Institute for Apprenticeships: board members announced

Leading figures from the worlds of education and business will take up board roles at the institute, due to begin operations in April

Will Martin

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The names of the eight board members for the new Institute for Apprenticeships (IfA) have finally been announced.

The IfA will begin operating in April and will aim to support the government in its drive to create 3 million new apprenticeship starts by 2020. The institute will also set quality criteria for the development of apprenticeship standards, and advise on the level of funding from government.

A consultation on the operational plan for the institute is also due to be published today. The Department for Education said this "will set out how the institute will take the lead on a number of ongoing reforms to improve the apprenticeship system. It details how the institute will provide advice to the government on funding and ensure employers get the quality skills that they need from the apprenticeship system".

In September, Peter Lauener, chief executive of the Skills Funding Agency and the Education Funding Agency, was announced as the institute's "shadow" chief executive. But the permanent chief executive is yet to be unveiled. 

'Diverse and experienced' board

IfA board members:

  • Dr Katherine Barclay, chair of the life science and industrial sciences apprenticeship Trailblazer group
  • Sir Gerry Berragan, former British Army adjutant-general and apprentices ambassador
  • Bev Robinson, principal of Blackpool and the Fylde College, and director of the National College for Onshore Oil and Gas
  • Paul Cadman, HR director for Walter Smith Fine Foods, and one of the government’s apprentice ambassadors
  • Dame Fiona Kendrick, chair and CEO of Nestle UK and Ireland
  • Dame Asha Khemka, principal and chief executive of West Nottinghamshire College Group
  • Robin Millar, chair of Blue Raincoat Chrysalis Group
  • Toby Peyton-Jones, HR director for Siemens in the UK and North-West Europe

Robert Halfon, minister for apprenticeships and skills, said: “It is fantastic to see such a diverse board who will bring their varied and high-level experience to the IfA to ensure apprenticeships are of the highest quality they can be.

“With employer expertise at its heart, the IfA will play a crucial role in raising the prestige of apprenticeships and ensuring employers can get the skilled workforce they desperately need.”

The institute's shadow chair, Antony Jenkins, said: “I believe this is an excellent, high-calibre board that will help the institute drive up the quality of apprenticeships. Today’s publication of the draft operational plan is the culmination of lots of hard work and engagement over the last six months, and I am very grateful to all the stakeholders who have helped us prepare it.”

David Hughes, chief executive of the Association of Colleges, said:“This is a strong list of board appointments for the new IfA, which will be an important and influential body. We are particularly pleased that two leading college principals, Dame Asha Khemka and Bev Robinson, have been selected. They will bring enormous experience and insight into the needs of employers, communities and apprentices, as well as the passion and dedication to help make the IfA a success.

“The appointment of two further education college principals shows that the government recognises the critical role that colleges play in every community. They are a crucial part of the education system, as well as contributors to economic growth, delivering the government’s industrial strategy and as drivers of social mobility.”

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