Role of the apprentice panel

The main purpose of the panel is to make sure that the views of apprentices are represented across the work and governance of IfATE.  The panel decides for itself which issues to focus on and can advise and challenge the board. Members of the panel are currently helping to develop content aimed at apprentices, for the IfATE website. 

The apprentice panel have developed a guide to quality apprenticeships and improving the apprentice experience. The guide is called, Raising the Standards, and is aimed at employers, training providers and apprentices.


Calling all level 2 apprentices, do you want to make a difference?

IfATE is looking for level 2 apprentices working in the following areas to join the apprentice panel:

  • Care services
  • Engineering
  • Legal, finance and accounting
  • Agriculture, environmental and animal care
  • Sales, marketing, and procurement
  • Education and childcare

If you are interested in being considered for the role of an apprentice panel member, please complete the expression of interest form and upload a copy of your CV. 


Members of the apprentice panel


Saskia Navaratnam profile picture

Saskia Navaratnam


Employer: Royal Mail

Apprenticeship: Advanced engineering (level 3)

Training provider: Training 2000

Assigned route: Engineering and construction 

Reasons for joining the panel: 

The only real opportunity I saw for myself after school was University, which I found was not the right thing for me. Had I been given the information and understanding of what apprenticeships can provide and how to go about finding one, I would have been able to have made a more informed and fulfilling decision for my future – the decision that I made in 2020 of starting an Apprenticeship in the field that I love! It is my aim to improve and increase apprenticeship visibility to young people as well as older learners as a perfectly feasible and supportive way to enter the working world – or change career paths.

IfATE provides the platform for extremely hardworking apprentices to have our voices heard by those with the power to make a change is amazing, and something that I would love to invest my time and energy in!

Arjun Rai profile picture

Arjun Rai

Co-vice chair

Employer: National Highways

Apprenticeship: Project Manager Apprentice, level 4

Training provider: BPP

Assigned route: Transport and Logistics


Why did you want to be part of the panel?

I joined the panel to make a difference. Apprenticeships are on the rise, and I want to be a part of making them a consistent success across different industries.

I also joined to develop my own skills- being the Co Vice chair means my leadership, critical thinking and teamwork abilities are constantly improving. 

Tell me a bit about your apprenticeship?

Level 4 Project management Apprenticeship at National Highways. My apprenticeship lasts 2 years. Alongside the Level 4 qualification I also take the APM Project management qualification. I work in Major Projects which means the big schemes that most people see on the A roads and Motorways.

What is an interesting fact about you?

At 15 years old I became a fully qualified Lifeguard and worked as one up to the age of 19.

James Kennett profile picture

James Kennett

Co-vice chair

Employer: Department for International Trade

Apprenticeship: Aerospace Engineer (Level 6)

Training provider: Derby College

Assigned route: Engineering and manufacturing



Why did you want to be part of the panel?

I am passionate about improving the quality of and access to apprenticeships, and I think it is essential apprentices are included in the conversation of how they are formed and improved. For me they offer a fantastic alternative to traditional qualifications, but only if we maximise the opportunities for learners and employers.

Tell me a bit about your apprenticeship?

I completed my apprenticeship in September 2022 at Rolls-Royce plc, it enabled great and varied opportunities to explore engineering, technology, and business. It empowered me to be able to take my skills and apply them in a variety of settings. However, I was quite critical of some the ways my standard restricted my learning opportunities, hence my desire to join the panel and make a difference for others.

What is an interesting fact about you?

Even though my apprenticeship was in Engineering I found ways to put my skills to use in other fields and have recently joined the public sector working for Department for International Trade, proving that an apprenticeship never limits your opportunities!

Mariam Shaikh profile picture

Mariam Shaikh

Employer: Troup Bywaters + Anders

Apprenticeship: Business and administration level 3

Training provider: Apprenticeship Connect

Assigned route: Business and administration

Reasons for joining the panel:

I want to be a voice for apprentices across the UK to ensure that they have the best possible experience in their qualification.

Having now completed my Level 3 apprenticeship, I know that there are still ways we can enhance the apprenticeship experience and being a panel member has given me the opportunity to speak up about what could be improved within this space.

Making crucial decisions such as whether to go to university is extremely overwhelming as these choices are made at such a young age and traditionally, colleges and sixth forms tend to only promote the university route. Everyone should have the knowledge of all upskilling opportunities that are available to them, and I want to do more to make people aware of the vast choices that are available, especially apprenticeships that are massively growing the skills of the future workforce.

Dillon Jones profile picture

Dillon Jones

Age: 24

Employer: Derry Building Services

Apprenticeship: Installation electrician and maintenance electrician (Level 3)

Training Provider: JTL  

Assigned route: Construction

Reasons for joining the panel:

I am confident that I can make a difference for future apprentices not only in my field but throughout the UK’s workforce. Being a part of the apprenticeship panel enables all of our of apprentices to have a voice and make sure that they are heard, not only by their employer but by the government as well. I also want to get the message across that earning whilst you’re learning is a massive benefit for apprenticeships and one that is often overlooked. 

Raisa Matadar profile picture

Raisa Matadar

Age: 23

Employer: Jaguar Land Rover

Apprenticeship: Engineering technician (Level 3)

Training Provider: MAKE UK (formerly known as EEF)

Assigned route: Engineering and manufacturing


Why did you want to be part of the panel?

I joined the panel to help improve apprenticeship quality and the awareness around apprenticeship availability. I’ve always advocated for apprenticeships! It’s the best decision I made when leaving sixth form so I wanted everyone out there to know how great it can be.

Tell me a bit about your apprenticeship?

I completed a Level 3 Advanced Manufacturing Apprenticeship with Jaguar Land Rover. My apprenticeship enabled me work on equipment used in car manufacturing process including: paint and sealer robots, conveyor drives and motors.

What is an interesting fact about you?

I was born in Zambia! My parents both moved there from India for work and I moved to the UK when I was 18 months old.

Tamzin Greenfield profile picture

Tamzin Greenfield

Employer: Cyber Security Associates

Apprenticeship: Cyber Security Technical Professional Level 6

Training provider: University of Gloucestershire 

Assigned route: Digital




Why did you want to be part of the panel?

I joined the panel because I knew that the apprenticeship experience could be improved, and that joining a group of like-minded individuals would be the best way to action this improvement. Apprenticeships are quickly becoming a real contender for further education, and I want to help make them more accessible. 

Tell me a bit about your apprenticeship?

I'm undertaking a Level 6 Cyber security technical professional integrated degree. A lot of words to say I'm completing a Bachelors of Science degree in the standard 3 year duration at University, whilst working a full time job with my employer Cyber Security Associates. It's a fantastic choice for someone who wants both a degree and experience within their sector, which is very important for careers based in tech. 

What is an interesting fact about you?

Before I got into cyber security, I wanted to work in fashion and design. 

Amy Marren profile picture

Amy Marren

Employer: BPP Holdings Limited

Apprenticeship: Solicitor

Training provider: BPP University

Assigned route: Legal, finance and accounting



Why did you want to be part of the panel?

I am now on my second apprenticeship and although I have seen some changes over the past 5 years, I wanted to use my voice to shape that change even more. I have also had a very positive experience and wanted to know more about the experiences of other apprentices and work together to create positive experience for apprentices across all routes.

Tell me a bit about your apprenticeship?

I am in the fifth year of the L7 Solicitor Apprenticeship, looking to qualify in 2024. My apprenticeship is 6 years in total and the time has flown by.

What is an interesting fact about you?

I am a double Paralympic swimmer, having won a bronze medal at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

You can listen to Amy's journey to become an apprentice and why she joined the apprentice panel on our podcast channel.

Hamzah Ahmed profile picture

Hamzah Ahmed

Employer: Airbus Operations UK Ltd

Apprenticeship: Aerospace engineer (degree)

Training provider: University West of England/ Bristol City College

Assigned route: Engineering and manufacturing

Reasons for joining the panel:

The apprenticeship scheme has provided me with an enormous opportunity to kick start my career within aviation. I believe I have a responsibility to give something back and furthermore show people how the route I chose is as good (and better than) the traditional educational route. Continuous improvement and development is key to enhancing the scheme. Being on the scheme for the last 3 years and through all its changes, I believe there is still much more to do and I want to be apart of that journey.

During my sixth form years, the whole apprenticeship scheme was unknown and I had to become my own schools independent expert on the matter. My objective, as a representative of the engineering and manufacturing route, will include the improvement of basic school knowledge of the route. Hopefully enabling prospective students to be better aware of the opportunities they have after school. In addition to this, I’d like to improve the employer’s knowledge of the opportunities available for apprentices during their scheme. Despite being a pro-active apprentice, it was only through coincidence that I was made aware of this panel. I believe such great opportunities should be showcased more to include all the awards that employers and apprentices alike can achieve!

Nikki Greaves profile picture

Nikki Greaves

Age: 20

Employer: GSK

Apprenticeship: Laboratory scientist (Level 5)

Training Provider: University of Kent

Assigned route: Health and science

Reasons for joining the panel:

I want to help apprentices gain the best experience they can out of their apprenticeships. It also seems like a good way to promote apprenticeships to others in order to raise awareness and potentially get more people interested in this pathway. 

Rhiannon Rees-Jones profile picture

Rhiannon Rees-Jones

Employer: West Northamptonshire Council

Apprenticeship: Business administration (level 3)

Training provider: Local Government Shared Services

Assigned route: Care services

Reasons for joining the panel:

Ever since I was diagnosed with Asperger’s in my late twenties, I have been presented with many challenges, which I overcame through sheer determination.  I wanted to be on the panel to share my life and experience, build up a network, and continue to be a role model for other individuals on the autistic spectrum. 

I started the apprenticeship at 38 and not only did I achieve two awards for my apprenticeship; NHCP (Northamptonshire Health and Care Partnership) Apprenticeship Awards for ‘Behind the Scenes’ in Adult Social Care’ and ‘Apprentice of the Year 2020’, but I also went on to achieve an overall grade of Distinction on completion which is a massive achievement. I am very proud of what I have achieved throughout my time as an apprentice.

Hannah Gregg profile picture

Hannah Gregg

Employer: KPMG

Apprenticeship: Digital and technical solutions professional (Level 6)

Training provider: BPP University

Assigned route: Digital

Reasons for joining the panel:

I’m incredibly passionate about apprenticeships and raising awareness of them. I’ve had such an amazing experience throughout my 2 ½ years at KPMG and I want to make people aware of the alternative career pathways other than University, and the opportunities that Apprenticeships offer.  

I’ve recently set up and now lead my own Apprenticeship workstream as part of KPMG’s ITs Her Future flagship program, the aim of this initiative is to tackle gender diversity within Technology. The vision of my workstream is to promote and raise awareness of apprenticeships in Technology. In order to, I had to present to Directors and Partners of KPMG to communicate my vision and set out FY21 goals.

Santina Bunting profile picture

Santina Bunting

Employer: Arup Group

Apprenticeship: Civil engineering level 3

Training provider: Salford & Trafford Engineering Group Training Association

Assigned route: Construction and the built environment



Why did you want to be part of the panel?

As the only person out of 150 secondary school students to undertake an apprenticeship I understood the overwhelming value this untraditional route presented. Being invited back to my secondary school to speak has helped me to become a passionate advocate of apprenticeships and so through my role on the panel I hope to share my thoughts and ideas and improve and shape the future of apprenticeships.

Tell me a bit about your apprenticeship?

I am currently undertaking a level 3 Civil Engineering apprenticeship within the geotechnics team at Arup. My role enables me to have had the opportunity to work on a range of range of highways projects where my role is the data management of information collected on site by contractors for us then to be able to produce drawings showing the geology of the soil and manipulate the data to extract the relevant information to help inform the parameters of foundation design.

What is an interesting fact about you?

I am the goalkeeper for the Under 19 Great British Handball Squad and have had the opportunity to travel to: Spain, Portugal, and Denmark. 

Heather Campbell profile picture

Heather Campbell

Employer: Network Rail

Apprenticeship: Railway engineering (level 4)

Training provider: Babcock International

Assigned route: Transport and logistics

Reasons for joining the panel: 

I have joined the apprenticeship panel because I am passionate about apprenticeships and ensuring they continue to give as many people as possible the opportunity to complete one. My apprenticeship has given me a unique experience of work and learning, it has given me the opportunity to do something I didn’t ever expect to do and it has been such an interesting, rewarding experience that a few years ago I wouldn’t of ever considered. Apprenticeships provide such a good opportunity that university doesn’t provide by itself and often can provide a better insight and start to working life, or can offer the opportunity for those who want to upskill or change their career, and I hope to help encourage and promote apprenticeships. By joining the panel, I hope to help improve apprenticeship delivery and fine-tuning experiences for all apprenticeships. My apprenticeship has given me good experience of the transport and railway engineering industry and I think this has given me good insight that will be useful to share with the panel. I hope through this experience to learn from other likeminded apprentices on the panel about their experiences and ideas to understand what other industries are doing in this area.

Ishaaq Saleem profile picture

Ishaaq Saleem

Employer: Arup Group

Apprenticeship: Environmental Practitioner Degree Apprenticeship – Level 6

Training provider: Kingston University

Assigned route: Agriculture, environmental and animal care




Why did you want to be part of the panel?

I wanted to join the panel as a means of not just promoting apprenticeships but to improve the experience of doing an apprenticeship for current and future apprentices. As someone who has had the opportunity to work for different employers, I feel I have a unique perspective on doing an apprenticeship and by being on the panel, can share my views and opinions.

Tell me a bit about your apprenticeship?

I’m currently doing the Environmental Practitioner Degree Apprenticeship. The course allows me to train as an Environmental Consultant in a specialist field within environmental consulting and gives me the opportunity to study BSc Environmental Science (one day a week) at university.

What is an interesting fact about you?

A short fact but I’ve memorised a book. 

Dilraj Singh Bharj profile picture

Dilraj Singh Bharj

Employer: Severn Trent

Apprenticeship: Commercial procurement and supply level 4

Training provider: Charted Institute of Procurement and Supply

Assigned route: Sales, marketing and procurement

Reasons for joining the panel:

I want to be able to make a difference to current and future Apprentice cohorts and I believe joining the Apprentice Panel will enable me to do this.

I had initially taken the University route and whilst studying decided to switch over and pursue an Apprenticeship. Having gone through this experience, I believe I can clearly identify and define the benefits and opportunities that Apprenticeships can bring to people who are starting or are partly through their career. I want to be able to make positive changes that can make people more aware of the different types of Apprenticeship available and the value they can add to their career development by giving them experience alongside gaining a qualification.

In addition to this, I am also one of the Chief Members of Severn Trent’s New Talent Network group which aims to continuously develop our Apprenticeship community and enables all Apprentices to be able to have their say in how to improve and further develop their individual Apprenticeship programmes.

Jordan Gough profile picture

Jordan Gough

Employer: Coventry Building Society

Apprenticeship: Project Management Level 4

Training provider: Kaplan

Assigned route: Business admin




Why did you want to be part of the panel?

I joined the panel as my apprenticeship changed my life, I have finished my apprenticeship and now lucky enough to work within my dream job. Whilst I finished my apprenticeship in 2020 during the height of the pandemic, I wanted to give back to the apprenticeship panel to help provide insight and a holistic view of the end-to-end apprenticeship journey to help current and future apprentices.

Tell me a bit about your apprenticeship?

I completed a level 3 apprenticeship in Project Management, and I now work as a project manager and Scrum Master for the UKs second largest building society.

What is an interesting fact about you?

My interesting fact is I have BA Hons degree in Comedy.

Lauren Desmond  profile picture

Lauren Desmond

Age: 26

Employer: Home Office

Apprenticeship: Leadership and management degree

Training provider: QA

Assigned route: Business and administration 

Reasons for joining the panel:

Apprenticeships have played a huge part in my development, from completing a level 2 with McDonald's to entering the Civil Service on an ODP Level 3 which has led on to a degree apprenticeship. I attended university after college but if I had been aware of the opportunities apprenticeships provided that may not have been the case. I want to make sure all young people are aware of all the options so that they can make decisions that are right for them and learn at work if formal education is not the route they wish to take. I am also tremendously passionate about how we can use apprenticeships to improve social mobility and to level up the country. Apprenticeships are for everyone, which is an important message we need to work on getting out there to aid the skills gap and ensure we have a future proof workforce.

Samantha Ross profile picture

Samantha Ross

Age: 21

Employer: Bevan Brittan LLP

Apprenticeship: Solicitor (Level 7)

Training Provider: BPP University

Assigned route: Legal, finance and accounting



Why did you want to be part of the panel?

I joined the panel because I am passionate about change and I enjoy listening to and sharing new ideas. I knew the panel would open up a vast range of opportunities which I wanted to be involved in, to ensure the voices of legal apprentices are heard and that change is implemented in the future.

Tell me a bit about your apprenticeship?

I am currently in my fourth year of the Level 7 LLB (Hons) Solicitor Apprenticeship at Bevan Brittan LLP. I have previously undertaken the CILEx Level 3 Paralegal Apprenticeship.

What is an interesting fact about you?

I have owned horses since a young age and competed all-round the United Kingdom. I mainly took part in eventing, which consists of dressage, show jumping and cross country. I have also won a few awards throughout my Apprenticeships, the most recent one being Apprentice of the Year at the Birmingham Law Society Awards 2022.

William Pollyn profile picture

William Pollyn

Employer: IBM

Apprenticeship: Level 4 Software Test Engineer 

Training provider: GKA

Assigned route: Digital



Why did I want to be a part of the panel?

I wanted to become a panel member due to my enthusiasm and passion for apprenticeships. My apprenticeship has far surpassed my expectations due to the endless opportunities I’ve been given to expand my skills in different areas. I aim to express the many benefits of an apprenticeship scheme in collaboration with other apprentices, as I believe voicing the opportunities involved within the pathway is essential to showcase the beneficial impact that it can have to help progress and develop your future career.

Tell me a bit about your apprenticeship?

I’m a Level 4 Software Test Engineer Apprentice at IBM and have experienced Functional, Automation and Performance testing. I’ve developed both my technical and personal skill sets, and have also experienced different activities during my apprenticeship, such as attending a school careers fare to promote apprenticeship schemes, an awards evening where I was selected as a finalist, and I lead a team to win an internal IBM event. I’ve also surpassed the required software examination certifications for my role.

What is an interesting fact about you?

During school, I did not take any IT or computer related GCSEs (other than a short course which I didn’t enjoy at the time)! My A-Levels were not related to software or IT in any way, and I did not initially think that I would choose to work for a large computer / technology company as a Software Test Engineer, using different IT related software on a daily basis.

Samantha Woods profile picture

Samantha Woods

Employer: E.ON Energy UK

Apprenticeship: Business management and leadership (level 6)

Training provider: University of Derby

Assigned route: Business and Administration




Why did you want to be part of the panel?

I want to continue to share my experience and knowledge with others but also be able to have input in shaping apprenticeships going forward. By doing this hopefully, I can raise the visibility, so more people are aware of the variety of opportunities out there and that going to university is not the only option.

Tell me a bit about your apprenticeship?

I was lucky enough to start my Degree Apprenticeship in 2019, it has given me the opportunity to go down a route I had never even considered, in an industry I had never even thought about before. The Apprenticeship approach has provided me with the ideal balance of working, earning, and learning and I would completely recommend it to anyone!

What is an interesting fact about you?

I love traveling and have visited over 30 countries around the world.


Daphne Muskett profile picture

Daphne Muskett

Employer: HIT Training LTD

Apprenticeship: Learning and Skill Teacher - Level 5

Training provider: HIT Training LTD

Assigned route: Education and childcare



Why did you want to be part of the panel?

As an Apprentice Panel member, I work with other panel members to support apprentices in getting their voices heard. We work to widen the impact of apprenticeships to wider communities and aim to drive the quality of apprenticeship services and prompt better experiences for current and future apprentices.

Tell me a bit about your apprenticeship?

I have completed my Learning Skills Teacher, Level 5, Apprenticeship, upskilling myself to increase my career value to a Qualified Learning and Skills Teacher status. I thoroughly enjoyed my apprenticeship journey and have immensely gained in confidence, knowledge, and skills.

What is an interesting fact about you?

I have over a decade’s experience working in Further Education and Training and the reason I wanted to complete my own apprenticeship, was because I witnessed the positive impact work-based learning was having on my apprentices’ knowledge, improving their skills, and enhancing their behaviours.

Lily O'Brien profile picture

Lily O'Brien

Employer: Crosby Management Training Ltd

Apprenticeship: Level 4 Marketing Executive

Training provider: JGA Group

Assigned route: Sales, Marketing and Procurement 




Why did you want to be part of the panel?

I wanted to be a part of the apprentice panel to encourage success through apprenticeships and highlight this fantastic learning scheme to more and more people.

Tell me a bit about your apprenticeship?

I’ve completed two apprenticeships, firstly in business administration, followed by a more specialist apprenticeship in marketing.

What is an interesting fact about you?

Leaving school, I had no idea what I wanted to do - apprenticeships helped direct and develop me into a marketing career, which I cannot wait to accelerate further!

Harvey Church profile picture

Harvey Church

Employer: BBC

Apprenticeship: Broadcast and media systems engineer level 6

Training provider: Birmingham City University

Assigned route: Creative and design



Why did you want to be part of the panel?

Two parts: The want to raise the voice of apprentices within the Creative and Design route and personally understand the skills landscape a lot better. There are more than degree apprenticeships out there! They need speaking about too!

Tell me a bit about your apprenticeship?

I’m a Level 6 Broadcast Engineering Apprentice. It’s not.. one field. The best way to describe it is getting tv and radio content to you.
We look at IP Technologies, Programming, Electronics and how it can all support content distribution.

What is an interesting fact about you?

I managed to get onto the roof of St Paul’s Cathedral (legally might I add!) There are great views of it from the river… but its better the other way round!

Lizzy Millen profile picture

Lizzy Millen

Employer: Reckitt

Apprenticeship: Research and development level 6

Training provider: University of Kent

Assigned route: Sales, marketing and procurement 

Reasons for joining the panel:

I have been an apprentice for over three years and in that time I have learnt so much and grown in confidence but also faced challenges that I'm sure are faced by other apprentices. I would like to champion apprenticeships as a career choice for young people but also work to support apprentices through the difficult aspects too. I try to use the experience and confidence I am gaining through my own apprenticeship to bring forward ideas to encourage young people and businesses to use apprenticeships effectively and build a community of people in the workplace who can maximise their full potential, as I believe my apprenticeship is doing for me.

James Mill profile picture

James Mill

Employer: Pfizer

Apprenticeship: Laboratory Scientist Apprenticeship (Level 5)

Training provider: SIAS

Assigned route: Health and science



Why did you want to be part of the panel?

I really enjoyed and highly valued my apprenticeship, so welcomed the opportunity to be apart of developing future apprenticeships.

Tell me a bit about your apprenticeship?

I have been a Laboratory Science Apprentice at Pfizer for 7 years now. My work involves developing and scaling up drug manufacturing processes.

What is an interesting fact about you?

I lived on a boat throughout my childhood travelling through the Mediterranean.

Megan Foster profile picture

Megan Foster

Employer: Kier Construction

Apprenticeship: Civil engineering (level 6)

Training provider: Anglia Ruskin University

Assigned route: Engineering and manufacturing




Why did you want to be part of the panel?

I joined the panel in order to have some influence on how future apprenticeships are provided and to have my voice heard on how to keep apprenticeships relevant to those undertaking them. I also saw it as an opportunity to help encourage the future generations and provide insight into what an apprenticeship can offer.

Tell me a bit about your apprenticeship?

I am currently undertaking a level 6 apprenticeship in construction working as a civil engineer. I have been based on the HS2 project for 5 years now and had some vital experience in many different departments ranging from estimating to design to construction. Every day is different!

What is an interesting fact about you?

I own 4 border collies.

I have a massive fear of liquid food (soup and gravy) – Little bizarre.

Before I became an engineer, I wanted to be a vet. (Couldn’t be further away from each other career wise.)

Martha Smith profile picture

Martha Smith

Employer: WSP

Apprenticeship: Environmental Practitioner Degree Apprenticeship, Level 6

Training provider: Kingston University

Assigned route: Agriculture, environmental and animal care




Why did you want to be part of the panel?

I wanted to be a part of the panel to help make a change and voice apprentices’ opinions.

Tell me a bit about your apprenticeship?

I am on the Environmental Practitioner Degree Apprenticeship. This means that I study at University once a week and work the other four days.

What is an interesting fact about you?

An interesting fact about me is that I have played football since I was 3.


Nathan Huchinson profile picture

Nathan Huchinson

Employer: BCAL Consulting

Apprenticeship: Civil Engineering, Level 6

Training provider: Coventry University

Assigned route: Construction and built environment

Reasons for joining the panel:

After completing my GCSE’s, I was faced with the enormous pressure of feeling like I needed to commit to a particular career goal, without truly knowing what I wanted to do. After floundering with full-time education, I happened upon an apprenticeship course and an employer that finally created enthusiasm for a career, something that I had never felt before. The notion of academically progressing & working in this career is, I believe, extremely effective and it makes my previous academic struggles feel worthwhile I have experienced already how much I enjoy my chosen career and how excited I am to qualify.

When I left school, apprenticeships were never encouraged as a favoured option, and I have seen many friends come out of traditional courses at universities with bad experiences. I want people to know that apprenticeships are a fantastic option, which can enable those who feel daunted by degree level education, to thrive and succeed, thanks to the support from their employers and colleagues, and having the knowledge that they will truly enjoy their career once qualified.

Jake Holt profile picture

Jake Holt

Employer: Diamond Bus North West

Apprenticeship: Transport Planning Technician (Level 3)

Training provider: Leeds College of Building

Assigned route: Construction and built environment



Why did you want to be part of the panel?

I wanted to be a part of the panel as I get the chance to represent something I’ve always had a great interest for. Having the chance to shape the direction for future apprenticeships for transport and logistics is a great honour. I want to make sure all future programmes for the industry are up to the relevant standard not just for the employers, but for the apprentices too.’

Tell me a bit about your apprenticeship?

I work as a commercial apprentice for a bus operator in Greater Manchester. As the company is medium sized, you can find yourself working on a number of different areas, which includes dealing with stakeholders, writing reports, analysing data, scheduling timetables and crew duties. My college course looks at the industry as a whole, with the main focus being on how transport can be sustainable and ways to achieve this, such as learning about dealing with stakeholders, project management, transport modelling and the appraisal and assessment of schemes and working towards national objectives.

What is an interesting fact about you?

I climbed the third highest mountain in England when I was



Last updated 18 Nov 2022