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‘Six of the best’ as key apprenticeship figures recognised in birthday honours list

Six members who represent the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (@IfATEched) were recognised in the Queen’s birthday honours list 

Six members of the Institute included in the Queen’s birthday honours have been praised for their impressive work on apprenticeships and technical education.

Two board and four route panel members make up the six that have been recognised for their influential work, Jessica Leigh Jones and Toby Peyton-Jones from the Institute’s board and Tanja Smith, Clair Davies, Chris Armitt and Phil Garrigan from the Institute’s route panels were all honoured.

Jennifer Coupland 100x100

“I know that I speak for all at the Institute when I say congratulations to all six members for being included in this year’s honours list,” said Jennifer Coupland, chief executive of the Institute.

“As board members and route panel members, all help the Institute with direction and the opportunity to change young people’s lives forever. Being on the board alongside Jessica and Toby means I get to see first-hand how dedicated they are to apprenticeships and skills. Both have such passion to make the education landscape the best it can be.

“As for our route panel members, evidence shows that their work has allowed hundreds of thousands of young people access to apprenticeships. Without their work, we simply wouldn’t have the same quality apprenticeships on offer today. Again, massive congratulations to all for these well-deserved honours.”

Jessica Leigh Jones received an MBE for services to women in engineering in Wales 

Jessica was a route panel member for the engineering and manufacturing panel before being appointed to the board in June 2018.

Jessica, who began her career as an apprentice electrician, is executive chair of the Engineering Education Scheme Wales. The former UK Young Engineer of the Year is co-founder and chief executive officer of iungo solutions, which works to create an international brand for apprenticeships.

Toby Peyton-Jones received an OBE for services to education, skills, and young people

He was appointed as a board member in April 2017 and is also a non-executive director for the Department for Education.

Toby has also held a variety of roles at Siemens, including three years in China. His most recent role was HR director for the UK as a member of the Siemens UK board. Toby has always been an advocate for education and skills and is an inspirational thought leader on ‘innovation and the future of work’.

The four route panel members included in the honours list have been working with the Insitute since its creation in 2017 and work across three different sectors.

Tanja Smith received an OBE for services to apprenticeships and technical education

As chair of the construction route panel, Tanja has overseen approval of 88 apprenticeships, which have benefited which nearly 51,000 learners. Tanja has also helped with the development of T Levels, with the work of her panel resulting in the design, surveying and planning T Level, one of the first three T Levels which were launched in September.

Clair Davies received an MBE for services to apprenticeships and traumatised children

Member of the Institute’s care services panel, Clair Davies received an MBE for services to apprenticeships and traumatised children. Clair was initially chair of the trailblazer group for the children and young people apprenticeships before joining the route panel. As part of the panel Clair has helped approve eight apprenticeships, resulting in over 77,000 apprenticeship starts.

Chris Armitt, member of the protective services panel, received an OBE for services to policing

Having worked in policing for 30 years, Chris is now the Civil Nuclear Constabulary’s deputy chief constable. As part of the protective services panel Chris has overseen the approval of 17 apprenticeships.

Phil Garrigan received an OBE for services to fire and rescue

Also part of the protective services panel, Phil Garrigan received an OBE for services to fire and rescue during COVID-19. Phil has been the chief fire and rescue Marshall for Merseyside Fire and Rescue. Like Chris, Phil has also played an instrumental role in the approval of the 17 protective services apprenticeships, which in total have had over 13,000 apprenticeship starts.

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