WorldSkills UK, the education and skills charity, has announced the appointment today (14 November 2018) of Rooney Anand as the new Chair of the WorldSkills UK Board. Mr Anand, who is CEO of the national pub retailer and brewer Greene King, will take up his post in January 2019.
“We are delighted to welcome Rooney to the business at such an exciting time in WorldSkills UK’s development,” says Carole Stott, out-going Chair. “2017 saw the launch of our new five-year strategy, focused on a review of our governance as well as assessing our impact as an organisation and the market conditions we face going forward to diversify our offer. Rooney is an experienced leader, who has worked at the highest levels of business across the UK. He is passionate about the future for young people and supporting local communities and has developed a highly successful apprenticeship programme within Greene King that focuses on opportunity for all. I am sure his corporate experience will bring a new energy and business focus that will help the executive team to drive the organisation on to further success, helping more young people to build successful careers and making a positive contribution to the UK’s productivity challenges.”
Mr Anand has led Greene King plc for 13 years and is largely credited with turning a regional brewery and pub business into a brand-led restaurant and hotel operator, and a FTSE-250 company. He was named Business Leader of the Year at the 2016 Lloyds Bank National Business Awards and has consistently driven the business forward.
“Carole has done an amazing job as Chair of WorldSkills UK over the past six years, and I would like to thank her for her dedication and support as the organisation has evolved. Rooney has a fantastic background and breadth of business experience and has built a reputation for excellence and quality. I am looking forward to working together,” said WorldSkills UK CEO, Dr Neil Bentley.
Mr Anand said, “I am very much looking forward to building on the great foundations already established by Carole, Neil and the team at WorldSkills UK to help inspire more young people right across the UK to get off to the best possible start in work and life and demonstrating to business the value of investing in the next generation of high flyers. Boosting the involvement of businesses and governments in the organisation’s work is key to helping raise the bar on skills and improve the UK’s long-term competitiveness. I am certain that, with the highly capable and enthusiastic team already in place, WorldSkills UK will go from strength to strength.”
WorldSkills UK is focused on changing the national conversation so that apprenticeships and technical education are seen as prestigious career routes for all young people whatever their background, and on a par with university as a route to meaningful careers.
The appointment comes on the eve of WorldSkills UK LIVE (November 15th -17th) – the UK’s largest interactive skills event ever held in the UK – which will attract more than 80,000 young people to the NEC in Birmingham to meet employers promoting apprenticeships and technical career opportunities.