John Cope

John Cope


John has worked in business, apprenticeships, and education for over a decade and is currently executive director of strategy at UCAS – the charity that guides young people and adults towards university, college, or an apprenticeship. Alongside this, John serves on the government’s Digital Skills Council, and was appointed by the Education Secretary to the board of the Institute for Apprenticeships & Technical Education, the regulator of the skills system in England.


Before joining UCAS, John was deputy director of Public First, a consultancy and polling company; worked with business leaders across the UK as head of education & skills policy at the CBI; was a founder of the Education Policy Institute; and served as an adviser to three former education ministers. Outside of work, John is on the board of the Activate Learning group of colleges and schools, an elected local councillor, and a Fellow of St George's House, Windsor Castle.


The awards were established in 2017 as a joint project by FE Week and AELP.

Awards 2024

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