21 new members appointed to IfA apprentice panel

The Institute for Apprenticeships’ apprentice panel will have 21 new members when it next meets on July 4.

A week ago, the former skills minister Robert Halfon said the IfA should “get its act together”, following revelations that the panel hadn’t met in nearly 10 months.

“The voice of the apprentice is central to the work of the Institute. We’ve therefore more than doubled the numbers on the apprentice panel, so we can have a truly representative group to inform best practice and quality standards,” IfA chief executive Sir Gerry Berragan (pictured above) said.

“I’m pleased to welcome the new members and look forward to working closely with the panel.”

The panel is made up of current or recent apprentices from a wide range of occupations and experiences from up and down the country.

Its role is to decide which issues need to be focused on from the learner’s perspective, and ensure apprentices are heard during the decision-making structure of the institute.

Eleven members were appointed in 2017, and the panel first met in April that year.

It now has 26 members, which means six of those originally on the panel have left.

As reported by FE Week, a Freedom of Information request revealed the panel had only met four times since it was launched in March last year – most recently in October.

This prompted Mr Halfon, who set up the panel during his time as skills minister, to urge the IfA to “get its act together and make far greater effort”.

“It beggars belief that during this crucial time for boosting apprenticeships, the IfA panel could be so conspicuously abdicating its responsibility to hear the voices of apprentices,” he said.

It was revealed last month that current skills minister Anne Milton had still not met the panel more than 12 months after it was established.

The 21 new members of the panel are:

  • Harry Holden, Joe Griffin
  • Joe Hirst, Transport for London
  • Kawsar Ahmad, Transport for London
  • Georgia Cresswell, MedImmune (host employer)
  • Jordan Layne, Portakabin
  • Kat Paricos, Unilever
  • Aimen Fatima, University of Manchester
  • Ryan Carey, BAE Systems
  • Hajra Bibi, GlaxoSmithKline
  • Ekansh Sharma, Accenture
  • Alyssa Wood Derwent, Training Association
  • Jessica Le Jeune, Nielson
  • Sebastian Lawrence, Aon UK
  • Sky Caves, Basingstoke College of Technology
  • Rosie Smith  City & Guilds
  • Leon Jacob, Allergan Biologics
  • Zuzanna Wnekowska, Airbus
  • Kathryn Jack, CILEx Law School
  • Flavia Seabra, St Ermin’s Hotel
  • Alex Farnworth, Hanson Cement
  • Louis Curtis, Aggregate Industries

They join the five existing panel members:

  • Poppy Wolfarth, Asset Training
  • Kam Penglin, CT Skills
  • Sanna Shabir, Atkins Global
  • Adam Gymer, Pfizer UK
  • Holly Broadhurst, JCB