Chair of the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education

Body: Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education
Appointing Department: Department for Education
Sectors: Business, Finance & Skills, Education
Location: London, Coventry and other locations as required
Number of Vacancies: 1
Remuneration: A fee of £29,500 a year is payable. Reasonable expenses properly and necessarily incurred will be reimbursed in line with the Institute’s expenses policy.
Time Requirements: 1 day a week


An announcement has been made on the outcome of this appointment.

Baroness Ruby McGregor-Smith CBE has been appointed to serve as chair of the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education board. She will serve from 1 August 2021 for a period of 5 years.

Remuneration is £29,500 for a time commitment of one day per week.

She has declared the following political activity:

public speaking
stood for election – London Mayor election for 2020, was not shortlisted for the role
member of the House of Lords (Conservative life peer)
Baroness McGregor-Smith has declared the following interests as a member of the House of Lords.

The Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education is a Crown non-departmental public body working on behalf of employers to support the delivery of high-quality apprenticeships and technical education in England. The appointment is made by the Secretary of State for Education.

View Announcement

Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched


  • Closed for Applications

    15/02/2021 at 09:00

  • Panel Sift

    Due to circumstances beyond our control it was not possible to conduct the sift on Monday 22 February. A revised date of 1 March has now been confirmed

  • Final Interview Date

    Interviews are expected to take place on 13th and 14th April

  • Announcement

    04/08/2021 at 11:00

The closing date has been extended for an additional two weeks. The competition will now close at 09:00am on 15 February 2021. Due to circumstances beyond our control it was not possible to conduct the sift on Monday 22 February. We are trying to secure a revised date for W/C 01 March. We hope the interview dates will remain unchanged. A revised sift date has now been confirmed. The sift will take place on 1 March Notification letters issued to all applicants 29.03.21


Assessment Panel

  • Eileen Milner Added 15/12/2020

    Panel Chair

    Chief Executive of the Education and Skills Funding Agency • Departmental Official

    Show more information

  • Hunada Nouss OBE Added 04/02/2021

    Member, ESFA Management Board and chair of the ESFA Audit and Risk Committee. • Other Panel Member

    Show more information

  • James Wharton (Lord Wharton of Yarm) Added 12/01/2021

    Consultant (business) • Independent Member

    Show more information

Vacancy Description

The Government has set itself an ambitious agenda to improve the quality of apprenticeships and technical education, to drive an increase in productivity and improve social mobility. To achieve these goals, we need employers to invest more in training their workforce and for people to be trained to fill skills gaps.

The Institute was established as a Crown Non-Departmental Public Body, independent of Government and employer-led, with a mandate set by Ministers. The Institute is playing a vital role in continuing the apprenticeship and technical education reform process and works on behalf of employers to support the delivery of high quality apprenticeships, T Levels and Higher Technical Qualifications in England. The Institute enables apprentices or learners to be confident that their apprenticeship or technical qualification is of high quality, respected and will help them to build a career with a clear market value.

The chair will take up their role at a key point in the Institute’s development and will need to be able to give outstanding leadership as its board membership evolves, making the most of individual members’ strengths and skills.  The board’s effectiveness will be crucial to ensuring the Institute fulfils its vital role in continuing the apprenticeship and technical education reform process, and that it continues to be employer led, supporting the delivery of high quality apprenticeships and T Levels in England while extending its responsibilities for approving technical qualifications.

The successful candidate will need to demonstrate the skills required to lead a growing organisation with an annual budget of some £25 million which employs two hundred people, maintaining effective governance and robust financial management. The chair will need to ensure the Institute discharges its statutory functions in line with government policy, and to guide it through the tension inherent in being employer led while being accountable to government. To achieve this the chair will need to offer both support and challenge to the Institute’s chief executive and staff.


Person Specification

A successful candidate will have the following essential criteria:

  •  exceptional leadership and non-executive chairing skills, with significant experience of providing strategic direction, effective decision making, driving delivery and governance oversight at senior board level in a complex and high-profile
  • a current or very recent employer with an ability to offer an employer perspective at all times on the Institute’s priorities, as well as the personal reputation, public profile, broad experience and gravitas that would command the confidence and respect of employers, both large and small, at a senior level
  • the ability to influence and build effective relationships with stakeholders, and to communicate decisions and complex issues clearly and persuasively, both privately and on the public stage
  • a sound understanding of the central role in apprenticeships and technical education that the Government expects the Institute to play, and a passion and determination for it to succeed in this role, and for delivering for employers and learners.


Applicants will be assessed against these criteria in their application and at any subsequent interview. In the event that we receive a large number of applications, those which do not clearly demonstrate the first of these (Exceptional leadership and nonexecutive chairing skills) will be rejected at the first sift stage

We particularly welcome applications from under-represented groups, those based outside London and the South-East and applicants who have achieved success through non-traditional educational routes.

Additional Information

The appointment is for a term of five years.

You can find further information about the Institute in the candidate pack and on its website:

If you are considering applying why not watch this message from the Secretary of State for Education

How to Apply

Information on the timetable for this campaign, selection process, requisite security clearance, and the Advisory Assessment Panel can be found on the Centre for Public Appointments website:

Please submit the following documents by email to:

  • a covering letter not exceeding two sides of A4 paper. (Arial size 12)
  • a CV
  • candidate application form
  • diversity form.

Please include the vacancy title in the subject box and submit each application document as a separate attachment.

We are happy to accept applications in alternative formats from applicants who, for reasons of disability, may find it difficult to fill in our standard form. If you wish to have a chat with us about reasonable adjustments please contact us at:

Please note the following:

  • we cannot accept applications submitted after the closing date;
  • applications will be assessed solely on the documentation provided; please refer to the advert and checklist above to ensure you have provided everything requested;
  • applications will be acknowledged upon receipt;
  • feedback will only be given to candidates unsuccessful following interview;
  • due diligence will be undertaken on all candidates invited to interview and at various points up to appointment.
IFATE Chair-Candidate Information Pack
Return to Search