From education to employment

Legal team’s ground-breaking work leads to award nominations

The Institute’s head of legal, Kristofer McGhee

Work of Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education’s (@IfATEched) legal team on newly launched #TLevels has led to being shortlisted for four awards. 

This includes head of legal Kristofer McGhee being shortlisted for two individual awards. 

The legal team at the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (the Institute) has been shortlisted for multiple awards following their work helping to shape T Levels.

The team, comprised of four members, head of legal Kristofer McGhee, legal counsel Adam Barnes and Corrine Oldknow and assistant legal counsel Eloise Pollard have been instrumental in the development and approval of these new qualifications.

T Levels are new two-year, classroom-based technical qualifications designed to give students the skills that industry needs. They combine classroom theory, practical learning and a 3-month (minimum 45 days) industry placement with an employer to make sure students have real experience of the workplace. 

The challenge of T Levels for the team was how they were going to make the offer of developing and delivering the new qualifications attractive enough so that awarding organisations would bid to lead the development of them. They did this by thinking creatively and making sure the commercial principles and contract terms were attractive and robust. Evidence has shown that they achieved this, as the first three waves of T Levels have had successful bidding campaigns and those T Levels were approved by the Institute in April this year.

Their work has seen them shortlisted for four awards because of their innovation and the way they have combined outstanding legal experience and expertise with commercial acumen. The shortlisted awards are:

  • British Legal Awards – Outstanding Innovation & Collaboration (legal team)
  • Law Society Excellence Awards – Excellence in-house (legal team); and In-house Solicitor of the Year (Kristofer McGhee)
  • The Lawyer Awards – General Counsel of the Year (Kristofer McGhee)

NCFE and Pearson are delivering the first 3 T Levels with training providers – for education and childcare; digital production, design and development; and design, surveying and planning for construction – which students began studying last month.

Aside from the work on T Levels, the legal team covers a lot of other work in what is a fast paced and demanding job. They provide legal advice across the whole of the Institute, including in connection with the design and development of policy, complex procurements and public law matters. The team is also responsible for advising on and protecting the Institute’s intellectual property.

Jennifer Coupland, chief executive of the Institute, said:

“I’m extremely proud of our legal team here at the Institute, led by Kristofer, who is himself a finalist for two awards. It is a fantastic achievement and one that our entire organisation can take great pride in. The level of legal guidance that they provide is first-rate so this is thoroughly deserved.” 

The Institute’s head of legal, Kristofer McGhee, said:

“I think the team would agree that it is great working in-house at the Institute. There is far more variety than you can typically expect in private practice, it is fast-paced and the work we do is delivering real generational change.”“We can develop a deep understanding of the business – making us more effective at helping the Institute realise its ambitions and giving us a greater degree of job satisfaction along the way. It is great to be recognised for all our hard work.”

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