The main purpose of the panel is to ensure that the views of apprentices are represented across the work and governance of the Institute.  The panel decides for itself which issues to focus on and can advise and challenge the board. Members of the panel are currently helping to develop content aimed at apprentices, for the Institute website.

The apprentice panel has hosted a series of podcast. They asked 10 questions to Gillian Keegan, Minister for Apprenticeships and Skills. The questions ranged from social mobility to funding for degree apprenticeships.

Want to join the apprentice panel?

Information about joining the apprentice panel


If you’re a confident and committed apprentice, and passionate about apprenticeships and technical education, this is a great opportunity for you to make an influential contribution to the government’s technical education reforms.

The Institute works with a panel of apprentices drawn from across industry and the length and breadth of England to advise government from the apprentice perspective. The Institute’s apprentice panel is made up of enthusiastic past and present apprentices that provide their insights to influence the Institute’s work and the Government’s policy on apprenticeships in a tangible way.

The panel meets every other month at the Institute’s offices (and elsewhere) to discuss current topics, ideas for the future and offer our opinion to the government. This includes regular meetings with ministers of state and senior government officials – so the panel has a unique opportunity to influence developments at the very highest levels.

You could be 16 or 60, doing a level 2 to level 7 apprenticeship, or working in any industry: we want the broadest possible representation on our panel.

Who you’ll be working with

The panel works mainly directly with the Institute itself. It is facilitated by members of the Institute staff, who help ensure that panel members have the best access to those they need to come into contact with.

The Institute’s work is mainly concerned with the design and approval of apprenticeship standards and T Level qualifications, but the panel will have opportunities to influence other parts of government concerned with areas such as the promotion of apprenticeships and the quality assurance of training.

Members of the panel have the freedom to agree how best to influence and share their views, but the Institute also provides support and guidance to help members to make the best of the opportunities they have.

What you’ll be doing

It’s expected that apprentices on the panel will be visible and enthusiastic ambassadors for apprenticeships in a range of ways, but they will also have responsibility for gathering the insights of as many apprentices as possible and ensuring these are able to be heard and understood by those with the power to change things for the better. You’ll also be working with the Institute’s relationship managers and other officials to ensure its apprenticeship standards are as good as they can possibly be.

The Institute will support panel members to survey apprentices, and to find speaking opportunities. There will be guidance about how best to promote apprenticeships using social media and other channels. Sometimes your work might involve high profile or media opportunities.

What experience you’ll need to apply

Members of the panel need to be current apprentices or people who have recently completed apprenticeships. It will be important for you to have a good understanding of the apprentice journey, and either have, or be willing to develop, a good network of connections with other apprentices

A good candidate for the panel would be someone who is confident, committed and passionate about apprenticeships. Ideally, the Institute would like a diverse panel with mixed experience, with at least one apprentice from each of the fifteen routes.

Applicants will need their employer’s support to join the panel, as there will be a commitment of time that will need employers’ support. Employers and apprentices should be aware that the time spent on panel work is unpaid, and will not count towards the 20% off-the-job training requirement of an apprenticeship. However, reasonable travel costs are reimbursed.

We expect those joining the panel to make a one-year minimum commitment to the panel, attending no fewer than 4 of the 6 panel meetings which are held per year, and undertaking other activities as required by the Institute. Members have a great opportunity to engage with and influence Government policy. In our experience of working with apprentices on the panel,  those who get the most out of membership will be those who put the most effort in.

Making an application

You can make an application to join the apprentice panel by completing the form. Before completing and submitting the form, please do ensure that:

  • you have read all the information in this form, and that you understand the commitment you are making;
  • you have discussed the contents of this form and the requirements of the role with your employer;
  • your employer has indicated their support for you applying for the role and is content for its name to appear on the Institute’s website alongside your own name in the event that you are successfully appointed to the panel.

Members of the apprentice panel

Angela Hogg profile picture

Angela Hogg

Age: 41

Employer: Lloyds Banking Group

Apprenticeship: Digital technology solutions specialist (Level 6)

Training Provider: Manchester Metropolitan University 

Assigned route: Legal, finance and accounting

Reasons for joining the panel: I joined my apprenticeship scheme aged 40, having had a good career. However, I found after a few restructures that I was struggling to push to the next level, and I needed to do something radical. My company is undergoing a digital transformation and the digital technology solutions degree apprenticeship seemed a great opportunity. I joined the panel to be an advocate for people looking for alternatives, especially as we will be working longer. Many people will need to adapt as environments change. 

Dillon Jones profile picture

Dillon Jones

Age: 24

Employer: Derry Building Services

Apprenticeship: Installation electrician and maintenance electrician (Level 3)

Training Provider: JTL  

Assigned route: Construction

Reasons for joining the panel: I am confident that I can make a difference for future apprentices not only in my field but throughout the UK’s workforce. Being a part of the apprenticeship panel enables all of our of apprentices to have a voice and make sure that they are heard, not only by their employer but by the government as well. I also want to get the message across that earning whilst you’re learning is a massive benefit for apprenticeships and one that is often overlooked. 

John Alfred profile picture

John Alfred

Employer: Paul Edmonds London

Apprenticeship: Hair professional (Level 2)

Training Provider: Cheynes Training

Assigned route: Hair and beauty

Reasons for joining the panel: I love my industry and will take every opportunity that arises to represent it. I have worked within teams on different levels, inside and outside of London, and so I believe I can bring a wider view of what it is like to train in hairdressing.



Joel Roach profile picture

Joel Roach

Age: 20

Employer: Microsoft

Apprenticeship: Chartered manager degree (Level 6)

Training Provider: QA

Assigned route: Business admin

Reasons for joining the panel: Having experienced both university and an apprenticeship, I know the huge value the latter can bring. I feel there is a tendency to view traditional university as the default option, with more and more students going because they don’t know what alternatives are available. I want to raise the profile of apprenticeships so that students who have doubts about traditional university can find an option that’s best for them.

Jamilah Simpson profile picture

Jamilah Simpson

Age: 20

Employer: WhiteHat

Apprenticeship: (former) Digital marketer (Level 3)

Training provider: WhiteHat

Job title: Community President

Assigned route: Creative and design

Reasons for joining the panel: I want to be able to share the views of my peers and act as a representative to the apprentice community across the country. I am passionate about making sure apprentices’ voices are heard. I will bring forward any concerns and feedback from my apprentice network. I would also like to continue challenging negative perceptions around apprenticeships.

Jacqueline Kankam-Hoppe profile picture

Jacqueline Kankam-Hoppe

Age: 19

Employer: Karine Jackson

Apprenticeship: Advanced and creative hair professional (Level 3)

Training Provider: City and Guilds

Assigned route: Hair and beauty

Reasons for joining the panel: I want to help current and future apprentices get the most out of their training. Working in the past at a salon where I was unhappy, and training wasn’t prioritised led to the deterioration of my wellbeing and mental health. Apprentices work very hard and most have to juggle work with outside factors such as being parents or carers, money problems and school deadlines. With the help of this panel, I would want to use my platform to work towards the goal of apprentices getting the right training in a positive environment and the recognition that they deserved.

Amelia Russell profile picture

Amelia Russell

Age: 22

Employer: The Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education

Apprenticeship: Business administrator (Level 3)

Training provider: KnowledgePool

Assigned route: Education and childcare

Reasons for joining the panel: I am passionate about apprenticeships. I aim to really show off how amazing they are for people from all backgrounds. Being a care leaver, I faced many barriers in my life. I finally feel like my apprenticeship has opened so many doors. I am proud to say, ‘I am an apprentice’ and joining the panel will provide a unique opportunity to influence how they develop in the future.

Sam Davies profile picture

Sam Davies

Age: 23

Employer: The University of Manchester

Apprenticeship: Laboratory technician (Level 3)

Training Provider: Trafford College

Assigned route: Health and science

Reasons for joining the panel: I have a passion for apprenticeships and want to be involved in their development and advertisement, helping ensure others can experience the same opportunities I have. Many people feel that university is the obvious next step post-school or college. I want to be a part of the panel, so that I can help to raise awareness of the apprenticeships on offer and get the message to young people that they don't have to go to university to get a good job. I would also like to focus on helping to promote apprenticeships (specifically science-related roles) to conventionally unrepresented groups of people. For example, there has been a lack of representation of women in science. I also think more people from BAME backgrounds should be represented.

Marcus Kaye profile picture

Marcus Kaye

Age: 22

Employer: IBM

Apprenticeship: Data analyst (Level 4)

Training Provider: Firebrand Training

Assigned route: Digital

Reasons for joining the panel: Apprenticeships are a proven and effective way of increasing skills in the workplace and I wanted the opportunity to help influence and further improve their promotion, creation and delivery going forward.


Ricardo Costa profile picture

Ricardo Costa

Age: 20

Employer: The Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education

Apprenticeship: Commercial Procurement and Supply (Level 4)

Training Provider: Knowledgepool 

Assigned route: Sales, marketing and procurement

Reasons for joining the panel: After speaking about my own experiences at a National Apprenticeship Week event, I realised I had a passion for spreading awareness. I loved talking about how my apprenticeship changed my life for the better. I have since joined a network with other apprentices from the Education and Skills Funding Agency and other organisations. As my sphere of contacts grows, along with my background knowledge on what the panel does through my work at the Institute, I thought the next step was for me to become a part of it.

Nikki Greaves profile picture

Nikki Greaves

Age: 20

Employer: GSK

Apprenticeship: Laboratory scientist (Level 5)

Training Provider: University of Kent

Assigned route: Health and science

Reasons for joining the panel: I want to help apprentices gain the best experience they can out of their apprenticeships. It also seems like a good way to promote apprenticeships to others in order to raise awareness and potentially get more people interested in this pathway. 

Louis Curtis profile picture

Louis Curtis

Age: 22

Employer: Aggregate Industries

Apprenticeship: Mineral products technician (Level 5)

Training Provider: University of Derby

Assigned route: Construction/ engineering and manufacturing

Reasons for joining the panel: I feel extremely lucky to have been accepted back on to the panel for a second year.  I have been able to represent the voice of apprentices not only from my industry but from the East Midlands to key stakeholders who share my passion for improving the availability and quality of apprenticeships. It has been a brilliant opportunity so far to meet with like-minded apprentices and I want to continue to drive the panel forward and help it to achieve its objectives of becoming a well-founded source of information to the Institute, government and industry leaders.



Raisa Matadar profile picture

Raisa Matadar

Age: 23

Employer: Jaguar Land Rover

Apprenticeship: Engineering technician (Level 3)

Training Provider: MAKE UK (formerly known as EEF)

Assigned route: Engineering and manufacturing

Reasons for joining the panel: I want to help ensure that apprentices across the country have a positive apprenticeship experience and that they feel competent and supported to progress in their careers. As an apprentice, in my previous job I had an experience so poor that I had to leave, but in my new role I have since seen the impact that a high-quality apprenticeship can have. I have been, and always will be, a keen advocate for apprenticeships. Being a part of this panel will allow me to help ensure apprentices across the country are given a voice to create change.

Samantha Ross profile picture

Samantha Ross

Age: 21

Employer: Bevan Brittan LLP

Apprenticeship: Solicitor (Level 7)

Training Provider: BPP University

Assigned route: Legal, finance and accounting

Reasons for joining the panel: I have been an apprentice for nearly three years now. I originally completed a level 3 paralegal apprenticeship and I have now progressed onto level 7. Having already completed one end-point assessment, I wanted to join the panel to share my views and experiences of this to help develop future apprenticeships. I will strive to voice the opinions of fellow apprentices and look forward to witnessing the changes over the coming years, as the route into the legal profession continues to adapt.

Amy Marren profile picture

Amy Marren

Employer: BPP Holdings Limited

Apprenticeship: Solicitor

Training provider: BPP University

Assigned route: Legal, finance and accounting

Reasons for joining the panel:

As a double Paralympian, having been born with a missing right hand at the level of the wrist. My switch from the world of sport to the world of apprenticeships has not been a recent one as I completed the Level 4 Paralegal apprenticeship at BPP in June 2019 before progressing on to the Solicitor apprenticeship in September 2019.  

As a member of the apprentice panel, I believe that I could bring a good sense of inclusion and diversity. By definition, inclusion is the action or state of including or of being included within a group or structure. But to me, inclusion means accepting people as they are and seeing their differences as their strengths. Inclusion and appreciating others, along with their opinions is something that I would bring to the panel as it is so incredibly important to me. 

My main aim as a panel member would be to provide very honest and open accounts of what it is like to be not only an apprentice but an apprentice with a physical disability as I do not always think that disabled people feel that the world of work is as accepting of them. As well as this, I would like to make sure that the panel works hard to ensure that the stigma of apprenticeships is removed and that young people can still be intelligent.  

You can listen to Amy's journey to become an apprentice and why she joined the apprentice panel on our podcast channel.

Hamzah Ahmed profile picture

Hamzah Ahmed

Employer: Airbus Operations UK Ltd

Apprenticeship: Aerospace engineer (degree)

Training provider: University West of England/ Bristol City College

Assigned route: Engineering and manufacturing

Reasons for joining the panel:

The apprenticeship scheme has provided me with an enormous opportunity to kick start my career within aviation. I believe I have a responsibility to give something back and furthermore show people how the route I chose is as good (and better than) the traditional educational route. Continuous improvement and development is key to enhancing the scheme. Being on the scheme for the last 3 years and through all its changes, I believe there is still much more to do and I want to be apart of that journey.

During my sixth form years, the whole apprenticeship scheme was unknown and I had to become my own schools independent expert on the matter. My objective, as a representative of the engineering and manufacturing route, will include the improvement of basic school knowledge of the route. Hopefully enabling prospective students to be better aware of the opportunities they have after school. In addition to this, I’d like to improve the employer’s knowledge of the opportunities available for apprentices during their scheme. Despite being a pro-active apprentice, it was only through coincidence that I was made aware of this panel. I believe such great opportunities should be showcased more to include all the awards that employers and apprentices alike can achieve!

Stacey Dunne profile picture

Stacey Dunne

Employer: Virgin Media

Apprenticeship: Engineering technician

Training provider: GK Apprenticeships

Assigned route: Creative and design

Reasons for joining the panel:

As an older apprentice, I feel I am able to acknowledge realistic expectations but also not afraid to explore new ideas and question the “normal”. These bright enquiring minds deserve a fantastic start to a career where they can really climb an unlimited ladder, offer new ways of thinking and get to know your business inside out, good processes and bad, taking apart a limit and creating magic that you can grow and nurture within your field and business. Apprenticeships are the ultimate goal in my opinion and you can no longer be limited to a classroom environment to gain further education. The practical element is the winning formula in advancing to the next level in education and I want to be there to make it the best it can be for our learners.

Lauren Desmond  profile picture

Lauren Desmond

Age: 26

Employer: Home Office

Apprenticeship: Leadership and management degree

Training provider: QA

Assigned route: Business and administration 

Reasons for joining the panel:

Apprenticeships have played a huge part in my development, from completing a level 2 with McDonald's to entering the Civil Service on an ODP Level 3 which has led on to a degree apprenticeship. I attended university after college but if I had been aware of the opportunities apprenticeships provided that may not have been the case. I want to make sure all young people are aware of all the options so that they can make decisions that are right for them and learn at work if formal education is not the route they wish to take. I am also tremendously passionate about how we can use apprenticeships to improve social mobility and to level up the country. Apprenticeships are for everyone, which is an important message we need to work on getting out there to aid the skills gap and ensure we have a future proof workforce.

Rhiannon Rees-Jones profile picture

Rhiannon Rees-Jones

Employer: Northamptonshire County Council

Apprenticeship: Business administration (level 3)

Training provider: Local Government Shared Services

Assigned route: Care services

Reasons for joining the panel:

Ever since I was diagnosed with Asperger’s in my late twenties, I have been presented with many challenges, which I overcame through sheer determination.  I wanted to be on the panel to share my life and experience, build up a network, and continue to be a role model for other individuals on the autistic spectrum. 

I started the apprenticeship at 38 and not only did I achieve two awards for my apprenticeship; NHCP (Northamptonshire Health and Care Partnership) Apprenticeship Awards for ‘Behind the Scenes’ in Adult Social Care’ and ‘Apprentice of the Year 2020’, but I also went on to achieve an overall grade of Distinction on completion which is a massive achievement. I am very proud of what I have achieved throughout my time as an apprentice.

Stuart Greensmith White profile picture

Stuart Greensmith White

Employer: Derbyshire County Council

Apprenticeship: Senior leader (Level 7)

Training provider: University of Derby

Assigned route: Business admin

Reasons for joining the panel:

As both an individual and a leader, I am deeply passionate about lifelong learning.  I have personal experience of the opportunities apprenticeships can bring to those who are disadvantaged as I began my career on a level 2 and am now studying on a level 7 apprenticeship.  I have mentored some of my own team members as apprentices and continue to enjoy sharing the learning journey with them.

As a member of the panel, I aim to bring my experience, membership of professional organisations and ambition for continual development to help develop current and future apprenticeships.  As an apprentice that identifies as LGBT+, I will act as an ambassador and work to represent the needs of the rainbow community.

I want to give a voice to those both at the start of their careers and those in established ones, looking for the next step of their career journey.  There are great opportunities for apprenticeships in the future and I feel it is our duty to make these as accessible and fulfilling as they can be!

Hannah Gregg profile picture

Hannah Gregg

Employer: KPMG

Apprenticeship: Digital and technical solutions professional (Level 6)

Training provider: BPP University

Assigned route: Digital

Reasons for joining the panel:

I’m incredibly passionate about apprenticeships and raising awareness of them. I’ve had such an amazing experience throughout my 2 ½ years at KPMG and I want to make people aware of the alternative career pathways other than University, and the opportunities that Apprenticeships offer.  

I’ve recently set up and now lead my own Apprenticeship workstream as part of KPMG’s ITs Her Future flagship program, the aim of this initiative is to tackle gender diversity within Technology. The vision of my workstream is to promote and raise awareness of apprenticeships in Technology. In order to, I had to present to Directors and Partners of KPMG to communicate my vision and set out FY21 goals.

Joanna Eccleston  profile picture

Joanna Eccleston

Employer: Unilever

Apprenticeship: Business adminintration (Level 3)

Training provider: Multiverse

Assigned route: Business admin

Reasons for joining the panel:

I wanted to be part of the panel to highlight the opportunities that are available to young people. I was not aware of apprenticeships until I had already left school, I am so grateful for my apprenticeship and the professional development it has provided me with.

Being part of this panel will enable me to increase the visibility of apprenticeships, as well as communicating the value of apprenticeships as an alternative pathway into the workplace.

This platform is also a great opportunity to continue improving apprenticeships for future generations and cohorts.

Heather Campbell profile picture

Heather Campbell

Employer: Network Rail

Apprenticeship: Railway engineering (level 4)

Training provider: Babcock International

Assigned route: Transport and logistics

Reasons for joining the panel: 

I have joined the apprenticeship panel because I am passionate about apprenticeships and ensuring they continue to give as many people as possible the opportunity to complete one. My apprenticeship has given me a unique experience of work and learning, it has given me the opportunity to do something I didn’t ever expect to do and it has been such an interesting, rewarding experience that a few years ago I wouldn’t of ever considered. Apprenticeships provide such a good opportunity that university doesn’t provide by itself and often can provide a better insight and start to working life, or can offer the opportunity for those who want to upskill or change their career, and I hope to help encourage and promote apprenticeships. By joining the panel, I hope to help improve apprenticeship delivery and fine-tuning experiences for all apprenticeships. My apprenticeship has given me good experience of the transport and railway engineering industry and I think this has given me good insight that will be useful to share with the panel. I hope through this experience to learn from other likeminded apprentices on the panel about their experiences and ideas to understand what other industries are doing in this area.

Megan Foster profile picture

Megan Foster

Employer: Kier Construction

Apprenticeship: Civil engineering (level 6)

Training provider: Anglia Ruskin University

Assigned route: Engineering and manufacturing

Reasons for joining the panel:

I believe I can make a real difference to how people view apprenticeships. I come from a background where university or higher education is not actively pursued. Where people struggle to break into good careers or are told they will never make it. I’d like to change that perception and help anyone considering an apprenticeship to realise their potential. Making people aware that university is not the only way to build a successful career, I would like to show that people of all backgrounds and walks of life can achieve an apprenticeship and really succeed.

As an apprentice, I hope to inspire people and create an inclusive environment for all. While also being that voice and sounding board for people within apprenticeships, highlighting what is really working within current apprenticeships and what could be improved for future generations.

Le’Shaé Woodstock profile picture

Le’Shaé Woodstock

Employer: Siren Search

Apprenticeship: Digital marketing (level 3)

Training provider: TDM - The Development Manager

Assigned route: Digital 

Reasons for joining the panel:

Experiencing both university and an apprenticeship, I have developed a passion for Further Education and Professional Development. When I left Sixth form, I felt my only option was to go to university, which I later found was not the right path for me at that time. My apprenticeship has positively changed the way I view practical education but has also shown me how many people are unaware of the benefits of an apprenticeship. I seek to be a spokesperson and an example of success in an apprenticeship, whilst promoting apprenticeships to school leavers and career changers.

Jessica Gough profile picture

Jessica Gough

Employer: The Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education

Apprenticeship: Business administrator (Level 3)

Training provider: Paragon

Assigned route: Business and admin

Reasons for joining the panel: I wanted to be a part of the panel because I want to make a difference, I feel as an older apprentice I have a work history behind me and have done several different types of education from GCSES, A levels, BTECH, HND, Degree and now an Apprenticeship. Doing an apprenticeship has so far been the best decision I have made, and I want to ensure that other people get this chance at any age to start a career and learn something new at the same time. Apprenticeships when I was at school were only for plumbers or construction and they were very gender oriented (if they had other apprenticeships back then, they weren’t advertised to us at school level). Now that apprenticeships are becoming more common and cover several different career choices I want to be a part of the team that ensure these are the best they can be and be available to everyone, whatever background or age.

Ryan Hewitt profile picture

Ryan Hewitt

Employer: Royal Mail

Apprenticeship: Advanced engineering (level 3)

Training provider: Training 2000

Assigned route: Engineering and construction 

Reasons for joining the panel: I joined the panel because I am extremely passionate about the value that a good apprenticeship can bring to People looking to Kickstart a career in a new field. Apprenticeships are an invaluable resource that is often overlooked, and a great Pathway for people who would prefer to learn outside of the traditional Classroom environment.

During my time on the panel, I intend to spread awareness of the opportunities that apprenticeships present, specifically to younger people. After personally pursuing an engineering route, I would also like to emphasize the importance of apprenticeships in the STEM pathway (science, technology, engineering, and maths) as this is a subject that will become increasingly more important as our society becomes more technical.

Overall, I am excited to have the opportunity to join this panel, and I look forward to playing my part in improving the apprenticeship experience for everyone.

Saskia Navaratnam profile picture

Saskia Navaratnam

Employer: Royal Mail

Apprenticeship: Advanced engineering (level 3)

Training provider: Training 2000

Assigned route: Engineering and construction 

Reasons for joining the panel: The only real opportunity I saw for myself after school was University, which I found was not the right thing for me. Had I been given the information and understanding of what apprenticeships can provide and how to go about finding one, I would have been able to have made a more informed and fulfilling decision for my future – the decision that I made in 2020 of starting an Apprenticeship in the field that I love! It is my aim to improve and increase apprenticeship visibility to young people as well as older learners as a perfectly feasible and supportive way to enter the working world – or change career paths.

The IATE providing the platform for extremely hardworking apprentices to have our voices heard by those with the power to make a change is amazing, and something that I would love to invest my time and energy in!