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Shaping young futures: the role of the Route Panel

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What are the Institute’s Route Panels – and what’s life like as a Route Panel Member? As part of our series of blogs for National Apprenticeship Week, we spoke to David Neal, a Member of the Institute’s Protective Service Route Panel (and former Head of the Royal Military Police) to find out.

I’ve been a Member of the Protective Services Route Panel for over two years and, in that time, I’ve reviewed multiple apprenticeship standards and assessment plans, and have also contributed to funding discussions for all of the apprenticeships in this area.

The Institute’s route panels are a great way to harness expert advice from across each occupational route.  I’ve really enjoyed sharing my own experience as I know I’m making a tangible contribution to shaping and developing future occupational opportunities and skills in a world I feel passionate about.  For example, I realised, during my time as Head of the Royal Military Police, that it was so important to create national standards and benchmarks for non-Home Office Police Forces – and it’s great that we’ve now been able to achieve that.

Looking beyond my individual role, my active involvement with the Institute has opened up numerous opportunities to showcase the talents of the young Military Police men and women. These apprentices always proved to be the centre of attention at the events that they have supported;  it’s been wonderful to have a platform for potential apprentices, teachers and policy makers to hear about and see the range of skills and breadth of responsibility the job entails.

I’ve retired from the Military now, but I continue to support the Institute in my new role as a Strategic Security Consultant with Blackstone Consultancy.

This means I can contribute insight to the Protective Services Route Panel from a fresh perspective! If you’re a leader with a desire to make a real impact on the future professionalism of your industry or sector, then I’d really advise you to get involved with the Institute – it’ll mean you’ll help to design the skills landscape for everyone and help shape the futures of young people right across England.

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