Senior Cabinet Office press officer to lead comms for apprenticeships organisation

Siobhan Bruce, chief press officer at the Cabinet Office, has been appointed head of communications at non-departmental independent body the Institute for Apprenticeships (IfA).

Siobhan Bruce is the new head of communications at the Institute for Apprenticeships
Siobhan Bruce is the new head of communications at the Institute for Apprenticeships

Her new role began this month and comes at a critical time for the IfA, which has been under increasing scrutiny in recent months.

Earlier this year, amid mounting concerns over the feasibility of the Government’s target of three million apprenticeship starts by 2020, a report by the Lords economic affairs committee in June this year stated: "The lack of clear accountability for the delivery and quality of apprenticeships is unacceptable," and recommended that the IfA "should be abolished".

And M&C Saatchi has been brought in by the Department for Education to relaunch the Government’s apprenticeship programme.

Commenting on her new role, Bruce said: "The Institute works with businesses to develop high-quality apprenticeships that address the UK’s skills gap. This helps improve education provision and contributes to a stronger UK economy."

Bruce spent three-and-a-half years in the Cabinet Office, prior to which she worked for almost three years as a comms specialist at the Environment Agency. She was comms manager at Covanta Energy before crossing into government comms.

She commented: "It is an exciting time to join the Institute, as from next year we take sole responsibility for T-level content – a new technical qualification equivalent to an A-level. My priorities are to help establish the Institute in the busy education sector and ensure we are engaging with the right businesses, at the same time as developing an award-winning communications team."

Bruce added: "Working in the Cabinet Office gave me a frontline view on the challenges that face and standards that are expected of Government communications… I am very excited to be leading such a great communications team in an important area to improve education provision, support young people to get ahead and deliver skills for a growing economy."

A spokesperson for the IfA said: "We are delighted to welcome Siobhan as our head of communications. She brings with her a wealth of communications experience from across a number of sectors, most recently from the heart of government at the Cabinet Office. She will be invaluable in helping to promote our ongoing successes with new apprenticeships and as we move towards taking on extra responsibility for T-levels in the new year."

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