St Andrews Skills Academy’s project manager Anneliese is the driving force behind the whole initiative. If you call the Skills Academy, she is the one most likely to pick up the phone, answering with her lilting Irish accent.
If you reach someone else, it’s probably because Anneliese is driving around Fife, listening to the needs of businesses and training providers. She works tirelessly to help businesses in Fife find the training they need. Here are a few key facts to help you get to know her.
Job title: Project Manager
Job role: The St Andrews Skills Academy is an innovative way of bringing together employers, staff and training providers in St Andrews, East Fife and beyond, for their mutual benefit and the benefit of the area’s economy. My role is to have overall responsibility for the planning, development and setting up of the Academy in the initial stages, and for its effective general management thereafter.
I have to ensure that the Academy’s activities are promoted and delivered effectively, on time and within budget. I have also been tasked with acting as an “ambassador” for the tourism and hospitality industry in St Andrews and Fife, and in particular act as an advocate for training and skills development.
Time with St Andrews Skills Academy: 11 months
Favourite food: Anything hot and spicy!
What do you see yourself doing in 10 years? I would like to see Xtra-Mile.com going from strength to strength, delivering quality events and business support services whilst being recognised as one of the best in its field. Of course, I also see myself remaining in contact with the Skills Academy and advising and assisting in any way I can.
What did you do before joining the Skills Academy? I spent seven years as CEO of an organisation called Sector Skills Alliance Scotland, a membership body for the government licensed Sector Skills Councils. Our role was to represent the SSCs in Scotland to the Scottish Government and key stakeholders involved in skills development. I still also carry out the role of MD of an events management company called Xtra-Mile.com in my spare time.
What is your favourite thing about working for the Skills Academy? Being able to support employers and employees in Fife and St Andrews to understand the maze of training opportunities and helping their training visions become a reality.
What is your advice to anyone considering investing in training? Training is the key to creating a valuable workforce. Training is vital for the growth of any business; there is a huge amount of evidence showing that when companies train their staff they see a significant return on their investment. Staff retention will also be higher and therefore recruitment costs will be lower.
In the current economic climate employers should be sending their staff and potential employees a clear signal that they are still committed to investment in training and development.
What is your favourite place in Scotland, and why? My favourite place in Scotland is Glencoe. The scenery is breathtaking and the area is particularly distinctive. I would really like to spend some more time exploring it further and soaking up the atmosphere.