Former CEO of Hampshire County Council to chair Skills for Care

John Coughlan

Skills for Care has appointed former Hampshire County Council chief executive John Coughlan as its chair of trustees.

He will take up the role at the workforce development agency for adult social care in England from Dame Moira Gibb, who steps down in March after seven years.

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As chief executive of Hampshire County Council, he led the authority through the pandemic. Before that he was Hampshire’s director of children’s services for a decade taking them from ‘good’ to ‘outstanding’ in Ofsted ratings.

He also served as president of the Association of Children’s Services and in 2009 was awarded a CBE for services to local government.

‘I’m delighted to be joining Skills for Care at what is a pivotal period of reform for adult social care,’ Coughlan said. ‘If I have learnt anything as a leader of services, it’s that a highly motivated and skilled workforce will be central to progress. I am determined that Skills for Care will play a key role in leading the sector through this critical period.

‘From my time in local government I know how highly regarded Skills for Care is at a strategic level and by social care employers. I inherit a top quality board from Dame Moira made of experienced leaders who offer so much sector knowledge insight.’

Dame Gibb added: ‘We had a number of very strong applications for this role, but John’s mix of significant leadership experience, particularly during the recent pandemic, and clear strategic thinking around workforce issues made him the selection panel’s choice.’