AN educator passionate about inspiring people to reach their potential has been made an MBE.

Debbie Gardiner, executive chairman of training provider Qube Learning, was honoured for her services to apprenticeships and charities.

The Milton Park-based organisation specialises in apprenticeships and traineeships, providing an on-the-job alternative to college courses or sixth form.

Colleagues said her leadership had been 'crucial' to Qube's traineeships, which help people access apprenticeships when they do not yet have appropriate experience.

Ms Gardiner said it was a 'great honour' to be made an MBE.

She said: "Working within this sector is very important to me – I'm a firm believer in giving people a chance, providing them with the support, guidance and training they need to have the best chance of success.

"This honour is a credible acknowledgement of not only the work I have done, but also the momentous effort Qube Learning have put in."

She became managing director of Qube in 2006 before being promoted to CEO in 2010, moving to her current role in December.

Ms Gardiner is a campaigns ambassador for Cancer Research and part of the patient and public involvement group at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

She said: "Qube work a lot within the health and social care sector, and it gives me a deeper understanding of the impact that illness can have on someone's life.

"I hope that through my efforts with charities, I can continue to aid many through difficult and challenging times."