In a move that underscores the importance of the skills agenda, the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (the Institute) has appointed two job-sharing strategy directors, bringing combined experience from the heart of government.

Rachel Cooper and Beth Chaudhary have moved across from the Cabinet Office, where they led the Strategy team and they will combine forces once again for their new role at the Institute, continuing a successful five-year job-sharing partnership that began when they were head of smart energy policy at the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy.

Rachel Cooper said: “Technical education is going to play a vital role in creating an amazing, vibrant UK economy. Skills will be central to our ability to deliver on the levelling up agenda and ensure businesses are well placed to support the transition to Net Zero. Beth and I are delighted to be joining the Institute at such a pivotal time and look forward to working with colleagues across the sector to make these ambitions a reality.”

Rachel and Beth’s background in environmental policy will be a key factor in helping the Institute to drive forward change on green apprenticeships, following the recent launch of our Green Apprenticeships Advisory Panel.  

Their remit will also include helping the Institute deliver on its new responsibilities set out in the Skills and Post-16 Education Bill, making sure that entry level and new Higher Technical Qualifications meet employers’ skills needs and support learners into successful careers.

The fact this major role is being done as a jobshare reflects the Institute’s long-held commitment to a flexible and modern approach to working.

Beth said: “You have got two different people, two different networks, two different sets of energy and enthusiasm to direct into a role. We are passionate about role modelling a different type of flexible leadership and opening up opportunities for everyone to find working patterns which work for them and their employers. We believe this translates to the skills system too. Embracing new ways of recruiting and developing staff gives employers a competitive edge.”


Jennifer Coupland, chief executive at the Institute, said: “Rachel and Beth’s experience will be invaluable in putting employers at the heart of the skills system. They will help to ensure that we fully support the green-led national recovery and people from all backgrounds to succeed.”

If you are interested in interviewing Rachel and Beth please email