In May, Kathryn was among 21 current and recent apprentices from many different organisations nationwide selected to join the existing five members on the panel.
Yesterday was their first chance to have their say when the panel met at the Institute’s London offices in Buckingham Palace Road.
The members’ remit is to draw on their experiences to have a say on changes to policies which affect current and future apprentices.
Kathryn completed an intermediate business administration apprenticeship with the University of Bedfordshire before coming to CILEx Law School at 17 to do an advanced business administration apprenticeship. Now 24, she manages a team of two apprentices.
After an introduction from the Institute’s Chief Executive Sir Gerry Berragan and Chief Finance Officer Peter Schild – a former apprentice – they learned more about the Institute’s work, its five-year strategic plan, trailblazer groups and how the Institute approves standards.
The meeting came days after the Institute approved its 300th standard. These replaced apprenticeship frameworks and show what an apprentice will be doing and the skills required of them.
Kathryn said: “It was a really good first meeting. I was amazed how business-like and opinionated the new members were despite being so young. It was a really diverse group too, with people from the north and the south and from all backgrounds. Some had done two apprenticeships and some had done one.
“Some people had had bad experiences with previous apprenticeships – not their current ones – and they want to build on that to help others. The aim is for us to be the voice of apprentices.
“We discussed lots of things including how you can get rid of the stigma around apprenticeships and how you can make sure that all apprentices get their 20 per cent off-the-job time. I wanted to find out more about support networks for apprentices, and have since been reading up more about YAAN (the Youth Apprentice Ambassador Network).”
The panel has already been asked to work with the Institute’s communications team to engage people on social media and promote the work of the Institute. That includes looking at setting up an Instagram account, collectively managed by the panel.
Kathryn added: “Everyone at the Institute is very open to us getting involved in things and to us asking questions. They really see the value in this group and we will be meeting frequently.”
For more information about the panel and the Institute, visit its website.