Board Member and Trustee x2 (Industry)

Do you want to make a real difference to the UK’s education and training profession, and ultimately the lives and opportunities of those they teach and train?

Would you like to have a key role in the governance of a growing, national charity and contribute to its strategic decision making?

Time commitment: around 8-12 days per year
primarily central London (Board meetings), with virtual meeting options provided (Committees and informal meeting)
Term of office: three years (with the potential for one further term)

The Education and Training Foundation (ETF) has vacancies for up to two trustees who will bring industry and employer perspectives to the Board. We are looking for individuals who have a deep interest in contributing to strategic decision making and improving the delivery of education and training in the FE and training sector.

About the ETF

The ETF is the expert body for professional development and standards in the Further Education (FE) and Training sector. This sector includes colleges, independent training providers, third sector providers, adult community education, employer-providers, offender learning providers and more.

Our charitable purpose is to improve education and training for learners aged 14 and over.  We do this by acting on key leverage points in the FE system, to bring about system improvement and build the capacity and capability for self-improvement.

Our five key objectives are:

  • To Grow the capacity of the FE system
  • To Lead the sector’s own improvement activity
  • To Influence the sector to take the right actions to meet macro challenges
  • To Develop the capability of teachers and leaders in the sector
  • To Evolve the ETF to always adapt to the challenges of the future.

About the roles

The Board oversees the work of the ETF: it sets strategic direction, ensures proper financial arrangements are in place, and makes sure that the ETF remains focused on delivering better outcomes for learners.  The successful applicants will be appointed as trustees and full members of the Board; they will also be appointed to one of the Board’s committees.

ETF trustees have various responsibilities, including statutory (legal) duties; the Charity Commission’s The Essential Trustee guidance outlines these.  The ETF offers a wide package of support (including a ‘trustee buddy’) and training to ensure new trustees are able to contribute fully to the Board.

Knowledge, skills and experience

The ETF aims to support and enable the workforce to be more representative of the diversity of the FE and training learner population and at the same time have a diverse range of voices on our Board to shape our decision making. Therefore, we welcome applications from all backgrounds and would particularly encourage applications from young, disabled and/or Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic individuals.

Through these positions we are looking to build the Board’s understanding of industry and employer viewpoints and challenges; we are also considering the needs of the Board, the ETF and the wider sector over the next 3-6 years. We are looking for individuals with the following experience and backgrounds:

  • Working at a senior (director level) in industry or with a large employer;
  • Working with Government through large contracts and/or grants;
  • Engineered and led large scale change programmes, in a sector/system where change is a constant;
  • Senior (director level) leadership expertise in one of the following:
    • Public sector/Civil Service
    • HR, skills and talent
    • Digital and technology
    • System and organisational change

In addition, all applicants must:

  • Understand and appreciate the importance of the FE, training and skills sector, and have a commitment to the values and strategic objectives of the ETF;
  • Have strategic vision, with the ability to think creatively and flexibly;
  • Be willing to challenge thinking and norms; having the confidence to speak their mind and contribute to Board meetings;
  • Be able to devote the necessary time and effort to the role;
  • Act fairly and impartially, using independent judgement and maintaining confidentiality;
  • Promote equality, diversity and inclusion;
  • Work effectively in a team and take decisions in the interests of the ETF;
  • Be comfortable with discomfort, able to listen to and welcome alternative opinions and experiences;
  • Act as an ambassador of the ETF and the wider FE and training system, promoting its work through their networks.

Remuneration and time commitment

This is not a paid position, but expenses are paid. We can provide support with train and accommodation booking, if needed.

The total time commitment is approximately 8-12 days per year. The fixed meetings are as follows, with the remaining days encompassing mostly meeting prep work which doesn’t have to be completed at a fixed time:

  • Four Board meetings per year (around 3 hours per meeting), which trustees are expected to attend in person.
  • Up to three committee meetings per year (around 2 hours; held virtually)
  • Annual Board away day and AGM (1 day; in person)

Equal opportunities

The ETF and its Board values and recognises the benefits of diversity across its leadership and staffing. Diversity can encompass a wide variety of characteristics including age, gender, ethnicity, disability, sexuality, religion, nationality, experience and skills. We welcome applications for these positions from individuals from all backgrounds and would particularly encourage nominations from young, disabled and/or Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic individuals.

Equality and Diversity form

How to apply and key dates

To apply, please submit your CV (3 pages max) and a brief supporting statement (around 2-400 words) including your reasons for applying and suitability for the post. 

Please also complete and return the equal opportunities monitoring form. Please direct applications to the Dr Gina Hobson, Company Secretary, at

Board recruitment pack

Closing date for applications: 12pm, Tuesday 18 January 2022

Interviews (virtual option will be available): will take place during the week of 31 January and 7 February 2022.

Please let us know with your application of any dates that are not convenient during the above period.

Further information

The most recent Trustees’ Report & Annual Report can be found on the website, along with a variety of other materials including the latest brochure. You can find information about the current Board and the ETF publishes its Board minutes on the website.

If you would like further information about the role and/or the application process, please contact Dr Gina Hobson, Governance Director (; 07860 720583) in the first instance.