A former apprentice has been appointed Principal of the college he attended as a 16 year old school leaver.

Kenny MacInnes, 53, currently Forth Valley College’s Vice Principal for Learning and Student Experience, will take up his post when current Principal, Professor Ken Thomson OBE, retires later this year after 10 years in charge.

The new FVC Principal and Chief Executive, said: “I am absolutely delighted to become Principal of the College where I started my career as an apprentice.

“I loved my experience of further education and I recognize how it is transformational. Further Education set me on my pathway to the new role I find myself in today.

“I have to pay tribute to outgoing Principal Professor Ken Thomson, whose legacy is immense and I hope to continue his excellent work and lead the College following a similar trajectory in my own way, on the exciting next phase of its journey.”

It has been a meteoric rise for the former EITB (NASEC) (now ECITB) Mechanical Engineering Apprentice who left school in 1985 to train at Falkirk College of Technology – which later became Forth Valley College.

Kenny also won an Apprentice of the Year award at the College, before completing his apprenticeship, and progressing to study for a degree in Computer Aided Engineering at Glasgow Caledonian University and two Masters Degrees in Education Leadership and Social Research respectively.

Kenny worked within the petro-chemical, manufacturing and aero industries before he joined the College as a lecturer in 2007. His notable skills and professionalism saw him rise quickly through the ranks at FVC, moving on to become a Curriculum Manager in 2012, Head of Department in 2014, Director of Curriculum in 2018 and Vice Principal in 2019. He has been responsible for the delivery of the College’s STEM strategy and relished his role as a Director of Curriculum at the College in Engineering and Science, before taking on the position of Vice Principal and now Principal.

Trudi Craggs, Interim Chair of the FVC Board of Management, said: “I am absolutely delighted that Kenny will be our next principal. His experience coupled with his ambition, enthusiasm and passion for Forth Valley College, made him the standout candidate in what was a very competitive and robust process.

“While he will provide an element of continuity, I have no doubt that we will see evolution as he leads the College through the future challenges and opportunities, building on our success. It is an exciting time for Forth Valley College and the Board looks forward to working closely with Kenny.”

Outgoing Principal Professor Ken Thomson OBE, said: “I am absolutely delighted that Kenny, after a comprehensive and national selection process, has been appointed as the new College Principal and my successor.

“Kenny has vision and understands the culture and strategy of the college and its place in the regional and national economy. He is a natural leader and with that he brings confidence in continuity, hitting the ground running with a strong network. You could never fault Kenny’s passion for Forth Valley College. It probably goes through him like a stick of rock. The College is in good hands.”