Westminster Employment Forum

We are continuing to organise full-scale virtual conferences which retain all the features of physical seminars, including full programmes, presentations with slides, panel discussions and live delegate questions and comments sessions, person-to-person and group networking, and a permanent record provided to all delegates afterwards. New events are coming on to our conference programme all the time, so there are plenty of opportunities to join us if you haven’t already, from wherever you are.
For booking-related queries or information on speaking please email us at info@forumsupport.co.uk, or call +44 (0)1344 864796.

If you’re already booked on, joining instructions can be accessed from five working days before your conference via the booking dashboard. Need help? You can contact our Delegate Relations team at delegate.relations@forumsupport.co.uk or by calling the above number.

Apprenticeship funding in England - next steps for targeting, flexibility, funding bands, reducing bureaucracy, and widening business participation

Morning, Thursday, 21st October 2021

***Full-scale policy conference taking place online***

This conference will bring out latest thinking on:

  • immediate priorities for apprenticeship funding in the wake of the pandemic
  • the Flexi-Job Apprenticeship scheme and supporting short-term roles in key sectors
  • priorities for increasing business participation
  • the future for apprenticeship funding bands

The conference comes with the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IfATE) examining a proposed new model for apprenticeship funding band recommendations, as well as the Government’s plans for Flexi-Job Apprenticeships, which were introduced in the Budget.

It will also be an opportunity to discuss wider developments affecting apprenticeships in England, including:

  • the Skills for Jobs white paper, which will be implemented in the Skills and Post-16 Education Bill and includes £2.5bn to support apprenticeships in 2021-2022
  • the newly opened apprenticeship incentive scheme designed to support workforce investment
  • recent calls for the introduction of a more flexible Apprenticeship Levy

We are pleased to be able to include keynote sessions with Jonathan Childs, Deputy Director, Apprenticeships Strategy, COVID-19 Recovery and Funding Policy, Education and Skills Funding Agency, Department for Education; and Jane Pierce, Deputy Director, Engineering, Construction and Transport, Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education

There will also be contributions from The 5% Club; Activate Apprenticeships; Activate Learning Education Trust; the Association of Colleges; BAM Construction; Cass Business School, City University of London; the CBI; Greater Birmingham and Solihull Training Providers Network; Health Education England; the Institute for Employment Studies; Make UK; Malvern Hills District Council; ScreenSkills; and West Yorkshire Skills Partnership.

The chairs are Kim Johnson MP, Member, Education Committee and Officer, All-Party Parliamentary Group on Apprenticeships; and Rt Hon the Lord Lilley.


Our forums are known for attracting strong interest from policymakers and stakeholders. Places have been reserved by parliamentary pass-holders from the House of Commons Library, and officials from BEIS; the Cabinet Office; the College of Agriculture, Food & Rural Enterprise; the Department for Education; the Department for International Trade; the Department for the Economy, NI; the Department for Transport; the DWP; the Government Legal Department; the Ministry of Justice; Ofsted; the UK Space Agency; the Valuation Office Agency; and the Welsh Government. Also due to attend are representatives from AIM Qualifications and Assessment Group; Ark Teacher Training; Association of Employment and Learning Providers; BBC; Change Grow Live; Cogent Skills; College of Policing; Fair Ways; Form the Future; GamCare; Lancashire Skills and Employment Hub; MGroup Services; Mills & Reeve; MTC; National Grid; Network Rail Infrastructure; Norfolk County Council; PPA; RSM UK; Siemens; Skills and Education Group Awards; Somerset County Council; Tendring District Council; TES Institute; The Construction Industry Training Board; United Utilities; University of Kent; University of Plymouth; University of Reading; University of Westminster; University of Worcester; Volterra Partners; WAMITAB; Yeovil District Hospital NHS Foundation Trust; and York St John University.

A press pass has been reserved by a representative from Hybrid.

Overall, we expect speakers and attendees to be a senior and informed group including Members of both Houses of Parliament, senior government and regulatory officials involved in this area of policy, as well as from business associations, charities and community groups, employers, training and learning providers, universities, further education colleges, schools and academies, consultancies, employment lawyers, local authorities, trade associations and chartered bodies, trade unions, think tanks and academics together with reporters from the national and specialist media.

This is a full-scale conference taking place online***

  • full, four-hour programme including comfort breaks - you’ll also get a full recording and transcript to refer back to
  • information-rich discussion involving key policymakers and stakeholders
  • conference materials provided in advance, including speaker biographies
  • speakers presenting via webcam, accompanied by slides if they wish, using the Cisco WebEx professional online conference platform (easy for delegates - we’ll provide full details)
  • opportunities for live delegate questions and comments with all speakers
  • a recording of the addresses, all slides cleared by speakers, and further materials are made available to all delegates afterwards as a permanent record of the proceedings
  • delegates are able to add their own written comments and articles following the conference, to be distributed to all attendees and more widely
  • networking too - there will be opportunities for delegates to e-meet and interact - we’ll tell you how!

Full information and guidance on how to take part will be sent to delegates before the conference

Keynote Speaker

Jonathan Childs

Deputy Director, Apprenticeships Strategy, COVID-19 Recovery and Funding Policy, Education and Skills Funding Agency, Department for Education

Keynote Speakers

Jonathan Childs

Deputy Director, Apprenticeships Strategy, COVID-19 Recovery and Funding Policy, Education and Skills Funding Agency, Department for Education

Jane Pierce

Deputy Director, Engineering, Construction and Transport, Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education


Kim Johnson MP

Member, Education Committee and Officer, All-Party Parliamentary Group on Apprenticeships

Rt Hon the Lord Lilley


Jennifer Kimber

Head, Strategy and Policy, ScreenSkills

Nav Chohan

Chair, West Yorkshire Skills Partnership; and Chair, West Yorkshire Consortium of Colleges

Noel Dunne

Director, Creative Alliance; and Chair, Greater Birmingham and Solihull Training Providers Network

Paul Skerry

UK Early Careers and Professional Development Manager, BAM Construction

Joanne Harper

CEO, Activate Learning Education Trust

Mark Cameron

Chief Executive Officer, The 5% Club

Teresa Frith

Senior Skills Policy Manager, Adults, Apprenticeships and Employers, Association of Colleges

Lucy Hunte

National Programme Manager, Apprenticeships, Health Education England

Councillor Daniel Walton

Portfolio Holder, Economic Development, Malvern Hills District Council

Fiona Stilwell

Managing Director, Activate Apprenticeships

Bhavina Bharkhada

Senior Manager, Campaign and Skills Policy, Make UK

Becci Newton

Director, Public Policy and Research, Institute for Employment Studies

Alissa Dhaliwal

Head, Education and Skills, CBI

Professor Amit Nigam

Professor in Management, Cass Business School, City University of London