Principal Jackie Galbraith wins Top Business Award

West Lothian College Principal Jackie Galbraith recently won the Shona Sibbald Woman in Business Award at West Lothian Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards 2022.

Health & Social Care student Aaron Hume interviewed Jackie and asked a series of questions about her recent success while also finding out about her background before she became college Principal.

What were your immediate thoughts when you first discovered you had won the award?

“I was very surprised when I heard I had won the award. I felt honoured to receive it as it doesn’t just recognise me – it acknowledges the role that everyone at the college plays in contributing to growing the economy in West Lothian.

The award is very special to the Sibbald family as it remembers the contribution of successful business woman, Shona Sibbald.”

Can you tell us a bit about your background before becoming West Lothian College Principal?

“I started at West Lothian College in August 2018 after being a vice principal at Ayrshire College for five years.

I’ve had quite a varied career path. I started off in manufacturing as a software developer, I was a university computing lecturer for five years and left to head up an educational software organisation. After that, I spent ten years as a civil servant supporting government ministers on education, skills and employment.”

What would you describe as some of your main roles as the Principal of the College?

“I love being the principal of West Lothian College. Every day is different with interesting challenges, but my favourite part of the job is speaking with students and staff.

My job is to lead the college and ensure it is managed well so that we offer high quality learning. I am also responsible for ensuring that we manage the funding we get from government for the benefit of students and staff. This is a growing challenge with costs rising at the same time as funding for all colleges across Scotland is reducing.

The college is full of great people who are totally focused on making sure our students have the best possible learning experience. We all try to inspire and enable success for our students, and I encourage all staff to listen carefully to student feedback and make improvements.”

Director of Workforce Development, Computing, Engineering & Build Environment Diane Mitchell who attended the event on Jackie’s behalf, commented on her achievement “This award recognises all the work that the college has done to support West Lothian’s economic recovery under Jackie’s excellent leadership. We are one of the largest employers in West Lothian and she led us incredibly well during these difficult times for everyone. I am very honoured to be asked to accept in on Jackie’s behalf and felt very proud of our principal and college.”