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Industry backs search for future leaders of Scottish growth

Posted: 29th June 2015

Industry leaders have backed a new Scotland-wide search for the future talent who will drive growth in the nation’s key sectors, launched by University of Edinburgh Business School.

The School is calling for exceptional professionals to compete for the chance to be awarded one of five scholarships – covering up to all programme fees – for its 27 month, £27,100 Executive MBA.

Executive MBA Scholarship L-R Malcolm Kirkup (University of Edinburgh Business School) Ian Walker and George Blair (Johnson & Johnson) Credit – James Glossop

The scholarships are aimed at individuals working in, or with ambitions to develop a career in one of five key sectors – Life Sciences, Financial Services, Renewables, Digital and Food & Drink.

The initiative is backed by industry leaders including Ian Walker (Johnson & Johnson), Anne Richards (Aberdeen Asset Management), Ian Marchant (Nova Innovation and Infinis) Karin Hayhow (Mackie’s of Scotland) and Dr Colin Adams (Technology incubator, Informatics Ventures).

The Scottish Government has identified these five sectors as key to the nation’s economic development. Combined, they already contribute more than £90bn to the Scottish economy annually and employ half a million people.

Successful applicants will have the opportunity to join the programme – which focuses on equipping students with strategic and responsible leadership skills – in 2015/2016 or 2016/17.

Dr Malcolm Kirkup, Director of MBA programmes at University of Edinburgh Business School, said:
“As a School we have a part to play in the current industry and policy debates that are calling for a boost in the pool of executive talent across Scotland.

“Life Sciences, Renewables and Digital are fast joining more established sectors like Food & Drink and Financial Services to become the power houses of our economy. But to remain competitive in the years to come, these industries need to continue to develop their future leaders.

“With this initiative we want to harness exceptional talent across Scotland to shape and upskill the next generation of leaders, so they can navigate these sectors to future growth on the international stage.”

Karin Hayhow, Marketing Director, Mackie’s of Scotland, said:
“I am very pleased Scotland’s food & drink industry is one of the key sectors identified to benefit from this initiative.

“This is the exactly the type of programme we need to help find and develop the very best people to build on the reputation the sector enjoys internationally, and drive future growth ”

Applicants may nominate themselves or be nominated by their employer. Expressions of interest should be logged on by midnight on Sunday 12th July.

Nominees will then be asked to submit a 1,000 word statement on why they should be selected, with shortlisted candidates undertaking a rigorous selection process before the five scholarships are awarded at the end of July.

Ian Marchant, Non-Executive Director of leading tidal energy company, Nova Innovation, and Chairman of independent Renewables generator, Infinis, said:
“I have long believed in the importance of both continued personal development and leadership, so I am pleased these two aspects feature so strongly in this new Executive MBA initiative.

“Energy is one of the key sectors in the Scottish economy and the nurturing of local leadership skills is an important building block for future success. The fact Renewables is one of five areas chosen for this scholarship is particularly welcome”

Ian Walker, Corporate Citizenship Director, Johnson & Johnson, said:
““Giving young people the skills to lead in the Global Life Science sector will be key to the future. I fully support the five sectors identified by Edinburgh University to create future leaders with a strong educational foundation.

There is a huge amount of talent here that could use this Scholarship to access knowledge to build a better and more prosperous future”

Anne Richards, Chief Investment Officer at Aberdeen Asset Management, said:
“University of Edinburgh Business School’s MBA is an important part of developing the skills and talents needed in a successful economy.

“It focuses on strategic leadership and the development of business men and women that will make significant contributions to Scotland’s long-term growth both domestically and internationally.”

Dr Colin Adams, Director of Informatics Ventures, said:
“The technology sector in Scotland is now at a point where we are seeing an increasing number of our start-ups scaling significantly.

“One of the main inhibitors to growth like this is the availability of excellent business leadership talent so this executive MBA program comes at an opportune time to provide the skills that allow more and more of our companies to scale successfully”

Candidates are encouraged to visit for more details and to register their interest.

Successful applicants will be required to pay a non-returnable deposit of £1,500 to confirm their commitment, before the programme start date.


Business Comment

Business Comment is the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce’s bi-monthly magazine. It provides insight on Edinburgh’s vibrant business community, with features on the city’s key sectors, interviews with leading figures and news on new business developments in the capital.
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