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Industry invited to nominate influencers to join new People 1st International skills & quality boards as part of fresh employer-led approach


Skills and quality assurance expert People 1st International is looking for industry influencers to join the new employer-led skills and quality boards to drive a ‘one voice’ strategy on all skill related matters.

The new skills and quality boards have been set up following the acquisition of People 1st International by Workforce Development Trust which sees a new leadership team in place to spearhead the organisation’s employer-led strategy, with Sandra Kelly (formerly head of education at Whitbread) joining as UK skills & policy director alongside Jane Rexworthy, executive director – international.

With its renewed focus, People 1st International will be led by employers to develop and quality assure industry-relevant skills solutions across apprenticeships, work-based learning and technical vocational education, which will underpin its international offer to support countries in developing sustainable skills models.

Jane Rexworthy, executive director – international at People 1st International comments:

“Our new strategy presents a real opportunity for employers to lead the way in transforming skills, training and professional standards across the hospitality, retail, travel and aviation industries, both in the UK and internationally.

“I’m thrilled to be working alongside Sandra, who brings an impressive breadth of industry experience and deep insight into the skills policy in the UK. She has a fantastic network of industry peers which will strengthen our new approach and continue to provide the foundation for our work internationally.”

As part of the organisations’ fresh employer led strategy, it is inviting nominations to the new strategic boards in hospitality, retail and travel which were formed following consultation with employers on the industry apprenticeship trailblazers and industry apprenticeship boards. These groups have been brought together to form one skills and quality board in each industry which will drive the quality of apprenticeships, ensuring they remain fit for purpose, but also have a wider interest to align other workplace skills and vocational education activities in the UK.

This approach builds on the successful collaborative partnership model of the Aviation Industry Skills Board which has been facilitated by People 1st International since 2007 and is also seeking new members.

Critically, the boards bring together employers and other stakeholders, including industry bodies and learning provider representation, to act with ‘one voice’.

Kathryn Porter, director of youth strategy EMEA, Hilton and chair of the Hospitality Skills & Quality Board comments:

“By taking a planned and coordinated approach to skills, the sector can benefit from opportunities and address challenges, and this can only be achieved through a genuine partnership between employers, delivery partners and other relevant stakeholders. That is why it is critical that those with a strong passion for skills, learning and development join us in taking ownership as employers through the new skills and quality boards.”

With over 26,500 starts on the intermediate, advanced and higher apprenticeships standards across the hospitality, retail, travel and aviation sectors, one of the critical roles of the skills and quality boards, facilitated by People 1st International, will be to look at how they work with the Institute for Apprenticeships to evaluate the standards to ensure they’re meeting the needs of employers.

To find out more and to make your nomination visit: www.people1st.co.uk/employer-led-boards


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