A route panel meeting in an office

Joining an IfATE route panel

Your expertise, insight and passion could help transform skills training in your sector.

Our 15 route panels are made up of employers with outstanding experience and expertise in their professions and industries. Each panel represents a major business sector – what we call a route. 

Panel members work collectively to provide strategic oversight of the skills training needs of employers in their route. It’s the panel’s role to ensure businesses and organisations can access the quality and level of training they need to develop their workforce – now and in the future. 

Members meet regularly to review and make recommendations on skills training for their route, including new apprenticeships and technical qualifications. They also help map skills training to identify gaps and support career progression. And they oversee regular reviews to make sure skills training opportunities continue to meet employer needs. 

‘Being a route panel member enables me to bring the real-world practicalities and challenges of the sector to help shape apprenticeships and ensure only quality skills training for my route makes it out of the door. The ability to input to and support IfATE across the wider skills development agenda, across different qualification levels, from both a practical and strategic perspective, is an incredibly rewarding experience.’
Godfrey Moger, chair, sales, marketing and procurement route panel

Josie Rothera reflects on her time working with IfATE on the Construction and Built Environment Route Panel.

Read more about our route panels.



Shape and influence

  • shape the skills landscape for your sector
  • influence skills training and policy across the country
  • influence and source solutions to real-world problems in skills

Design and assure

  • influence and impact continuous improvement of skills training products
  • influence and design training provision that meets your needs

Network and grow

  • be recognised as a skills expert within your sector

Current opportunities – APPLY NOW!

We’re looking for more outstanding employers to help strengthen our existing route panel membership. 

We’re particularly keen to hear from employers with significant experience and expertise in the following industries and professions:

Agriculture, environmental and animal care

  • animal care
  • farming
  • forestry


Care services

  • adult social care, specifically working in small organisations


Catering and hospitality

  • counter service and (or) fast food sector



  • building services engineering


Creative and design

  • music
  • fashion
  • broadcast media



  • games industry 
  • digital generalist


Engineering and manufacturing

  • sector leader to take on route panel chair role – any engineering or manufacturing background, but must have the leadership experience, credibility and presence to inspire, lead and shape the panel’s work
  • manufacturing – specifically food or science/process manufacturing


Hair and beauty

  • beauty sector – with strong leadership experience and potential to take on route panel chair role


Legal, finance and accounting

  • retail banking and (or) analytical finance


Protective services

  • army sector


Sales, marketing and procurement

  • procurement
  • retail and customer service 
  • marketing and (or) PR


Transport and logistics

  • airport operations


Membership criteria and terms


What we’re looking for

Route panel role description and person specification

  • an employer who employs their own workforce or an employee working in an operational capacity in their sector
  • track-record of professional achievement and success 
  • knowledge and experience of the day-to-day realties of working in their sector
  • keen appreciation of current and future sector skills needs 
  • credibility to influence and make judgements about the quality of skills training
  • passion for driving real change and making a difference
  • understanding of and commitment to the principles of equality, diversity and inclusion


Time commitment

  • meetings every eight weeks - around six meetings a year, lasting from two hours to half a day, plus preparation time
  • most meetings held remotely, with face-to-face around twice a year
  • opportunities to take part in IfATE events and contribute to other activities that inform wider government policy


  • voluntary role
  • members are not paid a fee but may claim reasonable expenses
  • small fee paid to panel chairs

Length of appointment

  • typically an initial three-year term – may be extended by mutual agreement

How to apply 

If you’re thinking of applying, but have some questions, we’d be happy to arrange an informal chat. Just email us.

Ready to apply now? Send your CV and supporting statement, including:

  • the panel you’re applying for
  • your reasons for applying
  • what you’ll bring to the role

to: ifa.chair@education.gov.uk


Future opportunities

We update this page regularly to show current gaps in route panel membership. But you can express an interest anytime if you’d like to be considered for panel roles that may come up in the future. Just follow the process set out above in ‘How to apply’.


Other ways employers can get involved in IfATE’s work


Published 24 November 2023
Last updated 12 July 2024
(SK, NS)