News story

Rachel Sandby-Thomas appointed as shadow CEO of the Institute for Apprenticeships

Rachel Sandby-Thomas CB has been appointed to the role of shadow CEO of the Institute for Apprenticeships.

Rachel brings her wide experience, most recently as the Director General (DG) for Skills, Deregulation and Local Growth, to the new role. Prior to that Rachel has held a number of roles in BIS and its predecessors, becoming a Director General in 2008.

She joined the Government Legal Service in 1993 from the City, where she worked as a solicitor with Linklaters. She has advised a range of organisations including HM Treasury, Cabinet Office, the Attorney General’s Office, and Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

The Institute for Apprenticeships (IfA) will be operational from April 2017. It will support the delivery of a world-class apprenticeship programme for England, giving employers control and decision-making over content and quality of apprenticeship standards.

The IfA will be employer-led; an independent chair will lead the work of a small board made up primarily of employers, business leaders and their representatives, to ensure employers continue to drive apprenticeship quality to the highest level. A shadow Chair will be appointed later this Spring, and the board members will be appointed through a public appointments process by the end of 2016.

BIS Permanent Secretary Martin Donnelly said:

I am delighted to announce that Rachel Sandby-Thomas will be taking up a new position as shadow Chief Executive for the newly formed Institute for Apprenticeships. Building on her in-depth knowledge of the apprenticeship programme as DG for skills, Rachel will play a major role in establishing the IfA, which is due to launch in April 2017 and be an essential part of ensuring the quality of apprenticeships in support of the government’s target of delivering 3 million apprentices by 2020.

Rachel said:

I’m very excited to be appointed shadow CEO of the Institute for Apprenticeships. Over the next year we’ll be working to ensure the organisation is ready to launch in April 2017, ensuring quality apprenticeships that meet the needs of businesses.

Rachel will take up the new role from the 4 April 2016 and Jaee Samant will be temporarily promoted to the role of Director General for Skills, Deregulation and Local Growth.