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PIF education manager announced as chair of new qualification panel

The Pet Industry Federation (PIF) has announced that its education manager, Vicky Skinner, has been appointed by the Department for Education (DfE) as the chair of a new employer panel designing the content of the new set of T Levels within the animal welfare and management sector.

Skinner will be seconded to the DfE by PIF for this assignment, but will still be working for PIF.

T levels are new technical study programmes for 16 to 19 year olds that include a qualification and an industry placement that will sit alongside apprenticeships and A Levels within a reformed skills training system. T levels have been designed to create the skills revolution needed to meet the needs of the UK economy and are being developed in partnership with government, business and education.

The other animal care and management panel members include Karen Raine, managing director, Country Farm Stud Ltd; Jessica Berry, head of animal management faculty, Hadlow College; Joanne Needham, professional development manager, Royal Society of Biology; Stephen Goward, development manager, Dogs Trust; and Vicky May, animal welfare and therapy manager, Moulton College.

Skinner said: “I am delighted to be chairing the Animal Care and Management T Level employer panel. I have worked in further education for 13 years and more recently with a wide range of animal care employers through my role at the Pet Industry Federation. As a result, I can see the difference vocational education can make to a young person’s life and also how it can support the industry, providing individuals with practical skills and knowledge as well as other transferable skills essential when working with animals.

“The T Level development is an exciting opportunity to help shape vocational education for the next generation ensuring it meets the needs of an evolving sector.”

Nigel Baker PIF CEO, added: “I am delighted that Vicky has been appointed to such prestigious position in order to help future generations learn about animal management. Vicky is ideally placed to chair the panel with her experience in college life, apprenticeships and course design.”

The introduction of T levels aims to streamline technical education and focus on developing skills that sit within 15 industry routes. The first T levels will be introduced in September 2020 with full roll-out intended from September 2023.

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