Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education announces new chief executive

The new chief executive of the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education is top skills civil servant Jennifer Coupland.

She is currently the director of professional and technical education in the Education and Skills Funding Agency, and was previously acting chief executive of the Standards Testing Agency.

Prior to that Coupland spent three years as the deputy director of the Apprenticeships Unit where she was responsible for apprenticeship reform including creating new apprenticeship trailblazers, degree apprenticeships and the public sector apprenticeship duty.

She will replace current chief executive Sir Gerry Berragan, who was appointed to the post in 2017 and completes his two year contract in November 2019.

“I am really excited about taking on this new role later in the year,” Coupland said.

“For the past two years I have been working closely with Sir Gerry and seeing at first-hand the great work the Institute is doing, and the great people that work there.

“I am looking forward to leading the Institute into the future of technical education – delivering the first wave of T-levels; working closely with employers to develop apprenticeships that deliver for our learners and our economy; and making England the standard for high-quality technical education.”

Skills minister Anne Milton said Coupland has shown “outstanding leadership on the vital work to deliver the new T-levels” and “was also closely involved previously in our reform programme for apprenticeships”.

“I have no doubt that she has exactly the right skills and knowledge we need to lead the Institute through its next phases of its development,” she added.

“I wish her every success in her new role.”

Antony Jenkins, chair of the institute, said Coupland has a “huge wealth of knowledge and experience in further education and, in particular, apprenticeships that will be integral to further developing the work of the Institute”.

“She will already be a familiar face to many of the people in the Institute and I am sure they, like me, are looking forward to working with her more closely,” he added.

“I should also like to thank Sir Gerry for his excellent work as chief executive. He has made a huge contribution to the work of the Institute.”

Mark Dawe, chief executive of the Association of Employment and Learning Providers, said his organisation was “delighted” with the appointment of Coupland, and is “really excited to be working with her”.

“We hope that this will be the dawn of a new era at the Institute which will combine practical common sense and good policy implementation,” he added.