to be even greater achievement by Scottish competitors in Worldskills competitions. The obvious objective is to raise attainment and skill levels across the UK which will increase quality, productivity and outcomes across the economy."

The appointment of Martin McGuire follows the announcement that five young people from Scotland have been selected to be part of Team UK for WorldSkills Kazan, which takes place in Russia this summer.

Martin McGuire: Currently Principal at New College Lanarkshire. Has 20 years’ experience in senior management roles in Further Education having previously held Principal roles in Cumbernauld and Motherwell colleges.

A Chartered Physicist having initially lectured in electronic engineering.

Currently a member of the Scottish Government’s STEM Strategy implementation group and is the Chair of the National STEM Hub steering group.  STEM (Science Technology Engineering Maths)

Since New College Lanarkshire was formed in 2013 it has achieved ‘number 1 college in the UK’ at the national WorldSkills UK Final in Birmingham on 3 occasions and has never been outside the top 3 on the medal table.

More information on WorldSkills UK can be found on their website:




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