chief executive, Federation of Awarding Bodies
Tom Bewick is the chief executive of the Federation of Awarding Bodies, the collective voice of the UK’s world-class qualifications and assessment industry. Tom is passionate about the value of qualifications. He left school initially with just one pass grade at ‘O’ level — the equivalent of GCSE. But thanks to North Warwickshire College; and a second chance at passing his GCSEs; Tom achieved a world-class bachelor’s degree; and a European public policy masters from the University of Bath.
Before his appointment in May 2018, Tom led various initiatives in the skills arena spanning a 25-year career. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, he advised ministers on a range of post-16 education reforms, including the creation of sector skills councils. As a foster care leaver himself, Tom has contributed to improvements in local authority children’s services, including as Chair of Beyond: the Care Leavers’ Trust.
As chief executive of the creative and cultural industries skills council from 2003-2010, Tom campaigned for changes to the apprenticeship system which led to the first creative apprenticeships being introduced to the sector. From 2011, Tom worked as a skills policy expert in the international arena, working on major reconstruction projects in places like Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia and Lebanon.
In 2013, Tom’s expertise was recognised by the Urban Institute based in Washington D.C. and he joined a team advising the U.S. Department of Labor on the expansion of American apprenticeships. As founder of the Transatlantic Apprenticeship Exchange Forum (TAEF) and co-founder of the U.S. based firm, Franklin Apprenticeships, Tom continues to be recognised for his published works and policy influence on both sides of the Atlantic.