Our 15 route panels represent the employer voice within the Institute. Panel members are experts in their industry, characterised by their outstanding occupational knowledge, exceptional experience and critical grasp of the future skills needs of their sectors. They are also passionate advocates for apprenticeships and T Level qualifications.
What do Route Panels do?
Route panels are responsible for ensuring that apprenticeship standards and T Level qualifications are high quality and meet the needs of employers, apprentices and learners and the economy at large. They meet every eight weeks to consider submissions from trailblazer groups and T Level panels.
Route panel members operate strategically and collectively, using ‘occupational maps’ to:
- review and make recommendations to the Institute’s Approval and Funding Committee on whether or not to approve apprenticeship proposals, standards and assessment plans, as well as the content of T Level qualifications
- make recommendations on funding bands for apprenticeship standards
- support the review of existing apprenticeship standards
They maintain a strategic overview of their occupational sector, identifying potential skills gaps or overlaps and ensuring that new apprenticeship standards and T Level qualifications work together to provide clear pathways for career progression.
We aim to ensure that each route panel has the necessary skills and expertise to cover all of the occupations identified within the occupational maps. Where there are niche specialisms or gaps in panel expertise, panels may call on the additional insight and support of peer reviewers, specially commissioned for that purpose. Occasionally, expertise is shared across panels where there is a degree of overlap in what is being considered.
Route panel members are sometimes also called on to act as ambassadors to the Institute, speaking at sector conferences and sharing their perspectives with other key stakeholders.
Our members offer their time and expertise on a voluntary basis, although we reimburse all reasonable travel and subsistence expenses and pay route panel chairs a nominal fee to cover the additional elements of their role.
How do we select Route Panel Members?
Our route panel members are, without exception, outstanding representatives of the industries they serve, carefully selected to undertake this important role.
Our selection criteria include, but are not limited to:
- applied expertise rather than generalist: we need members with ‘hands-on’, recent specialist expertise – our members understand the detailed requirements of different occupational roles and can speak from a position of authority (we rarely accept applications from candidates representing training providers or professional bodies, unless the individuals themselves can demonstrate applied, high-level expertise in a particular occupational field; the valuable perspectives of these types of organisations are, instead, channelled through the Institute’s stakeholder reference panel)
- expertise at the right level of seniority: we’re looking for members with a track record of significant achievements and seniority within their organisations, generally director level or above – the professional credibility of our members and their ability to take a strategic view of occupational needs, are vital to the panels’ success
- relative lack of conflict of interest: we work hard to minimise conflicts of interests that may, or maybe seen to, compromise panel recommendations – that’s why we’re unable, for example, to consider applications from candidates who express an interest in joining a particular panel but are already involved in trailblazer groups or T Level panels in the same sector (though we may, in certain circumstances, consider former members of such groups or candidates working in sectors that are different)
We actively manage the balance of skills and expertise on the panels to meet the requirements of each route and so will deliberately avoid taking multiple representatives of the same sector or occupation.
Are you interested in being considered for membership of a route panel?
To identify and attract candidates of the right calibre and ensure panels reflect the diversity of background and experience, we use executive search, soft search and open recruitment methodologies. All route panel recruitment is managed by our membership office.
Our open recruitment competition takes place annually, usually early spring, and is open to any candidate who meets the criteria for the role. Open recruitment is primarily aimed at developing a pipeline of prospective members that enables the Institute to fill future panel vacancies as soon as they arise.
We advertise the start of our open recruitment campaign through our social media channels and on our website.
Meet our route panel members
Agriculture, environmental and animal care
Jude Capper, PhD ARAgS
Route panel chair
Independent Livestock Sustainability Consultant
Jude L. Capper, PhD ARAgS undertook her BSc (Agriculture with Animal Science) and PhD (Ruminant Nutrition and Behaviour) at Harper Adams University College (UK), followed by post-doctoral research at Cornell University (USA) and a faculty position at Washington State University (USA). She is currently an independent Livestock Sustainability Consultant based in Oxfordshire, UK.
Jude's research focuses on modeling the sustainability of livestock production systems, specifically dairy and beef, including quantifying changes made by improving productivity or adopting differing management practices. She is also currently working on projects relating to the impacts of medicines use on UK beef farms and the national and global impacts of livestock health and welfare on system sustainability.
Jude’s professional goal is to communicate the importance of factors affecting livestock industry sustainability to enhance the knowledge and understanding of food production stakeholders from the farmer through to the retailer, policy-maker and consumer. She has an active social media presence and spends a considerable amount of time de-bunking some of the more commonly-heard myths relating to livestock production. To this end, she was awarded the Women in Dairy “Dairy Industry Woman of the Year 2017” and the Farmers Guardian “Farming Hero of the Year 2018” awards, and was awarded Associate Membership of the Royal Agricultural Society in 2018.
Route panel vice-chair
Director, Tristram Plants
Martin has been active in both skills development and horticultural business management since graduating with a BSc in Horticulture from Reading University in 1986. He is currently a Director of Tristram Plants, a group of wholesale nurseries supplying garden centres and multiple retailers across the UK. Alongside his management role, he also provides training consultancy in specialist horticultural skills to growers, gardeners and landscapers.
Martin currently chairs an Education and Employment sub-committee on behalf of the Ornamental Horticulture Roundtable Group and has previously held lectureships at Brinsbury College and Reading University.
Director, Reading Agricultural Consultants
Peter is Director of Reading Agricultural Consultants, a group industry experts delivering agricultural and environmental advice to clients across the UK, from companies running major infrastructure projects to small livestock farms.
Peter is a chartered environmentalist and an expert in agriculture, hydrology and ecology. He was formerly a trustee and member of the Board of Management of the Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust, and member of both the Environment Agency’s Thames Regional Environment Protection Advisory Committee and Council of the British Institute of Agricultural Consultants.
Peter’s involvement in the Route Panel is founded on a strong belief in the benefits of workplace learning: transferable knowledge, skills and behaviours employers actually need; and more defined opportunities to start and progress in a chosen career.
Head of Horticultural Relations for the Royal Horticultural Society
Chris undertook his HND in Commercial Horticulture at Writtle Horticultural College and subsequently joined the tomato producer Van Heyningen Brothers, where he remained through a number of incarnations of the company, finally taking on the role of Production Director for Vitacress Herbs. After 35 years with the business, Chris moved to the Royal Horticultural Society, a charity most famous for its annual flower shows, such as Chelsea Flower Show, as well its education and community work.
Chris’s current work focuses on charitable projects involving the Society’s plant trials, bursaries for horticulturalists to travel, partner gardens and plant societies, as well as membership of the Ornamental Horticulture Round Table Group, which helps to promote ornamental horticulture to government departments. Chris is an active advocate of horticulture as a career and is passionate about encouraging training and development. He was formerly a Trustee of Lantra, a leading awarding body for land-based industries in the UK and Republic of Ireland, and has served ten years as a school governor.
Director, Global Environmental Consulting and Ecology Skills Leader, Arup
Michael is a Chartered Town Planner, Chartered Environmentalist and Fellow of the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment. He has extensive experience in both the public and private sectors leading and delivering environmental policy, sustainability appraisals and environmental assessments for development and infrastructure projects in the UK and overseas. He is a visiting lecturer at several UK universities on environment, sustainability and planning.
Michael is currently a Director in Arup's Environmental Consulting business, co-ordinating multidisciplinary project teams who deliver complex development and infrastructure projects to high environmental and sustainability standards.
Michael is also the global leader for Arup’s Environmental Consulting and Ecology Skills Network, responsible for convening a skills leadership team to provide a vision for the development of the firm’s environmental capabilities and setting priorities for skills network activities. These include advancing digital skills and knowledge sharing and enabling Arup environmental practitioners to articulate the value and social usefulness of their work and support the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Dr James Littlemore MCIEEM CEcol
Principal Ecologist, Kier Highways
James is a Chartered Ecologist. He currently works as a Principal Ecologist for Kier Highways, delivering ecological impact assessments for road and rail infrastructure. He is also an external examiner and land-based lecturer, with a diverse background in environmental consultancy, university-level teaching and academic research in ecology, agriculture and land management
James feels fortunate to have experienced a dual career path, having both taught and recruited apprentices in education and the commercial world. He has seen first-hand the great value of the apprenticeship model as the ultimate ‘hands on’ route to employment. He is looking forward to working with fellow panel members to help shape a framework for the green workforce of the future.
Director/Consultant Vet, Moo Vet Consultancy
Business and administration
Kristin Watson FCA
Route panel chair
Director of Professional Qualifications, Ernst & Young
Kristin is Director of Professional Qualifications at Ernst & Young, responsible for the development and delivery of qualifications for school leavers, graduates and experienced hires across the company’s many different services. It’s a role that involves significant liaison with external tuition providers, professional bodies, regulators and other employers within the sector. It also has a strong connection with the company’s apprenticeships programmes.
Kristin previously worked for the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) as a Director in the Learning and Professional Development Department, leading on client relations, student support and promotion of the Institute’s Associate Chartered Accountant qualification. She was formerly Chair of the trailblazer steering committee for the professional services sector, overseeing the development and delivery of the Level 7 Accountancy/Taxation Professional Apprenticeship Programme.
Route panel vice-chair
ex CEO/Founder OneFile
Over 20 years ago, Susanna was working as a support worker with adults with learning disabilities and had to complete an NVQ level 2 in care to prove her practical competencies. That was the start of her involvement with vocational training. After completing her NVQ levels 2 and 3, she soon moved up the ranks, and was appointed National Contract Manager for an independent training provider, overseeing 1,000 apprentices across the UK.
Throughout her journey, Susanna witnessed huge inefficiencies at every stage of delivery, and so, together with her partner, she decided to build an edtech solution: OneFile. OneFile grew from being a back bedroom start up to the leading software for apprenticeships with over 1.2million users. Susanna recently sold OneFile but continues to be an ambassador for the vocational training sector in the UK and in the US.
Chief People Officer, 10x Future Technologies Limited
Sallyann originally began her career in marketing before moving into HR. Over the past 25 years, she has worked across a range of contexts, including fast moving consumer goods, retail, finance and technology, for companies as diverse as Unilever, SC Johnson, Barclays, The John Lewis Partnership, The Coop Group and Conviviality.
Sallyann is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) and has extensive experience of leading HR functions and building organisational capability. As Chief People Officer at 10x Future Technologies Limited, she heads up the company’s people agenda, which focuses on allowing ‘great people to thrive and ensuring the company is a 10x better place to work’.
Media consultant (formerly Sky Television)
Barbara has spent her entire career working in the media, including some 20 years at Sky Television, the UK's premier pay TV service. During that time, she was an Executive Producer on Sky News, launched a new entertainment channel and was involved in a number of business-to-business channels before taking up her final post there as Director of Production and Operations in the company’s marketing department.
Throughout her career at Sky, Barbara was directly involved in a number of mentoring and apprenticeship schemes, principally – and successfully – aimed at giving less advantaged students the opportunity to gain full-time trainee and apprenticeship roles within a large media company.
HR Director, Benefit Cosmetics UK & Ireland
Andrea has been with the Benefit brand since 2004. Prior to that, she worked within the LVMH group – the world’s largest luxury group, employing more than 150,000 people worldwide.
Although Andrea’s role covers the full employee life cycle, including talent acquisition, employee relations, compensation and benefits, her passion has always been for people development. Benefit has won many employer awards, including ‘Best Large Employer within the East’ and ‘Best Large Business Award for Innovation’. Earlier this year, Andrea herself was recognised by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development for her 20 years’ contribution to, and excellence in, HR.
Andrea is a huge supporter of apprenticeships and Benefit are really proud of the success they have seen in this area over the past seven years.
Head of Profession for Project Controls in Nuclear, Wood
Christine is Head of Profession for Project Controls in Nuclear for Wood, a global engineering company employing some 60,000 staff. She has significant international experience, having spent parts of her career in Japan, South Africa, Paris and Dubai and worked on a number of worldwide – often multi-billion pound – projects.
Christine is an expert in cost management, change management, planning, estimating and risk and opportunity management. Alongside her role at Wood, she is an Engineering and Construction Industry Training Board (ECITB) accredited trainer and assessor for NVQs and a Director for the Association of Cost Engineers (ACostE), having gained her Fellowship there in 2018.
Professor Philip Powell
Dean, Faculty of Business, Law and Politics, University of Hull
Philip is currently Dean of the Faculty of Business, Law and Politics at the University of Hull. He was previously Executive Dean, Pro Vice-Master (Enterprise and Innovation) and Professor of Management at Birkbeck, University of London. His extensive research into information systems, management, operations and higher education management has led to more than 350 published outputs.
Before becoming a Dean in 2009, Philip was Deputy Dean of the School of Management at the University of Bath and previously worked at Warwick, Adelaide, Southampton and Lisboa Universities. He is a Fellow of the British Computer Society, Academy of Social Sciences, Centre for Distance Education, and the Higher Education Academy. He is also a Senior Scholar of the Association of Information Systems and a former president of the UK Academy for Information Systems. Prior to becoming an academic, Philip worked in insurance, accounting and systems analysis. His long-standing interest in skills development and opportunities for reskilling led him to his current role as a Route Panel Member.
Strategic Projects Director, Coty Inc
Roland is Strategic Projects Director at Coty Inc, a world-leading beauty company listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Prior to joining Coty, he was Head of Business Services at the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), International Airlines Group (IAG) and Frosta AG. Roland is also an experienced banker, having worked at ING Group NV as an Executive Bank Director for Strategy and Controlling and at Commerzbank Group as Strategic Controlling Director.
Roland is an alumni of the Hubert H Humphrey Fellowship Program for mid-career professionals at the American University in Washington DC (US) and also holds an MBA degree from Calgary University (Canada). Throughout his career, he has been a strong promoter of workplace learning as a form of training and route to obtaining qualifications.
Professor Sunitha Narendran
Dean of the Faculty of Business and Law, Roehampton University
Sunitha is the Dean of the Faculty of Business and Law at Roehampton University, responsible for student experience, portfolio development, research, knowledge exchange and collaborative partnerships. Prior to joining Roehampton, she held academic and leadership roles at the National University of Singapore, MARA in Malaysia and the University of Bangalore in India.
Sunitha is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society (BPS), Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), and a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts (RSA). She is committed to developing reflective practice and is a firm believer in the importance of CPD and life-long learning. As a route panel Member, Sunitha is motivated by the opportunity to work with the Institute to develop and maintain high-quality educational qualifications relevant to the needs of business and society.
Deputy General Manager, Lung Division, Royal Brompton Hospital
John is the Deputy General Manager of the Lung Division at the Royal Brompton Hospital, which is now part of Guys and St Thomas’s. He is responsible for supporting and managing teams across respiratory medicine, thoracic surgery, lung cancer services and the Healthy Lung Programme. He is also currently part of the Trust’s Specialist Registrar Trainee Programme, helping junior doctors to navigate the workings of the NHS.
John has worked for over 17 years in operational, contractual and project management roles within the NHS and social care. Appraising, mentoring and supporting staff personal development has been a key focus of his various roles. He studied a Healthcare Management MBA at Brunel Business School, specialising in change management, lean thinking and crisis leadership.
Head of Governance and Resourcing for the Technology function, Royal Mail
Paul is Head of Governance and Resourcing for the Technology function at Royal Mail, responsible for the resourcing of the Technology function, balancing demand and supply across a team of 500 people, as well as the continuous improvement of the project and programme delivery model.
With a background in project and programme delivery spanning more than 10 years, Paul has led project management office teams and implemented governance frameworks and project delivery methodologies in several organisations. He is a qualified MSP (Managing Successful Programmes) and P3O (Portfolio, Programme and Project Office) practitioner.
Paul has supported the development of a number of apprentices and has enjoyed seeing them flourish in their careers. He hopes to be able to help increase opportunities through his work on the route panel.
Sir Roger Singleton CBE
Route panel chair
Safeguarding Consultant and member of the Independent Family Returns Panel
Sir Roger was chief executive of Barnardo's for 21 years and was awarded a knighthood for his services to children in 2005. From 2007-2012 he chaired the Independent Safeguarding Authority, a Home Office agency created to decide who should be statutorily barred from working with children and vulnerable adults because of the risk they posed to them. He was also the Government's Chief Adviser on the Safety of Children. Recently he has been the interim Managing Director of Lumos - an international charity founded by J K Rowling to end the unnecessary institutionalisation of children globally. Sir Roger currently has his own consultancy specialising in safeguarding. He is also a member of the Home Office Independent Families Returns Panel.
Safeguarding Consultant and member of the Independent Family Returns Panel
Lesley-Anne Alexander CBE
Route panel vice-chair
Formerly CEO, The Royal National Institute of Blind People
Lesley-Anne has had a long career in the public and voluntary sectors. She was CEO of the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) from 2004 until 2016 and, before then, Director of Operations for the Peabody Trust and Director of Housing for the London Borough of Enfield. While at RNIB, Lesley-Anne was instrumental in uniting the fragmented sight loss sector through the development of the UK Vision Strategy. She also created the RNIB Group of charities.
Lesley-Anne holds a number of non-executive positions, including Non-Executive Director of Metropolitan Thames Valley Housing Trust and Big Society Capital. She is Chair of the not-for-profit practice at Brevia Consulting and a trustee of the MicroLoan Foundation, a development charity providing advice and small business loans to women in Malawi, Zimbabwe and Zambia. Lesley-Anne is a Freeman of the Guild of Entrepreneurs and was awarded a CBE in 2012 for services to the voluntary sector.
Clair Davies MBE
Principal, Appletree Treatment Centre
Clair has been working with children and young people with social, emotional and mental health difficulties since graduating from Cambridge University in 1989. She started her career in a secondary residential special school and subsequently studied for her Masters in Special Education. In 1995, Clair helped establish Appletree Treatment Centre – a group of children’s homes, special schools and therapeutic services specialising in assisting young girls and boys traumatised through abuse and neglect to return to families, foster families and day schools.
Clair was previously Chair of the children, young people and families apprenticeship trailblazer group. She is passionate about creating training opportunities that have a positive impact on the most vulnerable in society.
Martin Kelly OBE
Assistant Director, Children and Families, North Yorkshire County Council
Martin’s 28-year career in social work has focussed on reforming and improving practice across child welfare services. He is an experienced system leader of early help, youth and social work services, developing and leading provision regarded as outstanding by Ofsted. As Assistant Director of Children and Families at North Yorkshire County Council, he is also the author of the award-winning solution-focussed ‘No Wrong Door’* service, a multi-agency approach to supporting young people in or on the edge of care.
Martin is passionate about the benefits of practice-based learning and the value this brings to industry and public service. He is especially keen to see the growth of apprenticeship routes in the social services sector, seeing this as a way of improving workforce sustainability, particularly in hard-to-recruit areas.
* Martin would love to hear from employers who can offer work experience opportunities to care leavers supported by the Council’s ‘No Wrong Door’ service. If you can help or you would like to find out more, please contact the Route Panel enquiry line.
Dr Antonis Kousoulis
Director for England and Wales, Mental Health Foundation
Antonis is an experienced public health professional and a leading thinker on mental health and prevention, promotion and inequalities in the UK. He is currently directing the Research, Programmes and Policy functions at the Mental Health Foundation across England and Wales.
Antonis is a doctor with an academic background in public health, having spent time in academia, the third sector and government. His experience includes leading the development team at the data research centre of the UK Department of Health, and numerous academic collaborations, including the Harvard School of Public Health and Imperial College London. He has published, peer reviewed and presented extensively, held editorial appointments for multiple publications, including The Lancet, engaged widely with mainstream media, and held various visiting teaching appointments, including at Oxford University and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
Community group chair and author
Carolyn has over 30 years’ experience in the health, social care and education sectors. She originally qualified as a social worker, working across all ages and abilities and with carers, before moving to training and development roles in adult and children's social care. After completing a master’s degree in mentoring, she worked as a local authority brokerage manager commissioning social care and at the sector skills council, Skills for Care, before taking up workforce and personalisation roles in the NHS.
Carolyn is passionate about learning, promoting self-development, collaborative working and helping people achieve their goals, pursue their dreams and become the person they want to be. She currently contributes to her local community in a volunteering capacity and enjoys writing the MANAGE YOUR LANGUAGE How to Get Ahead in Health and Social Care series of books.
Gabby qualified as a social worker in 2016 with a first class B.A (Hons) degree in social work. Since qualifying, Gabby has worked as a social worker in child protection within a particularly challenging Local Authority. Gabby has already progressed to the role of advanced social work practitioner, working with children, young people and families. In addition, Gabby is a practice supervisor for social work students, developing their skills and overseeing their practice. Gabby's inspiration for joining the institute is ensuring that qualifications provide a high quality of workers within the social care sector, whilst also improving sustainability within the workforce.
Director of Care, Quality and Governance, Cranstoun
Jason is a Registered Nurse who has held senior roles in the NHS and charity sector, covering clinical, operational and governance remits. His clinical areas of expertise include sexual health, HIV and homelessness. He is currently Director of Care, Quality and Governance for a charity.
From 2006 to 2010, Jason was chair of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) Congress and, from 2011 to 2019, a member of RCN’s Public Health Forum Committee, serving as chair of the forum for six years. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute and was previously an appointed member of the Prime Minister’s Nursing and Care Quality Forum.
Jason has been a trustee for Crisis and volunteers as the healthcare manager for the charity at Christmas. He also currently volunteers as the Health and Social Care Training Manager for WorldSkills UK.
Chantelle Byng, Programme Manager for Care, Professional Training Solutions
Chantelle began working in the care industry at the age of 18. Over the past 26 years, her career has covered all aspects of the sector. Ten years ago, she made the move into workplace learning, eventually becoming a qualified assessor. She spent two years with Fareport Training, before taking a position with Eastleigh College, where she completed her IQA Award and level 5 in health and social care and became a quality coach responsible for overseeing the care and childcare team.
Chantelle’s long career in the care industry has given her a passion for ensuring everyone has the same chances and opportunities to show how well they can do. This passion has been strengthened by her work with apprenticeships. Chantelle’s desire to make apprenticeships in care the best they can be – both for the people working in care and for the individuals they look after – was what motivated her to join the route panel.
Catering and hospitality
Route panel chair
Human Resources Director, The Lakes Distillery
Alison is passionate about improving education standards in the hospitality sector and encouraging people, be they young, disadvantaged or just those that ‘don’t know’, to consider the many and wonderful career opportunities the sector offers.
Alison is a former non-executive director for Springboard, a charity focused on helping people of all ages and backgrounds improve their career prospects in the hospitality, leisure and tourism industry. She has also been an informal advisor to People 1st on the development of new apprenticeship standards and, in a past role, worked with local government in adult education. She has strong links with industry and has chaired a number of multi-employer and stakeholder committees.
John Williams MBE
Route panel vice-chair
Executive Chef, The Ritz London
John became Executive Chef at The Ritz London in 2004, where he oversees some 60 chefs and is responsible for the hotel’s restaurants, room service and banqueting and private dining rooms. He came to The Ritz with three decades of hospitality experience – from his first position as Commis Chef at a hotel in Northumberland to his 18-year tenure with the distinguished Savoy Group of Hotels and Restaurants, where he served as Premier Sous Chef at Claridge’s and Maître Chef des Cuisines at The Berkeley, before moving to head up Claridge’s kitchens as Maître Chefs des Cuisines in 1995.
John was appointed Executive Chairman of The Royal Academy of Culinary Arts in 2004 and is the Committee Chairman for the Academy’s Annual Awards of Excellence. He has received numerous industry awards and represented Great Britain in the prestigious Bocuse D’Or culinary competition; he continues to mentor the English team. In 2005, he became the first British chef to be conferred with a CMA (the equivalent of an MBE) by the French Government and, in 2008, was awarded an MBE for services to hospitality.
Instructor in Culinary Psychology, Harvard University and Director of Education for The Chefs' Forum, UK
Having built a successful career as a chef in Michelin-starred restaurants in France and London, Neil returned to education as a chef lecturer at South East Essex College. He later moved to Redbridge College, first as Programme Manager for Hospitality and Catering and then Quality Manager. In 2003, he joined Colchester Institute as Head of Centre for Hospitality and Food Studies; in 2007, the Centre was awarded Grade 1 for outstanding provision – the first and only outstanding grade in the history of the organisation.
From 2010 to 2020, Neil was Dean of the College of Food and Hospitality Management at University College Birmingham. In 2006, he was invited to join the team working on the creation of the Diplomas in Professional Cookery. His contribution was recognised with special awards from the British Hospitality Association and National Skills Academy for Hospitality.
Neil is now a celebrated author and contributor to a wide range of books and resources on educational development in the hospitality and catering sector. He is currently working as Instructor in Culinary Psychology at Harvard University and also as Director of Education for The Chefs' Forum, UK.
Business Development Manager, ETA Awards
Robert started his career in Switzerland at the iconic hotel Baur au Lac, before moving to the Intercontinental, Hyde Park Corner then on to posts in Bermuda and Hong Kong. Latterly, he worked at the Michelin-starred Le Champignon Sauvage in Cheltenham, where he was a finalist in Young Chef of the Year and holder of an Acorn Award, a scheme that recognises the brightest prospects in the hospitality industry.
From 2005 to 2007, Robert was a member of the Academy of Culinary Arts and achieved 3 AA rosettes in his first head chef position. He then moved into education, teaching culinary arts and hospitality management for 11 years at Lancaster College before becoming Head of the Lakes Hotel School of Hospitality and Management at Kendal College. While at Kendal, he opened the Castle Dairy Restaurant, taking it to 2 AA Rosette status and employing apprentices as part of the College’s apprenticeship finishing school. Robert was recently a member of the hospitality T-Level panel, is currently on the board of PACE, the Professional Association of Catering Education, and is an external expert for hospitality and catering for Ofqual.
Resources & Administration Director, Harbour Hotels Group
James has spent his entire career in hospitality and catering being an advocate for training and development of those around him. Working within high street restaurant groups, contract caterers and most recently hotels, in both operational and strategic roles, he understands the importance of, and is a passionate advocate of, apprenticeships within the catering and hospitality sector.
James has set up and managed apprenticeship academies in his current and previous role, covering the breadth of available apprenticeships within catering and hospitality. He is specifically keen to encourage young people and those at a disadvantage to get involved within the dynamic world of hospitality. James is also an active Fellow of the Institute of Hospitality and secretary of the southern branch.
Director of Learning & Organisation Development, Stonegate Group
Lee is a self-confessed catering and hospitality geek, having trained as a chef at college and worked in the industry since he was 18. The mainstay of career has been HR, with a particular focus on learning and organisation development. Having held previous roles in large PLCs, Lee has been with the Stonegate Group for the last eleven years. During that time, the company has grown to be the largest pub company in UK.
Lee’s particular passion is leadership development, coaching and mentoring. He has been involved in vocational training for his entire career and joined the panel with the aim of ‘giving back, getting involved and seeing where I can help’.
Catherine de Looper
Area Director of Learning and Development, EMEA, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts
Upon completion of her BA from the University of Surrey in International Hospitality Management, Catherine joined the Four Seasons Hotel Hampshire as HR Administrator. She progressed within the HR team, moving into the world of learning and development. After five years, Catherine moved to the Caribbean to join the Ritz Carlton Group in a senior learning role with the team in Grand Cayman. then after a year, she re-joined Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts as People and Culture Manager in Palm Beach Florida,
In 2013, Catherine returned to the company’s UK Collection as Senior Learning Manager, supporting a cluster of hotels across the region. In 2019, she moved to her current role, supporting 43 locations across EMEA (Europe Middle East and Africa)focused on providing learning and development opportunities for team members and continuing to retain and develop existing talent. Catherine is extremely passionate about the introduction of the apprenticeship levy and has explored ways of using the levy to upskill and attract future and existing hospitality talent within the company’s UK properties.
Tanja Smith OBE
Route panel chair
Technical Director, Gradon Architecture
Tanja works between the UK and Mongolia and so adaptability to change has become integral to her life and what she does. Over the years Tanja has worked in a number of diverse practices and is able to draw from this experience working on a number of significant urban regeneration and master planning projects, which has seen her play an advisory role in Mongolia’s national “Green City” initiative and BIM Mongolia. Tanja is also involved with NAWIC representing women in construction at regional committee level and is involved with CIAT as an assessor. She was the winner of the 2017 ‘Outstanding Woman in Construction’ award.
Route panel vice-chair
Director, Buildings, Peter Brett Associates now part of Stantec
Martin, a former Partner of Peter Brett Associates LLP now part of Stantec, is a Chartered Structural Engineer responsible for the company’s UK Buildings Group.
Since 2012, Martin has led the company’s role as industry Partner to UTC Reading, enabling students to access industrial experience as part of their education. He also sits on the School’s Board of Governors. His work with the school and the company’s broader corporate social responsibility programme led to the formation of the Peter Brett Foundation CIC in 2019, created to address the national skills shortage in the development and infrastructure industry. Martin is a founding board member. He is also a member of the Institution of Structural Engineers Education Committee and a former Chairman of the IStructE Thames Region Committee.
Having left school at 16, Martin gained his own academic qualifications on a part-time basis, supported by his employers. That has given him a lifelong and genuine passion for promoting the link between industry, schools and apprenticeships.
Managing Director, SJD Electrical
Ruth is Managing Director of SJD Electrical, a high-growth SME electrical contractor in Milton Keynes. She is passionate about improving industry skills and promoting apprenticeships and was part of the trailblazer group that developed the Electrician Apprenticeship standard.
Ruth is Chair of the Electrical Contractors’ Association Skills Committee, supporting campaigns to encourage diversity and improve industry standards. She is also a volunteer Enterprise Adviser for the Careers and Enterprise Company, working to promote local employer engagement with education, as well as providing strategic support to help Milton Keynes College achieve the Gatsby Benchmarks for career guidance.
Ruth is an alumni of the Goldman Sach’s 10,000 small business growth programme and recently completed her MBA.
Professor Mukesh Limbachiya
Head of Degree Apprenticeships, Directorate of Research, Business and Innovation, Kingston University London
Mukesh is a Chartered Engineer with a wide-ranging career in the higher education sector. He is currently Head of Apprenticeships at Kingston University, where he has been instrumental in developing the civil engineer degree apprenticeship and is now leading a team responsible for the governance, quality and business of apprenticeships across the University.
As a civil/structural engineer, Mukesh has a particular interest in novel construction materials, concrete technology and construction, as well as design processes for the modern, sustainable built environment. He has worked closely with different sectors of the construction industry and has a track record of providing expert strategic support on a range of projects and initiatives.
Mukesh has a passion for developing and promoting partnerships that offer creative solutions for addressing knowledge and skills gaps. He brings the same passion to his work as a Route Panel Member.
Lucy Wiltshire FRICS MCIOB
Sector Lead – Commercial, Willmott Dixon Interiors
Lucy was awarded her BSc in Quantity Surveying from the University of the West of England, studying part-time whilst gaining valuable experience working for a tier one main contractor. The combination of academic and on-the-job learning fired an early passion for championing vocational routes to careers in the construction industry.
Lucy is currently Deputy Chair for the Constructing Excellence Berkshire Club, a committee member of the Constructing Excellence Oxford Club and, for the last 29 years, has been actively involved in shaping the work of the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) in her region. In 2015, she was presented with the Recognition of Outstanding Achievement Award by the Chief Executive of the CIOB for her long-term service to the Institute.
As well as promoting continuing professional development in the sector – including coaching candidates preparing for their Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors Assessment of Professional Competence (APC) – Lucy is also a committed advocate for construction careers, working with schools locally to inspire future generations. In 2017, she joined the government panel leading the creation of the Construction: Design, Surveying and Planning T Level qualification; that work is now complete and the new qualification will be delivered in colleges from September 2020 – a landmark in the transformation of post-16 skills development.
Professional Consultant to the Institute of Highway Engineers (IHE)
Richard was formerly Chief Executive of the Institute of Highway Engineers (IHE), from 2016 to 2020, having previously served as President. He is now lead trainer and assessor for its National Highway Engineering Academy.
Richard is a chartered engineer and Fellow of the Institute of Highway Engineers. Prior to taking up his current role, he worked as a freelance engineering and training consultant and was the Western Area Manager for Northumberland County Council’s Local Service Department and Construction Division, leading on delivery of capital works on highways structure and street lighting. Richard’s move to Northumberland followed 25 years working in highways maintenance for Stockton on Tees Borough Council, where he progressed through various roles from Senior Technician to Highway Services Manager.
Consultant Trainer, PL Projects Ltd and Director of STEER Support & Mentoring
Josie’s roles centre around skills development and retention in the built environment industry. Working with PL Projects, an award-winning, Yorkshire-based PMO consultancy and PM training organisation, she teaches and delivers Association for Project Management (APM) accredited material and assists in sustainable business plans. She is also a mentor for Level 4 and Level 6 apprentices.
Josie is a Chartered Civil Engineer (CEng MICE), an Associate of the APM and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA) and a member of the Women’s Engineering Society and Women in Science and Engineering. She is also a co-founder and Company Director of STEER Support and Mentoring CIC, which supports undergraduates in transitioning into built environment careers, with a strong focus on diversity and inclusion.
Josie is currently doing a Doctorate in Engineering with Leeds Beckett University investigating the learning styles of degree apprenticeship civil engineering students to offer improvements for tripartite stakeholders.
Senior Environmental Consultant, Arup
James is an environmental professional with over ten years’ experience in environmental and corporate responsibility roles. He started his career with Network Rail, where he spent six years working in various roles managing corporate responsibility, waste and materials management and frontline environmental support to rail maintenance and infrastructure projects.
James joined Arup in 2015 where, as a Senior Environmental Consultant, he works in a Sustainability Team providing environmental advice to design and construction projects in the UK and abroad. He has also supported construction contractors on major UK infrastructure projects, including Thames Tideway Tunnel and High Speed 2. During this time, James line managed the first environmental apprentice in his organisation, giving him first hand insight into the benefits and opportunities apprenticeships create.
Dr Simon Reddy
Simon entered the building industry via a construction technology course in an FE college and subsequent job as an apprentice plumber – the start of more than three decades in the profession. His domestic plumbing firm has trained local young people as apprentices and helped military veterans resettle into civilian life through training and employment in the plumbing industry.
Alongside the day job, Simon has also taught evening classes in plumbing. His interest in education and apprenticeships led to an Education Doctorate in 2014 and a sustained desire to use his experience and research to help improve the national apprenticeship offer.
Head of Major Programmes, Energy Systems Catapult
Denis is Head of Major Programmes at Energy Systems Catapult – an independent, not-for-profit centre of excellence set up to accelerate the transformation of the UK’s energy system. He is passionate about decarbonisation and developing solutions to overcome barriers to innovation and is currently leading the Catapult study on Skills for Net-zero. He also heads up the centre’s role in managing the Electrification of Heat programme for the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, aimed at better understanding and overcoming barriers to the large-scale roll-out of heat pumps.
Prior to this, Denis led the Smart Systems and Heat programme, working with hundreds of households and a number of businesses and local authorities to develop real-world evidence on the key challenges facing consumers in the transition to low carbon heating and the potential of existing digital energy services. Before joining the Catapult, Denis spent four years at Intelligent Energy on fuel cells development and over 20 years in the automotive industry.
Managing Director, Green and Heritage Roofing and Business Fit Mentoring
Chris is a well-known figure in the roofing industry. His previous company, Ploughcroft Ltd, won numerous awards over the years and built up an enviable reputation. In 2017, it was acquired by one of the UK's largest construction companies.
Throughout his 34-year career, Chris has worked tirelessly to change the public’s perception of a poorly perceived industry, actively promoting good practice. He is the author of Dragons for Breakfast: from Winning at Bodybuilding to Winning at Business, and also appeared on the BBC TV programme that inspired it, Dragons Den. He was instrumental in creating a training school that gained both City & Guilds and NVQ status, wrote the Solar NVQ QCF298 qualification and is now pioneering a rehabilitation course with Her Majesty’s Prison Service.
In 2018, Chris received the ‘Outstanding Contribution to the Roofing Industry’ award. In recognition of his contribution to and positive impact on the industry, he was invited to join the Government’s Green Construction Board, representing the interests of small to medium sized enterprises. Chris now devotes a lot of his time to helping others as a business mentor, passing on his experience and insight to help others move their business forward.
Rick is a determined and enthusiastic leader with over 20 years of experience working in construction and built environment sectors. He has successfully delivered a variety of challenging construction schemes in the UK and internationally. Rick is currently a Director at Faithful+Gould, a global programme and project management consultancy organisation. He combines his experiences to advise a variety of clients such as AstraZeneca, Sellafield, Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, BAE and Goldman Sachs.
Rick has a first class BSc (Hons) degree in Construction Management, holds the Registered Project Professional (RPP) standard with the Association of Project Management and is an accredited high risk project reviewer with the Infrastructure and Projects Authority.
Technical Director for Estimating, Cost Intelligence, and Assurance, Mott MacDonald
Patrick is Technical Director for Estimating, Cost Intelligence, and Assurance at Mott MacDonald, with over 15 years’ experience within the UK infrastructure and utilities sector. He started his career as a quantity surveyor, balancing work in the water and environment sectors with part-time study before joining Mott MacDonald’s Estimating, Cost Intelligence, and Assurance Practice.
Patrick has been a contributing author to industry best-practice guidance on cost estimating and benchmarking and won the Global Award for Innovation at the 2019 Project Controls Expo for his work on quantifying and refining estimating uncertainty in early-stage solution development. He is passionate about embedding standards and improving skills and capabilities. Patrick was diagnosed with dyslexia early in his career and is an advocate for inclusivity and highlighting the strengths those identifying as neurodiverse bring to the sector.
Paul Skerry CEng FICE FCInstCES FIMMM
Early Careers and Professional Development Manager, BAM Nuttall Ltd
Paul is a Chartered Civil Engineer with over 25 years of experience in the construction industry. This includes civil engineering and building works for both private and public sector clients. He held a variety of operational roles before moving to focus on training and development of staff ten years ago.
As Early Careers and Professional Development Manager for BAM, Paul is responsible for the management of apprentice, undergraduate and graduate programmes across BAM’s UK businesses, with typically 1,000 staff working towards professional registration.
Outside BAM, Paul is a member of numerous industry panels and is currently Chief Examiner for the Chartered Institution of Civil Engineering Surveyors. He sees digital transformation of construction as being at the heart of economic recovery in the UK post-pandemic, with young people playing a key role in this.
Creative and design
Route panel chair
Global Head of Training, DNEG
Vic Wade is Global Head of Training at DNEG, one of the world’s largest providers of animation and visual effects (VFX) for film and television, including Oscar-winning work on films such as Blade Runner, Ex-Machina, Inception and Interstellar.
Vic joined DNEG in 2004 as a senior artist, progressing to supervision roles on films including Quantum of Solace, Iron Man 2, Angels and Demons and Total Recall. In 2010, he became Head of 2D, supporting an extended period of growth in the business and helping to set up and establish a new studio in Vancouver in 2015.
In 2016, Vic took up his current role as Global Head of Training, overseeing training across all of DNEG’s growing network of studios in the US, Canada, India and London. His role includes working with the NextGen Skills Academy, an industry-led education initiative focused on developing the next generation of talent for the games, animation and VFX industries.
Route panel vice-chair
Workforce Development Manager, National Theatre
Kath works for the National Theatre on projects aimed at improving workforce diversity. Previously, she was a theatre lighting designer and technician, lighting world premiers for Alan Ayckbourn, John Godber, Tim Firth and Enda Walsh, in venues across the UK and Republic of Ireland.
Kath is a Non-Executive Director of social enterprise organisation, Creative Access, and Co-Chair of the technical training forum, Skillscene. She is passionate about encouraging young people to learn about technical/backstage theatre and, in particular, supporting young women into technical careers – many of those she has helped are now working successfully in the creative sector. She sees her role on the Route Panel as building on and continuing this work.
Founding Director, Bauer Academy
Courtnay is the Founding Director of the Bauer Academy, which delivers industry-immersed learning opportunities to individuals, businesses and communities across the UK. With a commitment to supporting under-represented groups, the Academy provides a pipeline of talent to the creative industries.
Courtnay previously worked as an academic at universities in the UK and abroad, holding advisory posts, visiting professorships in media convergence, and teaching fellowships. She is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
Courtnay is passionate about innovating education and ensuring skills provision is aligned with learner, employer and industry needs.
Peter designs and makes furniture. He learned his skills during four years of workshop training in the US and UK, before setting up his own furniture workshop in Devon. Peter began teaching furniture subjects ten years later and subsequently worked for almost 20 years as a lecturer and manager at Rycotewood College in Oxfordshire, training future furniture designers and makers.
Peter’s commercial and educational work led to the development of a large network of practising designers and makers. He is committed to providing excellent technical education that realistically prepares people to work productively in commercial craft businesses.
Head of Production, PA Media
Wesley is Head of Production at PA Media, the UK and Ireland's national news agency. With more than 16 years' experience covering national news across print, online and mobile, he now leads the production operations for PA's wire and digital services and liaises with product and commercial teams to manage relationships with some of the world's biggest media organisations.
Wesley’s previous roles as North America Correspondent and on the newsdesk have seen him cover a wide range of breaking news, from terror attacks, natural disasters and high-profile criminal trials to celebrity events, royal occasions and elections in both the UK and the US. He also took a leading role in the agency's news coverage of the London 2012 Olympics.
Wesley joined PA as a trainee in 2002, now runs the agency's editorial trainee scheme and represents PA on the Journalism Diversity Fund. He sees his role on the panel as helping to ensure all apprentices are equipped with the skills they need to thrive in their industry.
Director/Founder, Ginger Nut Media Ltd
Phil is Director and Founder of Ginger Nut Media Ltd, which he launched in 2011. He left school at 16 with no education beyond Level 2 and went straight into the world of work. Ginger Nut Media is a big supporter of apprenticeships, with apprentices making up 51% of all hires. In 2014, the company added a provider arm, which now trains almost 200 apprentices at some of the largest businesses in the country.
In recognition of his commitment, Phil was asked to become an ambassador for the national apprenticeship scheme and chaired the South East Local Ambassador Network when the apprenticeship levy was being implemented. During this period, he fed into the launch of the Institute for Apprenticeships, regularly spoke at conferences and events sharing best practice and was named a top 100 apprentice employer three times. Phil continues to work with young people in other roles as a STEM ambassador and commercial and personal mentor for the Prince’s Trust.
Freelance producer for television
Chris is a producer, co-producer and line producer in television drama, with over 30 years’ experience. After graduating from Birmingham University and spending some time in the theatre, he joined the BBC, starting on projects like Lovejoy, Bergerac and All Creatures Great and Small and progressing to higher-end drama productions, including The Buddha of Suburbia and Our Friends in the North.
Since 1997, Chris has worked as a line producer both at the BBC and as a freelancer on shows like Holby City, Waking the Dead, Silk, Born to Kill and Broadchurch. More recently, he has been focusing on co-producing and producing and has returned to higher-end dramas such as Marcella and Peaky Blinders.
Chris is a passionate supporter of apprenticeships and training attachments, seeing them as a vital route to attracting, training and employing the new talent needed to sustain the future of the film and television industry.
Curator, Showtown, Blackpool Council
Emma is a History Curator. After 14 years working with collections, exhibitions and major projects at the Grade I listed Harris Museum and Art Gallery in Preston, in 2015, she joined Blackpool Council. She has played a key part in realising their ambition to create Blackpool’s first museum, Showtown, the museum of fun and entertainment. This new £13m museum is being developed close to Blackpool Tower and explores Blackpool’s role in popular entertainment, including seaside holidays, magic, circus, illuminations, shows and dance.
During her career, Emma was privileged to support four Museums Association positive-action trainees, two now work as curators. Emma joined the Institute to support its aims to create high-quality apprenticeships and T Levels, as she believes they offer a real opportunity to attract the young people we need to shape a vibrant future for the cultural sector.
Dominique Unsworth MBE
CEO, producer and trainer, Resource Production CIC
As a founder and CEO of Resource Productions, an arts-based social enterprise, Dom has spent more than 20 years producing creative content for broadcasters and commercial clients. She is passionate about inclusion and access in the creative industries and, to that end, provides training and development opportunities that support diverse talent, crew and artists across her region. She has also made recruiting and training apprenticeships a key part of growing her own business.
In 2019, Dom was awarded an MBE for her services to apprenticeships. She also received the Award for Apprenticeship Champion of the Year, having helped develop a number of trailblazer groups and represented small and medium-sized enterprises as both a national apprenticeship ambassador and diversity champion.
Route panel chair
Chief Information Officer (CIO), Burberry
Mark is a firm believer in the power of digital technology to inspire and connect people. As Chief Information Officer (CIO) at Burberry, he has driven a broad global agenda across both digital and more traditional technologies to do just that.
Prior to joining the iconic fashion brand, Mark worked at consumer goods giant Unilever for 29 years. In January 2007, he became CIO of Unilever’s North America division and, from January 2011, led the global digital transformation of all of Unilever's consumer-facing technology. Mark is currently on the advisory board of the First Love Foundation (a charity that provides food, support and advice to people facing crisis in their lives) and is also a non-executive director at Bonmarché.
Mark took up his role as Chair of the Digital Route Panel in January 2019, seeing it as an opportunity to work with colleagues across the landscape to help define the skills, knowledge and behaviours needed by the next generation of digital apprentices and learners.
Route panel vice-chair
Director of Digital, The Spectator
Tom is Director of Digital at The Spectator, the world's longest running weekly magazine. He sets and delivers the digital strategy across the company’s digital product portfolio, including development of new industry-leading products.
Tom is an experienced digital leader with a background in digital product design and development, gained from working with top brands such as Apple, Accenture, Canon, HSBC, EDF and SPARCK. He started his career at the Apple Store Genius Bar when he was 18 – pre-apprenticeship days. He still credits 90% of what he knows today to those crucial formative years. That’s why he cares so deeply about getting young people into the workplace and learning digital skills as soon as they can.
Director, PPG Consulting Ltd
Dominic is a Director of PPG Consulting Ltd and acts as Skills Policy Consultant to Microsoft UK. He has worked with Microsoft since 2006 and founded Microsoft’s award-winning Apprenticeship Program.
Dominic is also Managing Director of Intequal, a Microsoft Learning Partner delivering digital apprenticeships and commercial IT training, and co-founder of Franklin Apprenticeships, a US-based apprenticeship consultancy and capacity building organisation. Intequal was initially set up to provide an ‘employer engagement’ function for the Microsoft Program but now offers a remotely delivered, instructor-led apprenticeship. Franklin Apprenticeships is acting as a catalyst to drive quality and scale in US competency-based apprenticeships, using methods and best practice originated in the UK.
Director of Digital Business, PA Consulting
Rob is Director of Digital Business at PA Consulting. He has over 24 years' experience of digital transformation, helping public and private sector organisations agree their digital strategies, future product and service development, and supporting delivery. He helped launch and run NHS Choices and has been instrumental in transforming global innovators into customer centric organisations, as well as modernising clients’ customer engagement. In 1998, Rob was part of the winning Realworld team at the inaugural British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Interactive Entertainment awards.
As an international speaker on digital, Rob explores the value of digital for organisations and the need to transform both inside and outside – meaning changes in governance, technology and organisational structures, as well as the underlying skills of organisations. He is passionate about the need for digital skills and capability development and was proud to join the Digital Route Panel in 2017.
Senior Manager, Programme Delivery, Metropolitan Police Service
Neil has more than 15 years’ experience of leading major IT and digital transformations to improve business outcomes, with a strong focus on the people aspects of change and on fostering an agile-digital mind set. He joined the Civil Service in 1996 and has remained in the public sector, motivated by the benefits to society and the vast opportunities for change. He currently holds a senior strategic delivery role within the Metropolitan Police Service, where he is responsible for managing complex business-focussed digital delivery programmes to serve and protect Greater London’s eight million residents.
Passionate about both the difference technology can make to society and people’s personal and professional development, Neil has mentored secondary school students with the Prince’s Trust and is a business mentor for King’s College, London, and for the Chartered Management Institute. Whilst a civil servant, he introduced the first digital apprenticeships for his department, seeing first-hand the growth, development and career opportunities apprenticeships offer.
Director, Flicker Games Ltd
Ian Masters has founded four games companies, most recently to launch his new game, Flick Solitaire, a loving update to the classic original. He began his career 22 years ago coding PlayStation racing games and FIFA, but in 2003, fell in love with mobile and created the BAFTA-nominated puzzle game, Super Yum Yum. This gave him the chance to work with the likes of Sega on Sonic Hedgehog, with Sony on LocoRoco and Namco on The X-Factor.
Ian is now an experienced university lecturer, helping to bring on the next generation of game developers (ages 8+); his students have reached the finals of the BAFTA Young Game Designer nine times. In 2019, he co-founded Out Making Games, an organisation for UK-based LGBTQ+ games professionals.
Head of Customer Experience Communications, Cisco
Helen leads Cisco’s Customer Experience (CX) EMEAR communications organisation, which is responsible for telling and amplifying the Cisco CX story to make it relevant, relatable and inspiring to EMEAR employees, partners, customers and influencers. She has over 20 years’ digital industry experience, including communications, change management, marketing and training.
Helen is an advocate for diversity and equality in the workplace and is the executive sponsor for the Cisco North apprenticeship programme. She is also a STEM ambassador and industry sponsor at various schools in Greater Manchester. Helen’s driving mission is to attract, develop and offer best-in-industry career opportunities to diverse groups of young people, both for their benefit and for the benefit of society and industry. Her dream is to enable a generation of outstanding citizens to make a difference to the world.
Head of IT, The Myton Hospices
Pash is Head of IT at The Myton Hospices based in Warwickshire and Coventry. He has been in post for 12 years, but has been working in the IT industry since the late 1990s. Pash has a wide range of experience in different parts of the industry, including robotics programming in the manufacturing sector and server support in the digital sector. He has also owned his own IT support company.
During his time at The Myton Hospices, Pash has developed and implemented a digital strategy that has transformed Myton from a predominately paper-based organisation to a more corporate style, digital organisation that runs the hospice more efficiently, providing better value for money for financial donors. He has also developed a team to support and maintain those systems. Pash shares the best practices developed at Myton Hospice with other local and national charities.
Pash is passionate about bringing people from all backgrounds in to IT and excited by the opportunity to bring that same passion to the work of the route panel.
Business Technology Strategy Leader, PwC
As Business Technology Strategy Leader at PwC, Sarah sets the strategic direction for UK and global technology investments for internal business capabilities, driving data-informed decision making about the technology landscape. She has led the transformation of the IT operating model by embedding agile ways of working and product management and, as a PwC Digital Accelerator, works to drive digital upskilling across the firm and transformation of operations through data analytics and visualisation tools.
Previously, Sarah managed the 14-19 diploma programme at the UK Commission for Employment and Skills and developed learning and teaching strategy, policies and quality assurance frameworks at the University of Sheffield, where she was also business visionary for a new personal and academic tutoring system. In 2017, she chaired an international conference in the UK on behalf of the National Academic Advising Association to discuss the future of academic tutoring.
Over the last 20 years, empowering people through technology, data and education has been a golden thread that has run through Sarah’s career. She is excited to be able to combine her digital and educational expertise as a Member of the digital route panel.
Deputy Head of Construction & Digital, Tyne Metropolitan College
Sam is the Deputy Head for Construction and Digital at Tyne Metropolitan College which is part of the Tyne Coast College group.
Sam is a former IT apprentice himself, having left school at the age of 16. He credits his apprenticeship at Innovia Films in Cumbria for his ability to bring real-world issues to life in the classroom now, helping learners to study and achieve.
Sam is passionate about developing digital talent and growing opportunities for all in education by placing the right tools in front of learners to do this. He took up the role of route panel Member to help transform the lives of the next generation of learners coming into the classroom and workplace, drawing on his significant knowledge of the digital industry and education sector to offer insight and advice.
National Skills Lead, The Alan Turing Institute, and a Senior Lecturer, Newcastle University
Matt is National Skills Lead to The Alan Turing Institute and a Senior Lecturer in Data Science at Newcastle University. His work in AI skills includes collaborating with the government on the skills pillar of the National Data Strategy, leadership of skills policy initiatives through the Data Skills Taskforce, and developing national curriculum standards with the Alliance of Data Science Professionals.
He is passionate about democratising access to, and widening participation in, education which meets current and future workforce needs.
Training Manager Cyber Security, WorldSkills
Suresh has over 20 years of experience in developing industrially relevant training. Key areas of expertise include advanced networking, enterprise database, programming, virtualisation, mathematics, and cybersecurity.
In his current role, Suresh is responsible for training young people to high levels of occupational expertise, skill, agility and resilience, drawing on insights from global skills systems and world-class practices. Many of the young professionals he has supported have gone on to compete for a place representing the UK at the ‘Skills Olympics’, profiling the prestige of apprenticeships and technical education on a global stage.
Suresh feels privileged to have the opportunity to be a Member of the route panel and is looking forward to contributing constructively and positively to its work.
Technology Director for the UK and Ireland and R&D Europe, Unilever
With over 20 years’ experience in the consumer goods industry, Jo is a resourceful and creative leader in information technology, delivering complex change and transformation programmes. She has held a variety of roles at Unilever and is currently Technology Director for the UK and Ireland and R&D Europe, responsible for the company’s IT strategy and operational running of technology to support all business functions. Jo has led several global digital implementations for Unilever working with technology partners including SAP, Salesforce and Microsoft. She is passionate about the importance of building digital skills and providing career opportunities for the next generation.
Jo has championed many initiatives to improve diversity and inclusion in the tech industry and is proud to have been involved in shifting the gender balance at Unilever. She was Chair of the Technology Management Graduate programme for Unilever UK from 2012 to 2017 and has been actively involved in recruiting and mentoring apprentices in digital roles. She is excited to have the opportunity to bring her skills and expertise to the route panel.
Education and childcare
Mary Isherwood OBE
Route panel chair
Mary has always worked in the field of special education. She was a class teacher in a special school in Lancashire for 10 years before moving on to hold middle and senior management posts in Rochdale and Manchester local authorities. This included working for 14 years as a headteacher at Camberwell Park School . The school was judged outstanding three times under her tenure, in 2010, 2013 and most recently, in 2018.
Mary was awarded an OBE in 2019 for her services to special education. Since September 2020, she has been working as a leadership consultant supporting a number of schools in the Greater Manchester area.
Professor Jean-Noel Ezingeard
Route panel vice-chair
Vice-Chancellor, University of Roehampton
Jean-Noël has held board and advisory positions with Warrington and Halton NHS Trust, Henley Management College, Richmond upon Thames College and the Association of Business Schools. He has also worked on a number of business-academia steering groups with the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, the Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership, the Higher Education Funding Council for England, and the Office for Students. He is a board member for the National Centre for Universities and Business (NCUB) and University Vocational Awards Council (UVAC).
Jean-Noël is a graduate of École Centrale de Lille, where he studied Engineering Systems, followed by postgraduate study at Brunel University London, where he also studied for his PhD in Information Systems. His research expertise is in systems and processes management with a focus on the social aspect of information systems management (including information security).
Principal/CEO, Riverside College, Widnes and Runcorn (Halton)
After a successful career as a general manager in the travel and tourism industry, Mary changed paths and became a teacher in post-16 education. Twenty two years later, she is Principal of Riverside College, Widnes and Runcorn (Halton).
Mary is passionate about vocational education and her own career path is testament to this; she left school at 16 to study Hospitality and Catering Institutional Management at Nelson and Colne College and then Huddersfield Polytechnic.
Mary has a wealth of industrial and educational experience. Every day, alongside her team of teaching, support and training staff, she invests that experience in young people and adults to ensure they have the best opportunities to fulfil their potential.
Dr Eunice Lumsden
Head of Early Years, University of Northampton
Alongside her role as Head of Early Years at the University of Northampton, Eunice is also a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a registered social worker.
Eunice spent over 20 years specialising in safeguarding and adoption before entering higher education with a personal mission to raise the profile of early childhood. She has extensive experience in advising on workforce development and qualifications nationally and internationally. She contributed to the external reference groups for Early Years Professional Status and Early Years Teacher Status standards and was on the expert group for the Early Years Level 2 qualification. Her research interests include the professionalisation of the early childhood workforce, child maltreatment, poverty and adoption.
Dr Julian Grenier
Headteacher, Sheringham Nursery School and Children’s Centre
Julian is the headteacher of Sheringham Nursery School and Children’s Centre in Newham, East London, which co-leads the East London Partnership, a National Teaching School, and is the lead school in the East London Research School. Prior to joining Sheringham, Julian was the senior Early Years Adviser in Tower Hamlets.
Julian gained his Doctorate in Education from the UCL Institute of Education in 2013 for his research on how early years practitioners work with and understand two-year olds. He has written several best-selling books about early years education and care and was an adviser to the Nutbrown Review of Early Education and Childcare Qualifications. Throughout his career, Julian has remained passionate about supporting the development of the whole early years workforce.
Dr Paul Elmer
Associate Head of College, University of Westminster
Paul is Associate Head of College at the University of Westminster, where he is responsible for improving teaching in a business school that has the most diverse student body in the UK.
Paul’s university leadership spans communications and business faculties and his commitment to students and to teaching is evidenced by a strong focus on staff development as a route to better curriculum design, better teaching and social relevance. In 2005, in recognition of his innovation in vocational education, he became a National Teaching Fellow.
Paul advises on academic development internationally, particularly in relation to education that delivers social mobility and specialises in the future of work in his own research. He brings to the panel a clear focus on emerging markets for knowledge, skills and people, and the tools needed to meet those challenges.
Dr David Langley
David is a freelance consultant in higher education, regional regeneration, skills and employability, and improving social mobility. He was previously Chief of External Engagement at New Model Institute for Technology and Engineering (NMITE), where he led on engagement with businesses, industry, education providers and other partnerships, as well as community and civic engagement and impact. He was also NMITE’s equality and diversity champion.
Prior to joining NMITE, David’s career predominately focused on the management of research and innovation in globally leading universities, government and research organisations. He has wide-ranging interests, including disruption through learning, improved employability and work readiness in graduates, skills, and responding to technology-driven and other changes in the world of work. David is currently an independent governor of Hereford Sixth Form College.
Programme Director/Senior Leadership Tutor, National College of Education
Following a number of years as a design engineer for Rolls Royce, Gareth has worked in the education sector for over 20 years as a teaching assistant, teacher, head and system leader. He currently works for the National College of Education supporting school and system leaders.
As a Teaching School Director, Gareth led the professional development portfolio for over 300 schools across Oxfordshire. He was also the Oxfordshire Teacher Recruitment Lead, engaging senior leaders, headteachers and CEOs at a local and national level. Gareth has worked in a variety of settings, including primary, middle and secondary, as well as in an international school. He is a Fellow of the Chartered College of Teaching.
Dr Fern-Chantele Carter
Head of Compliance and Responsible /Accountable Officer, RSL Awards
Fern is a commercially astute strategic leader with over 25 years’ experience in education. She has worked as an academic at UCL/IOE and in mainstream, special, further and higher education. She designed a Masters in Inclusive Education for the University of Gloucestershire and has been a tutor and mentor on PGCE courses at the Open University and Brunel University. She was the youngest and first student to achieve a Doctorate in Education in thinking skills and aesthetic education from Brunel University in 2003.
Fern is currently Head of Compliance and Responsible /Accountable Officer at RSL Awards. She chairs the Federation of Awarding Bodies Creative and Performing Arts Committee and is a member of the Regulatory Compliance Board at CMI.
Through her varied career, Fern has developed qualifications and assessments working under a range of policy directions, finding creative solutions to complex issues. She is committed to the provision of excellent technical education that prepares people for work in the education and childcare sector.
Director of Behaviours and Attitudes, St Ursula’s Convent School Greenwich
Kayser has a passion for working with the most vulnerable students and has held various roles in mainstream education, alternative provisions and special schools. Moving between the three sectors has not only allowed her to share her wealth of experience, but to continue to develop her own knowledge and skills to better reach these students.
Championing for a diverse group of people has also inspired Kayser to take on many volunteering opportunities. This includes being an executive member of the PRUsAP committee – a national voice for pupil referral units and alternative providers.
Engineering and manufacturing
Dr Graham Honeyman CBE
Route panel chair
Managing Director, Sarach Steel Technologies Ltd
After gaining BSc (Hons) and MSc degrees in Engineering Materials Technology at the University of Aston, Graham was awarded a PhD from Teesside University. He went on to build a distinguished career, including a significant period at Sheffield Forgemasters, which he joined as Technical Director in 1988. He later led a management buyout of the company and was appointed Chief Executive in 2005. Graham left Sheffield Forgemasters in 2021 having set up his own consultancy, Sarach Steel Technologies Ltd, which he now runs as Managing Director
Graham has won multiple awards, notably a Winston Churchill Medal for his study of supercritical steam turbine technology, a silver medal from the Royal Academy of Engineering for outstanding contribution to British engineering, the Bessemer Gold Medal and, in 2008, a CBE for his work in preserving and developing heavy steelmaking and engineering industry in Sheffield. In 2010, he was named Global Director of the Year in the Institute of Directors’ Director of the Year Awards and, in 2013, voted the International Person of the Year at the Youth Business International International Business Awards and named CEO Of the Year at the national Private Business Awards. In that same year, Graham was made an Honorary Professor of Strategic Management at Sheffield University Management School and awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Business Administration at Teesside University.
Nicola Johnson FIMechE
Route panel vice-chair
Founder and Director, NMJ Risk Consulting
Nicola is a chief engineer and recognised leader in the European energy industry. She has an outstanding track record in project management for more than £100m of national infrastructure investment in the UK. Most recently, she was Chief Engineer and Director of Health, Safety, Security and Environment (HSSE) at energy supplier E.ON UK, managing lighting and heating for millions of customers.
Nicola is dedicated to supporting the development of future leaders and is actively involved in fostering junior engineers in establishing their careers and supporting STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) activities in the wider community. She is a keen promoter of organisational wellbeing, with a strong focus on improving outcomes for people and businesses and on keeping them safe, secure and supported.
Bob Barnes FIMI MIoD
Managing Director, Motortrade Consultants Ltd
Bob has worked in the motor industry for some 53 years. He started his career in engineering in 1966, before moving into sales and then management and reaching board-level at the age of 37, when he was appointed to the role of Sales and Marketing Director.
He worked closely with Toyota in the nineties, including a period as National Dealer Council Chairman. He also worked with the Institute of the Motor Industry (the professional association for individuals working in the sector) on the development of GNVQs. During this time, Bob was made a Fellow of the Institute. In 2003, he saw a niche in the market and set up Motortrade Consultants, assisting and coaching managers to meet the newly launched Manufacturers Standards.
Alongside his motor industry experience, Bob is also a children’s author. His first book was published in November 2017; his second is due out later this year.
Dr Brian Counter
Technical Director, UK Permanent Way Institution (Engineering Council Licenced Institution)
Brian started his career as a graduate at British Rail in 1979, progressing to become a senior Track and Civil Engineer. Following privatisation, he became Balfour Beatty Regional Director of Rail Maintenance for Midland Main Line, before joining the Civil Service as the Track Adviser to the Rail Regulator. In 2004, he took up post as a General Manager at Carillion Rail and, from 2006 to 2015, was Head of Architecture and Civil Engineering at the University of Derby. Alongside his current role as Technical Director at the UK Permanent Way Institution (PWI), Brian also works for the University of Derby as a Senior Lecturer and Apprentice Curriculum Consultant.
Brian has served as member of a number of technical committees for Railway Engineering Conferences
and International Rail Conferences and is also chair and a member of Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) and PWI panels. His wide-ranging research includes 12 publications on railway maintenance, life extension, ballast sustainability and climate change.
Brian has a PhD in Railway Systems from the University of South Wales, MBA and PGPLT from the University of Derby, and a BSc (Hons) Civil and Environmental Engineering from Newcastle University. He is a Chartered Engineer and fellow of ICE, PWI and the Higher Education Academy (HEA).
Technical Director, Vapour Trail Systems Ltd
Paul is a consultant electrical engineer specialising in power control systems and automation for the electricity supply and rail industries.
Paul started his working life as an apprentice with Rolls Royce Aero Engines in Derby, which sponsored him through college while he studied for his Ordinary National Certificate (ONC) and Higher National Certificate and Diploma (HNC and HND).
Since then, Paul has worked in a variety of roles for household names including PowerGen, E.ON and Western Power Distribution. He is the director of his own small company as well as a director trustee of the Electricity Supply Pension Scheme.
Managing Director, Quintilian Ltd
John was formerly Chief Executive of the Nuclear Institute, a professional membership organisation, and served in the Royal Navy (RN) for over 20 years as a submariner, engineer and training manager. During his Navy career, he was responsible for RN education and apprenticeships policy and implementing training standards across the RN and parts of defence.
John now works as a consultant, specialising in board-level advice and support in strategic education and training across the engineering and defence sectors. As well as being a Route Panel Member, he is a member of the Institute of Directors’ Accreditation and Standards Committee and also runs a professional photography studio.
John is a graduate of Oxford and London Universities, a Fellow of the Institute of Physics and Nuclear institute, and a Chartered Engineer and Chartered Physicist. He is also a member of the Master Photographers Association and Institute of Directors and a Trustee of the Aston Martin Heritage Trust.
Operations Director, MIRA Technology Institute
Lisa joined the MIRA Technology Institute as Operations Director after 20 years working in the automotive engineering sector. She started her career as a toolmaking apprentice before moving on to become a technician apprentice with Ivertech/Magnesium Services Ltd, where she progressed to project engineer. While studying for a degree in engineering at Brunel University, Lisa completed an industrial placement at Daewoo and subsequently joined the HORIBA MIRA graduate programme, moving through a range of roles, from safety integration engineer to programme manager.
Lisa is a Chartered Engineer and works in a voluntary capacity for the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, currently as chair of the automotive events programme committee and vice chair of the automotive division board. She is a STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) ambassador for Warwickshire, working with local schools to set up Imagineering clubs (where pupils work on practical engineering projects) and acting as a judge at the finals of the Big Bang UK Young Scientists and Engineers Fair. Lisa sees the collaboration of industry and education as key to delivering the specialist skills development that is vital to the future of the automotive and transport sectors.
Alan Poole BSc, CEng, FIET
Technical Excellence and Communities of Practice Director, Jacobs Critical Mission Solutions International
Alan is an apprentice-trained Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology and a chartered engineer with over 38 years’ experience in the design of electrical, control, instrumentation and safety systems. He has worked in a variety of industries, ranging from nuclear through heavy and fine chemical, automotive and medical.
Alan is currently the Technical Excellence and Communities of Practice Director for Jacobs Critical Mission Solutions International, supporting more than 2,600 engineers, scientists and designers in the delivery of systems in the nuclear industry. His team provides technical oversight of projects, along with competency management of all engineering and technical personnel in the business. Alan was inspired to join the Institute by a strongly held belief that apprenticeships are fundamental in the development of a highly skilled work force and a personal desire to play a part in supporting their development.
Associate Director, Wintech Ltd
Nadha is an Associate Director with Wintech Ltd, an independent leading specialist facade engineering consultancy company providing a range of services, from the early strategic design of a project through to completion.
Nadha completed an MSc in facade engineering in 2007 and has over 12 years’ experience in the construction industry. She is a Chartered Engineer and member of the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE), Society of Facade Engineering (SFE) and Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb). She is also a chartered mediator with CIArb and has undertaken extensive training with the Expert Witness Institute.
Nadha believes in giving back to the industry by helping to identify and develop the skills and training needed to produce the next generation of high calibre engineers. It was a driving factor in her decision to apply for Route Panel Membership.
Head of Special Projects, Flogas Britain
Chief of Industrialisation, Rolls Royce
Ruth studied mechanical engineering at the University of Bristol and started her career in the high-volume manufacturing environment of the car industry, learning from external consultancies and industry professionals about lean manufacturing. This gave her the experience necessary to make the leap to the aerospace industry, fulfilling the role of Internal Consultant in a wide variety of manufacturing, assembly and service environments, making improvements stick on the front-line.
Wanting to get closer to her engineering roots, Ruth subsequently moved into manufacturing engineering leadership roles, starting with product delivery focused roles and then as Operational Manager of a large global manufacturing engineering team. More recently, Ruth has been providing senior technical leadership on industrialisation and currently leads a global business unit team integrating design for manufacture, new product introduction and manufacturing technology across a diverse portfolio of products and suppliers.
Capt Andy Donaldson OBE CEng MIET RN
Defence Engineering Champion/Head of Profession (Engineering) Team Leader, Royal Navy
Andy joined the Royal Navy as an apprentice aged 16 and completed a five-year apprenticeship. Once qualified, he undertook numerous roles, building his career from equipment technician, through system technician to engineering manager. Andy transferred to the Officer Corp in 1998 and, after further postgraduate and specialist training, undertook a range of frontline roles as a system engineer in operational theatres. He later diversified into change management, project management, resource and plans, and training delivery. Andy’s current role as the Defence Engineering Champion and Head of Profession (Engineering) Team Leader is the pinnacle of his career as an engineer.
Andy’s long and fulfilling career has given him the opportunity to experience the full spectrum of engineering, from hands-on technician to empowered leader with the ability to set strategy and influence policy. This was his inspiration for applying to be a Member of the Institute.
Head of Central Engineering, Royal Mail Group
Manoj started his career as an automation maintenance engineer at Royal Mail Group in 1996. He is currently Head of Engineering in central functions at Royal Mail, where he and his team provide strategic direction and the technical expertise for letters and parcels automation.
Manoj obtained a BEng honours degree in electronics engineering and is currently in the final year of an MSc in leadership as part of a level 7 apprenticeship at University of Warwick, for which he won apprentice of the year in the degree/higher-level apprenticeship category of the National Apprenticeship Awards. He holds the Engineering Council’s professional qualification of Incorporated Engineer and is responsible for Royal Mail’s corporate partnership with the Institution of Engineering and Technology.
Manoj created an industry-leading talent development pathway in engineering apprenticeships at Royal Mail, which inspired him to get involved in apprenticeship developments more widely. He is now active in promoting women in engineering and works with schools and other organisations to inspire young talent to become future engineers, scientists and leaders in the industry.
Hair and beauty
Route panel chair
International and BAFTA hair stylist to film and TV
Paul is an internationally renowned hair stylist whose pioneering approach to combining the highest technical standards with commercial looks and a strong focus on consumer care, has made him an authority in the hair and beauty industry. He is a L’Oréal Shu Uemura Art of Hair Styling Ambassador and has taught and mentored some of the UK’s most renowned stylists, including Errol Douglas, Richard Ward and Umberto Giannini.
Paul is behind some of the most iconic hair transformations in film and television and, in 2018 and 2019, was chosen as the Official Hair Partner of the British Academy Film Awards. He is also a voting BAFTA member recognised for his work in film and television.
Route panel vice-chair
National Director of Apprenticeships, Toni & Guy UK Training Ltd
Cathy has worked in the hairdressing industry since leaving school and becoming an apprentice. Further on in her career, she taught at a large FE college in Cheshire and set up a private training company in Liverpool, before taking charge of Toni & Guy’s Manchester-based Apprentice Academy in 2001. In five years, she led the Academy from Inadequate to Grade 1 Beacon status, making it one of the top five training companies in the country. Cathy now oversees Toni & Guy’s apprenticeship provision across England, supporting some 400 apprentices in over 170 salons.
Cathy is a National Apprenticeship Ambassador working to promote apprenticeships alongside the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS). Before joining the Route Panel, she was also part of the hairdressing apprenticeship trailblazer group. For Cathy, being on the Panel is both a personal privilege and professional duty – something that enables her to use her knowledge and experience to give back to the industry at a grass roots level.
Owner and Technical Director, Karine Jackson Hair and Beauty
Karine has run her eponymous salon in Covent Garden for 15 years and has become an active presence in the industry. She has won numerous awards, including London Hairdresser of the Year in 2007, Fellowship Consumer Image of the Year in 2011, Most Wanted Hair Trend in 2015, and Colour Expert and Hair Heroine in the Hair Magazine Awards 2018. She was shortlisted for Most Wanted Colour Expert three times and for Men’s Hairdresser of the Year in 2009. In 2017, Karine was elected President of the Fellowship for British Hairdressing, having previously served as Chancellor.
Karine has two great passions: apprenticeships and organic hairdressing. Hers was the first London salon to be awarded Certified Sustainable. She is optimistic the new apprenticeships will have the same success.
Training Director, Yorkshire College of Beauty
Rebecca has worked in the beauty industry for over 25 years, having originally qualified as an osteopath. After graduating, she worked in and managed a number of salons, before opening her own.
On completing a teaching degree, Rebecca spent time in the further education sector before joining the Yorkshire College of Beauty. In her current role she has led the development of a successful apprenticeship programme, working closely with examination boards and HABIA (the government approved standards setting body for hair, beauty, nails and spa) to create the apprenticeship qualification. The programme now delivers training to over 150 beauty therapy apprentices.
Rebecca’s professional goal is to ensure high standards continue to be delivered to all apprentices, generating a highly skilled and professional beauty therapy workforce.
Owner and Creative Director, Hair Lounge
Charlotte is a multi-award-winning British/Ghanaian hairstylist. She is highly respected within her profession and is a beauty industry authority on natural textured and mixed heritage Afro hair.
In a career that spans close to three decades, Charlotte has consulted for a number of prestigious global hair care brands, including L’Oreal and GHD, and won numerous accolades in hair and business. She is the first black female hairdresser to enter HJ’s Hall of Fame after winning British Hairdressing Awards Afro Hairstylist of the Year three times.
Charlotte and her eponymous brand have been featured extensively in numerous prestigious publications, including Vogue, Harpers Bazaar, Tatler and Glamour. She was recently profiled on ‘The Elle List’, a feature that celebrates ‘the game changers reframing the world of fashion, beauty, culture, politics and tech’.
Founder of Butterflies Beauty Retreat
Sarah developed a passion for the beauty industry in 1996, when she gained her first qualification in fashion, theatre, photography and clinical makeup. She went on to do a two-year study in beauty, aesthetics and physiatrics, picking up an impressive array of qualifications from all the leading bodies, gaining distinctions and being nominated student of the year along the way.
Sarah filled what little spare time she had working in the industry, broadening her experience and extending her training in beauty and aesthetics. She went on to create a beauty business for a hairdresser and become an educator for a leading nail company. By 2000, she was the manager of what became an award-winning spa.
In 2004, Sarah created Butterflies Beauty Retreat, a successful business with outstanding client satisfaction ratings. Sarah believes education, training and experience are key to continued success and completes numerous training days each year to keep up to date, enthusiastic and in the know.
National Training Manager, Saks Apprenticeships
Mandy has worked in the hairdressing industry for over 30 years, since leaving school and undertaking a government Youth Training Scheme (YTS) in the late 1980s. She worked for several independent salons before securing a position with Regis, where she not only managed salons, but realised her passion for teaching and training. In 2001, Mandy was appointed as the first hairdressing apprenticeship educator at Saks Education. In 2006, she played an instrumental role in the team’s success in being awarded grade ones during inspection and Beacon Status for excellence in training and standards.
Mandy is now Saks’ Apprenticeships National Training Manager and manages a team of educators delivering apprenticeships across 400 salons and two academies. Prior to joining the route panel, she sat on the apprenticeship trailblazer panel and contributed to Hair and Beauty Industry Authority (HABIA) expert working groups to develop national occupational standards. Mandy still spends time on the salon floor across the network of Saks Hair and Beauty salons, keeping her hairdressing skills very much up to date.
Health and science
Route panel chair
National Lead for Apprenticeships, Talent for Care, Widening Participation & Volunteering, Health Education England
Kirk is a senior leader and executive director with strategic and operational experience stretching across local government, education and the NHS.
He had a successful career as a Human Resources Director and as an Assistant Principal in further and higher education and has specific expertise in employee relations, employment law and organisational development.
Kirk has additional senior experience managing estates, facilities and health & safety coupled with a period of time running his own manager training & consultancy business. He has also chaired of the East of England network of HR directors working in the NHS.
Currently, the national lead for the design and implementation of NHS workforce development strategies, requiring extensive partnership building and multi-stakeholder engagement including close liaison with the Department of Health and the Department for Education.
Route panel vice-chair
Head of Technical Services and Skills, University of Manchester
Colin began his career in electronics by joining a ‘start-up’ company in Cheshire, where the opportunity to work across the whole gambit of activities, from cradle to grave, gave him a unique introduction to the sector.
Colin later moved to Jodrell Bank Observatory as a Radio Frequency Technician, observing sites across the globe and designing and implementing cryogenic receiver systems. This international experience gave him a strong appreciation of diverse working styles and cultures and a keen understanding of the factors impacting on workforce planning. He is currently leading a team of 400 technicians and engineers through a period of significant change at The University of Manchester.
Colin is passionate about the need to professionalise and improve the technical service provision across the sector through appropriate training and development opportunities. It’s the driving motivation underpinning his Membership of the Route Panel.
Medical Manager, Roche Products Limited
A biochemist by background, Laura’s passion for getting transformational medicines to patients led her to pursue a career in the pharmaceutical industry. Since 2011, she has worked in global product development at Roche, specialising in pharmacovigilance (also known as drug safety) and business management. She has a track record of operating at a senior leadership level and, in 2019, received corporate recognition at Roche for her leadership and commitment to the highest standards of integrity.
Laura is passionate about, and active in, inspiring young people to take up careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths). As a Route Panel member, she is excited by the opportunity to contribute to the huge impact that apprenticeships and T levels will have in shaping the future skills landscape in the UK.
Prof Diana Kuh
Emeritus Professor of Life Course Epidemiology at UCL
Diana studied economics at the University of Cambridge and then trained ‘on the job’ as an epidemiologist. She is Emeritus Professor of Life Course Epidemiology at UCL and holds Honorary Professorships at the Universities of Bristol and Exeter.
Diana was the founding Director of the Medical Research Council (MRC) Unit for Lifelong Health and Ageing at UCL and Director of the MRC National Survey of Health and Development (NSHD) from 2007-17. NSHD is the oldest of the British birth cohort studies; it has followed up over 5,000 individuals since their birth in March 1946. Diana was part of the study team for 30 years and Director for ten years, during which time she developed NSHD into an integrated and interdisciplinary life course study of health and ageing.
In a broad range of more than 450 publications, Diana has helped to create and advance the field of life course epidemiology, which studies how biological, psychological and social factors at different stages of life affect adult health, ageing and chronic disease risk. Her commitment to training and capacity building in this field encouraged her to take on the role of Route Panel Member.
Lead Nurse for Oncology and Haematology at Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust
Hilary trained as a State Registered Nurse and Registered Sick Children’s Nurse when student nurses trained very much ‘on the job’. Her varied career now spans some 37 years. Hilary has spent most of that time working for the NHS, in roles including Chemotherapy Specialist Nurse and Professional Nursing Advisor for Weston Park Hospital (a specialist cancer hospital), and Professional Development Manager for Sheffield Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. Currently, Hilary is Lead Nurse for Oncology and Haematology at Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, supporting the delivery of 21st century care to children and young people with cancer and benign haematological conditions.
As well as being a clinical nurse, Hilary has also worked as an education and support nurse for a large pharmaceutical company, as Head of Care Team and Family Support Manager at a newly established children’s hospice, and as a senior lecturer in the Faculty of Health and Wellbeing at Sheffield Hallam University.
Professor Stephen Lambert-Humble MBE
Stephen retired as Postgraduate Dental Dean for Kent Surrey and Sussex and National Lead Dean for Dental Care Professionals in 2017, previously being the first Dental Dean for all the Armed Forces. He has Chaired NEBDN, set up and chaired the FGDP(UK) Advisory Board for DCPs, the RCS England Dental Hygiene & Dental Therapy and Clinical Dental Technician Exam Boards, trained over 95% of all UK CDTs; and set up the “Mouth Care Matters” programme, an oral health training plan for all health and social care personnel.
He was HEE lead on Dental Apprenticeships, is wholly committed to teamworking, improving the quality of patient care through lifelong learning and developing and innovating education and training opportunities for the team, which led him to join the Institute to further these aims.
He was awarded an MBE for services to Postgraduate Education in the 2012 New Years Honours.
LTA Coach Education and Curriculum Manager, Lawn Tennis Association (LTA)
Jo has a rich experience of sport in general and tennis in particular, having been a player, professional player, coach, coach educator, coach deployer, and head coach. She is now LTA Coach Education and Curriculum Manager with the Lawn Tennis Association, the sport’s national governing body, responsible for driving and developing world-class coach education content and structure within British tennis.
Jo first picked up a tennis racket at 13 and turned professional at 19, winning the British Ladies’ Championships and competing in her first Wimbledon Championships. She travelled the world, competing in several Grand Slams and representing Great Britain in Fed Cup and European Cup competitions. She reached a career-high Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) ranking of 154 before injury got the better of her.
Following her move into coaching, Jo worked as an LTA national coach, WTA tour coach and American university coach before joining forces with four partners from the WTA and ATP tours to establish Wimbledon Experience (WimX), a performance academy and community tennis hub in East London. Alongside her coaching and LTA roles, Jo is also undertaking a PhD, investigating the psychological effect of stereotypes on girls and women in tennis. Her motivation for joining the Institute is to help proliferate the benefits of sport and other pursuits as widely as possible.
Senior Paramedic at East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust and Associate Lecturer in Paramedic Science at Anglia Ruskin University.
Justin is a frontline paramedic who undertook two apprenticeships with the world’s busiest ambulance service (London), in addition to a BSc (Hons) in Paramedic Practice at St George’s Hospital Medical School, University of London.
Justin is a practice educator, developing apprentice emergency medical technicians and student paramedics. He is a qualified teacher with a Certificate in Education and an MA in Education and Training. His 15 years’ experience in health and social education is coupled with teaching, assessing, quality assuring and developing qualifications in the private, further and higher education sectors. He has also published a series of first aid manuals and written two mental health first aid textbooks which are due for publication.
Justin is a passionate advocate for ensuring that education is never a barrier, but an opportunity to be anything you aspire to be. He believes the future of the NHS and the best patient care depends on the education and experience given to the next generation. He is excited by the opportunity to share his insights from the frontline of the NHS as a Member of the route panel and to contribute to the future of apprenticeship development.
Eye Health Professional
Jayshree is a continuing education and training facilitator who enjoys sharing new and innovative ideas about the healthcare sector. Projects that he has collaborated on include the training of 5,000 eyecare professionals over a two-year period. In 2019, Jayshree was named Optician of the Year in the Macular Society Awards for Excellence.
Jayshree is the co-host of an innovative virtual pitching series, launched during the pandemic, linking optical suppliers to optical buyers. It enables him to keep abreast of new developments in the sector and feeds his passion for acquiring knowledge – ‘every day is a learning day for me’.
Jayshree is an Association of British Dispensing Opticians (ABDO) qualified dispensing optician, ABDO practical examiner and ABDO practice assessor.
Legal, finance and accounting
Route panel chair
Finance Director, Bristol-Myers Squibb Pharmaceuticals
Stephen has 38 years’ experience in commercial finance, where he has worked for UK and multi-national companies, including Unigate, BAE and Schlumberger, in roles ranging from Management Accountant, through Finance Director to Head of Finance. He is currently Head of Finance at global pharmaceutical giant, Bristol-Myers Squibb, where, for ten years, he has also chaired the Board of Trustees for the Bristol-Myres Squibb Pension Scheme.
Stephen is passionate about promoting and enabling opportunity, training and vocational learning in a professional sector where change and a shift towards a more work-based approach seems not only likely but timely.
Akhil Shah QC
Route panel vice-chair
Director, Cheshire Costs Management
Geri has worked in the legal profession for over 25 years. She grew up in Northern Ireland and studied law in Liverpool and Chester, before qualifying as a solicitor. Since 2006, she has been running her own legal costs business in South Manchester. Prior to that, Geri spent five years as Operations Manager for a large personal injury firm in Manchester, and before that, managed a national legal costs firm.
Geri loves the diversity of roles within the legal profession and the fact that it is ever-changing. She welcomes the development of apprenticeships, which are helping to make the profession more accessible than ever.
Head of Standards, Royal Institute of British Architects
Carys is Head of Professional Standards at the Royal Institute of British Architects. Her work involves professional standards, professional conduct issues, dispute resolution, ethics in architectural practice and equality, diversity and inclusion.
Having completed the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC), Carys worked briefly in legal recruitment before joining a small UK firm of solicitors specialising in aviation and property finance. From there, she moved into professional regulation and professional disciplinary work, gaining experience in the spheres of dental practice, management accounting and architecture.
Carys has written several publications, including The UN Sustainable Development Goals in Practice and Ethics in Architectural Practice. She is also currently studying for a Postgraduate Certificate in Environmental Economics at SOAS.
Head of Finance, Office for Students
Having qualified as a chartered accountant with KPMG, Tim has spent over 30 years in the finance sector, with more than 12 years at board level. His career has focused mostly on SMEs covering a range of industries, including dairy, transport, care and housing. He is currently Head of Finance at the Office for Students, an arms-length body of the Department for Education, based in Bristol.
Tim’s main professional interests are in business plan development, risk management and assurance. Outside of work, he is a non-executive board member and chair of the audit committee for a local housing association.
Non-executive Director, UK Coaching
Michelle is now a Non-executive Director at UK Coaching, the national sports organisation for sports coaches across the UK. Prior to this, she spent more than 30 years as a senior lawyer and, latterly, Global Head of Knowledge at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, one of the UK’s foremost legal firms. Michelle has wide-ranging legal expertise, including international dispute resolution, risk and regulatory compliance, business and human rights, and modern slavery, is a respected conference speaker and has published on a wide range of legal topics.
Alongside her legal expertise, Michelle also has significant operational management experience, including digital transformation and innovation delivery. Since leaving Freshfields, she has undertaken a range of consulting work for charities and is also an executive coach, currently participating in the professional certificate for executive coaching course at Henley Business School. Michelle is an advisory board member of ForestSEA, a not-for-profit organisation developing reforestation initiatives in South East Asia and a member of Thomson Reuters’ Transforming Women’s Leadership in the Law and Knowledge Management Advisory Boards.
Banking Policy Manager, Bank of England
Weiyen has spent more than 10 years in the finance industry and currently works for the Prudential Regulation Authority, Bank of England. He was a frontline banking supervisor for many years, covering some of the largest European and globally systemic banking groups. More recently, he has focused on banking policy developments in the post EU-withdrawal world. Prior to the Bank of England, he was a residential mortgage-backed securities analyst at Fitch Ratings London and covered mainly Dutch, Italian, and Portuguese transactions.
Weiyen is passionate about vocational learning and professionalism, and has supported the development of T Levels for many years. He is also involved in many professional associations and holds the CFA, CAIA, CIPM, FRM, and IMC designations.
Trade Commissioner, High Commission of Canada in the UK
Lida describes herself as a ‘life-long learner’. She began her career as a co-op student, alternating terms at the University of Waterloo studying computer science with ‘work terms’, very similar to an apprenticeship. This cemented her belief in the value of exposure to work while learning. On completion of her studies, she went on to enjoy a long career in derivatives trading in Toronto, New York and London.
After spending time engaged in a portfolio of non-executive director roles in finance and education, Lida re-entered the workforce as a returner to join the Trade Commissioner Service at the High Commission of Canada in the UK. From an initial focus on the financial services technology or fintech sector, she now leads on investment in Canada by UK companies.
Prof Sir Jon Murphy QPM
Route panel chair
Former Chief Constable Merseyside Police & Professor of Advanced Policing Studies, Liverpool John Moores University
Sir Jon joined the police in 1975 as a 16-year-old cadet, rising through the ranks as a career detective. He was appointed Deputy Chief Constable of Merseyside in 2004, after working with the National Crime Squad and was the National Coordinator for organised crime from 2007 until he was appointed Chief Constable in January 2010. Jon retired from the police service in 2016.
Sir Jon has been commended on 14 occasions and was voted Merseyside Public Sector Leader of the Year by a local panel in 2014. He received the Queen's Police Medal in 2007 and was knighted in the 2014 Birthday Honours for services to policing.
Phil Garrigan OBE
Route panel vice-chair
Chief Fire Officer, Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service
Phil joined Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service (FRS) in 1990, serving at a variety of community fire stations in some of Merseyside’s most vulnerable and deprived communities. In his current role as Chief Fire Officer, he brings a strong community focus to the service, using this to tackle the underlying factors which affect risk; this has led to a record low in the number of fire deaths.
As well as being a National Strategic Advisor for major national events, Phil is also a member of the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) Operations Coordination Committee, representing the role of Merseyside FRS in overseeing national resilience capabilities on behalf of the Home Office. He is also Vice Chair of the NFCC Prevention Coordination Committee and leads on the sector’s work with children and young people. The breadth of his work and experience gives Phil a unique understanding of the sector, as well as the skills, knowledge and behaviours that are vital to these essential services.
DCC Chris Armitt OBE QPM
Deputy Chief Constable (T/DCC), Civil Nuclear Constabulary
Chris joined the Civil Nuclear Constabulary in July 2015, the only entirely armed police service in the UK. As ACC Operations he is responsible for all armed policing activity at Nuclear Licensed Sites in the UK. Chris was promoted to Temporary Deputy Chief Constable (T/DCC) within the Civil Nuclear Constabulary in February 2019 and appointed permanently in October 2019 . He serves as Gold Commander for all domestic and international escort operations and as strategic lead for Special Branch. He also represents the UK Government on the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Security Advisory Committee. In 2014, Chris was seconded to Gwent Police as Gold Commander for the NATO Summit in South Wales, responsible for the protection of 67 Heads of State and the policing operation that delivered a safe and secure Summit. In recognition of this, the following year, he received the St David's Award for Wales.
Chris served 25 years with Merseyside Police before taking up his current role. Prior to starting his police career, he was in the Royal Engineers. He holds an MBA, along with advanced diplomas in Terrorism Studies and Criminology and Police Leadership. In 2015, Chris was awarded the Queen's Police Medal for distinguished service to policing.
Governing Governor at HMP Gartree
Babafemi joined the prison service as a basic grade officer in 1991. Successive promotions followed, including positions at Her Majesty’s Prison (HMP) Pentonville, HMP Wayland, HMP High Down and HMP Lewes. In 2005, he became a Senior Manager (Governor) at HMP Norwich and, in 2008, Deputy Governor of HMP Drake Hall. In 2012, Babafemi was appointed Governing Governor at Her Majesty’s Young Offenders Institution (HMYOI) Werrington, before moving to become Governing Governor of HMP Featherstone in 2015. Since November 2019, he has been Governor at HMP Gartree.
Babafemi was born in East London but grew up in Nigeria, before returning to England in 1990. Having studied for a BSc Honours in Geography and Regional Planning, in 1996, he was awarded an MA in Employment and Human Resource Studies at the University of North London (now London Metropolitan University).
Danny Wilks OBE
Formerly Head of Recruiting and Assessments, West Yorkshire Police
Danny worked for West Yorkshire Police for 48 years and was involved in policing HR for many years at a national level, including responsibility for managing HR for the Force’s Positive Action Recruitment Campaign. He has been a lay member of employment tribunals for over 20 years and is currently a Member of Chapter at Wakefield Cathedral.
In 2015, Danny was awarded the Force’s own award for Extraordinary Public Service, in recognition of the positive impact he had made on the police service nationally as an HR professional. In 2017, he received an OBE for services to policing and voluntary services to justice and the community in West Yorkshire.
Global Security Director, Johnson Matthey
Steve joined the British Army in 1997 and served for 13 years, conducting a wide range of protective security and investigation roles in Europe, the Middle East and Africa while progressing through supervisory and managerial positions. In 2011, he joined De La Rue in the role of Security Manager for their highest risk sites, before being promoted in 2014 to Head of Security for Supply Chain and again, in 2015, to Group Director of HSSE for De La Rue, with senior responsibility for all aspects of security and environment, health and safety. In 2018, he joined Johnson Matthey as the Global Security Director, responsible for security strategy and operations across 45 countries in a high risk and complex industry.
Steve was awarded a BA (Hons) in Security and Risk Management from Leicester University and an MBA from Durham University. He is a Certified Information Security Manager (CISM) and a Chartered Security Professional (CSyP).
Colonel Clare Waterworth MBE, LLB, MA
Head of Armed Forces Welfare, Ministry of Defence
Clare has been a serving Army officer for 27 years. Commissioned into the Royal Military Police in 1994, she has served in Northern Ireland, Cyprus, Norway, Canada, Germany and Afghanistan and completed several tours with the Special Investigation Branch. In 2009, Clare implemented the Armed Forces Act across the three Service Police Forces, receiving an MBE in recognition of this work in 2011. In 2012 she deployed to Afghanistan to work with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Department for International Development in Lashkar Gah, Helmand Province. Following two years working in the Army's Headquarters, she commanded the Special Investigation Branch with responsibility for investigating serious crime committed by service personnel based around the globe.
In 2016, Clare was posted as Directing Staff on the Advanced Command and Staff Course at the Defence Academy in Shrivenham. In 2017 she moved to the National Security Secretariat in the Cabinet Office as a senior policy advisor before promotion took her to the Euro-Atlantic Security Policy unit, a joint unit working in both the Ministry of Defence and Foreign and Commonwealth Office. In 2020 she moved to the Directorate of Judicial Engagement Policy in the Ministry of Defence where she worked on the passage of the Legal Protections Bill through Parliament. Clare is now the Head of Armed Forces Welfare working in the Ministry of Defence.
Prior to embarking on her Regular Army career, Clare graduated in law from Durham University, after which she worked for the Crown Prosecution Service and the Law Society.
Sales, marketing and procurement
Route panel chair
Associate Commercial Director – Disclosure and Barring Service
Godfrey has extensive experience and a track record of devising, implementing, supporting and delivering successful commercial and brand transformation across multiple business types, in both private and public sectors. He started his career as a retail apprentice, progressing to senior leadership roles in this sector, then making a successful transition to business-to-business leadership in telecoms, digital advertising technology, media. He recently moved into the public sector with the Disclosure and Barring Service.
Godfrey is passionate about developing individuals and teams and has a strong track record in building and developing commercial teams on both a UK and international basis. Having an apprenticeship as the foundation for his career is one of the key drivers of his commitment to working with the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education.
Route panel vice-chair
Lt Col (Retd) John Stroud-Turp
John is a retired artillery officer who has worked extensively in arms control, counter proliferation, defence capability and defence acquisition. Before his retirement, he was part of the UK’s delegation to a number of UN disarmament groups. He now undertakes consultancy work, primarily in defence and project management. He is also a magistrate, a member of the West London Bench and the London Family Panel, and a trustee of the Magistrates Association.
John holds a BA in Psychology from the University of London, BSc from the OU, and MBA and MSc from Cranfield University. An experienced teacher, instructor and mentor, John firmly believes in the importance of lifelong learning and ensuring people have opportunities to develop and prosper – this was a big part of his motivation for becoming a Panel Member.
Director, Archimedes Consulting Ltd
Patricia is Director of Archimedes Consulting Ltd and, for the past 18 years, has provided specialist consultancy aimed at helping organisations – from start-ups to global businesses – become more commercially effective.
Patricia’s own background is in the consumer goods industry in the blue-chip corporate sector, where she worked in sales and marketing roles for organisations such as Procter & Gamble, Gillette and Coca-Cola. She is passionate about developing practical commercial education and previously ran a social enterprise, teaching NEET young people life and commercial skills. She also formerly chaired the panel leading the development of the Business and Administration T Level.
Formerly Group Chief Creative Officer, M&C Saatchi
Justin was, until recently, Group Chief Creative Officer at Saatchi. He is one of the world’s most awarded advertising creatives, having won top honours at all major advertising festivals, including D&AD, Cannes Lions, British Arrows, The One Show and The Clios. He has a breadth of creative experience leading complex brands through multiple touch-points, including Proctor & Gamble, Kellogg’s, Unilever, McDonald’s, Tesco, and Heineken.
Prior to joining Saatchi, Justin spent five years as Group Executive Creative Director at Leo Burnett London, a highly successful period culminating with the agency being named D&AD’s Most Awarded Agency and the World’s Most Awarded Agency by AdAge. He joined M&C Saatchi in 2016, overseeing the company’s creative output across all brands, products and services and working with companies including NatWest and Coca Cola, as well as a raft of government bodies, from Public Health England and the NHS to the Department for Education and Department for International Trade.
Head of Commercial Innovation & Marketing, NS&I
Michael joined NS&I in 2007 and was seconded from NS&I to help create the British Business Bank as Acting Director Head of Communications and Marketing and Head of Brand. Before joining NS&I, Michael worked for AXA Investment Managers as Demand Development Director AXA UK and as Director, UK Sales for Royal & SunAlliance Investments. He is a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Marketors, a member of the Strategic Marketing MSc Programme Advisory Board at Cranfield School of Management and a non-executive director at London Mutual Credit Union.
Michael is a former Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) examiner and has lectured on CIM programmes since 2008, in areas including strategy and digital strategy, digital marketing, innovation and communications. He is a Chartered Marketer and Fellow of the CIM, a member of the Market Research Society and holds an MSc in strategic marketing. Before joining the Route Panel, Michael was a member of the Level 3 and Chair of the Level 7 marketing apprenticeship trailblazer groups.
Group Head of Sales Academy, The Citation Group
Angela is a driven sales professional with a successful career spanning more than 30 years. Her first sales role was as an outbound cold caller in the classified department at her local newspaper. She went on to own her own independent blue-chip media sales company and also enjoyed a long senior tenure of more than 10 years working for a global media giant, where she was responsible for the largest sales and people remit for the regions outside of London.
Angela’s latest role as Group Head of Sales Academy at the Citation Group focuses on the attraction, training and retention of the next generation of sales professionals and development of existing leaders. It was this experience that inspired her to join the route panel. Angela is passionate about providing a supportive culture for work-based learning that enables people to develop and thrive. She holds an Institute of Training and Occupational Learning (ITOL) level 5 coaching qualification and is a Mental Health First Aider.
Head of Product Marketing, National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER)
With a career spanning public, commercial and not-for-profit sectors, Rebecca is currently Head of Product Marketing for global charity NFER, responsible for commercial sales, marketing and brand engagement. Prior roles include Group Head of Marketing and Communications for business services provider Seetec, Assistant Director of Marketing at Barnardo’s and Head of Marketing for the Scout Association. Her experience includes leading national marketing campaigns to encourage more employers to offer apprenticeships, traineeships and employability programme placements.
Before joining the route panel, Rebecca was a founding member and co-chair of the marketing trailblazer group, contributing to the development of level 3, 4 and 6 marketing apprenticeship standards. A strong advocate for vocational training, Rebecca believes apprenticeships play a vital role in improving social mobility and ensuring our nation can excel globally.
Transport and logistics
Captain Neil Atkinson
Route panel chair
Head of Campus, Fleetwood Nautical Campus, Blackpool and The Fylde College
Neil first went to the Fleetwood Nautical Campus of Blackpool and the Fylde College in 1989 as a night class student on a Royal Yachting Association course. Following a 22-year career at sea and continued association with the Campus, he returned as Head of Campus in 2013.
During his time in the industry, Neil obtained his Master Mariners qualification and progressed to the rank of Captain, combining a career at sea with a career in maritime education. He is now a Chartered Master Mariner, a Chartered Manager and member of the Chartered Management Institute, an Associate Fellow of the Nautical Institute, a Vice Chairman of the Merchant Navy Training Board and a Younger Brother of the Corporation of Trinity House. Neil is passionate about training the next generation of seafarers and sees apprentices as integral to this endeavour.
Route panel vice-chair
Managing Director, Frimstone
Mark is Managing Director of Frimstone, responsible for setting and delivering strategy to grow and develop one of Norfolk’s largest independent quarry businesses.
After graduating from the University of Newcastle with an MSc in Rock Mechanics and Excavation Engineering, Mark started his working life in the land drilling industry, promoting NVQs and working on projects in Norway, France and Middle East. He later worked in various logistics and commercial roles in the extractive industry, before joining Frimstone in 2011 to help develop their rail infrastructure in East Anglia.
Mark sees the new apprenticeships as playing a vital role in drawing new employees into the industry and is a keen advocate of the opportunities they offer.
COO, Navy Wings
Frank started his career flying from Royal Navy aircraft carriers as a fighter pilot in Sea Harriers before joining Virgin Atlantic Airways. Since then, he has spent 25 years honing his expertise in the aviation sector as a pilot, examiner and senior manager looking after training systems that deliver compliant and innovative solutions whilst meeting exacting regulatory standards set by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the Civil Aviation Authority.
Since 2015, Frank has been using his strategic leadership skills to help promote the naval aviation charity, Navy Wings, as their Chief Operating Officer and board member of Naval Aviation Limited. With skills in this area on a knife edge, Frank has a passion not only for heritage aviation, but also for ensuring generations to come have the tools to learn aviation skills without limits.
Lecturer, Sheffield University Management School
Graeme has over 28 years’ industrial experience, having started as an apprentice millwright, before progressing through engineering maintenance roles in the petro-chemical and pharmaceutical sectors. He moved to a management role in the food sector in his early thirties and built a career in operations fields, including supply chain management, warehousing and logistics.
Alongside his role at Sheffield University, Graeme is a director of a national charity focused on fighting food poverty and food insecurity whilst reducing food waste – a role that builds on his own PhD in the theory of constraints in the development of more sustainable and resource-efficient local food supply chains. He also serves as a board member of a social enterprise, is an active member and fellow of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport and holds two external examiner subject specialist roles in logistics and supply chain management at Roehampton and Lincoln Universities.
Associate Professor; WMG, University of Warwick
Trudy Spencer is an Associate Professor at WMG, University of Warwick. She specialises in supply chain and logistics, with a particular focus on transport and warehousing. This builds on a successful career in a variety of distribution roles in the building products and fashion industries.
Trudy’s current responsibilities include leading Warwick’s Senior Leader Degree Apprenticeship Programme through which she has witnessed first-hand the extensive development opportunities apprenticeships offer. Trudy is a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport and has a strong commitment to inspiring the next generation of supply chain professionals. She sees her appointment to the Route Panel as a great opportunity to support the development of talent in the industry by contributing to the creation of new pathways.
Partner and Operational Training Manager, John Lewis and Partners
Tanith has worked for the John Lewis Partnership for over 20 years. She started in branch stores as a manager on the shopfloor and progressed into training and development. Tanith moved to distribution 15 years ago where she supported training and development of warehouse and transport Partners, setting up a Mechanical Handling Equipment (MHE) Training Centre to service the whole Partnership.
The other side of Tanith’s role is to launch new apprenticeships and support delivery of existing apprenticeships within the Partnership’s distribution and supply chain. She believes that apprenticeships are the way forward for businesses to upskill their existing staff and create attractive job pathways for new roles.
Technical Capability Manager for Sustainability, Network Rail
Rebecca is the Technical Capability Manager for Sustainability in Network Rail leading on Network Rails sustainability systems and capability to enable the delivery of their environmental sustainability strategy.
Rebecca has been in Network Rail for over 11 years and, in that time, has largely specialised in the systems and policy side of sustainability and environmental management, working across the business functions including maintenance, infrastructure projects and in the national strategy team.
Rebecca is a chartered environmentalist, a full member of the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment and has a master’s degree in environmental management. She sees her appointment to the route panel as an amazing opportunity to get sustainability firmly on the agenda of apprenticeships so that we can build a sustainable future for the industry.