His appointment will bring insight and a perspective on how employers can develop and inspire their staff. With over 20 years' experience in a wide range of HR roles, Fairhurst leads the strategic development of the organisation's people practices, including talent and education programmes across 40 countries. Fairhurst has been ranked as the most influential HR practitioner in the UK by HR magazine.
In his previous role as SVP, chief people officer for McDonald's UK and Northern Europe, he lead the process which resulted in the company becoming one of the country's first employers to achieve awarding body status, allowing it to offer nationally recognized qualifications as part of its own curriculum.
He said: "Our people tell us they want to continue learning while they work. That is why in many European countries we have developed a suite of nationally recognised qualifications to allow them to progress. I look forward to sharing our learnings on the revolving door between work and education and on how businesses can provide valuable employment opportunities in our communities."
The purpose of the UK Commission for Employment and Skills is to ensure investment from Government is spent on raising skill levels to help drive enterprise, create more and better jobs and boost economic growth.
It is led by business leaders from large and small organisations, trade unions and the voluntary sector, with Commissioners acting as ambassadors for employer-led and Government supported initiatives.