Westminster Employment Forum

Growing participation and improving diversity in Apprenticeships in England

Morning, Thursday, 5th December 2019

Central London

THIS EVENT IS CPD CERTIFIED



This conference will discuss how to increase participation in Apprenticeships and improve diversity.


The context and focus for discussion


The conference takes place at a crucial time:


  • As concern mounts regarding Apprenticeship starts in light of the Government confirming that the manifesto target of 3m starts will not be achieved on time;
  • Reform of the Apprenticeship levy being called for by industry groups; and
  • With questions about how industry, training providers, government and other stakeholders can realise the aim to improve uptake amongst under-represented and disadvantaged groups - and the Government targeting an increase of 20% BAME starts by 2020.

With target deadlines soon approaching, the agenda will bring out latest thinking on:


  • Addressing concerns around the decrease in Apprenticeship starts since the reforms to the Apprenticeship programme, including low take-up from under-represented groups and a shift away from lower level apprenticeships; and
  • Encouraging employers to use available funds and attract enough potential recruits to start an Apprenticeship - as well as strategies for government, the FE sector and employers to drive growth in apprenticeship take-up.

The agenda in summary


  • Driving growth in the Apprenticeship programme;
  • Regional disparities - assessing progress and setting direction for the ‘5 Cities Project’;
  • Apprenticeship starts - ensuring better regional coverage, tackling STEAM skills gaps and utilising the Apprenticeship levy effectively;
  • Improving participation amongst under-represented and disadvantaged groups including low skilled workers;
  • Case study: growing participation and improving diversity in Apprenticeships in Scotland’s Public Sector; and
  • The ‘Opportunities through Apprenticeships’ project - lessons from the pilots; and
  • Improving participation and diversity in the Apprenticeships programme.

Keynote contributions and case studies


There will be keynote contributions from Kathryn Porter, Vice-Chair, Apprenticeship Ambassadors Network and Nic Hutchins, Principal Skills Manager, Apprenticeships, Greater Manchester Combined Authority.


Further contributors and their expected focus include:


  • Catherine Thomas, Public Sector Relationships Executive, Skills Development Scotland, on the work conducted in Scotland to encourage participation and diversity in Public Sector apprenticeships;
  • Carla Butler, Head of Skills and Employment, Families, Children and Learning, Brighton and Hove City Council and Member, Apprenticeship Diversity Champions Network on her work to enhance participation and diversity in Apprenticeships in the Brighton and Hove area;
  • Rebecca Davies, Senior Economic Development Officer, TDA and Sarah McMillan, Corporate Lead, Economic Strategy & Skills, South Tyneside Council on their work on the ‘Opportunities through Apprenticeships’ programme, in the pilots in Torbay and South Tyneside respectively, which aims to raise awareness and support for Apprenticeships and remove barriers to take-up;
  • Dominique Unsworth, SME Apprenticeship Ambassador and Chief Executive Officer, Resource Productions, on her role as an SME Apprenticeship Ambassador, mentoring smaller enterprises on how to raise the profile and get the most out of their Apprenticeship programmes; and
  • Simon Broad, Head of Operations, New Talent, BBC, on the role of Apprenticeships in recruiting for and diversifying the creative sector.

Engagement with policy officials at this conference


This Westminster Employment Forum conference has attracted strong interest from policymakers. It will be an opportunity for stakeholders to engage with officials who have reserved places representing: BEIS; Cabinet Office; Competition and Markets Authority; DCMS; Department for Education; DIT; DfT; DWP; Food Standards Agency; HM Treasury; Home Office; MoD; MoJ and the National Crime Agency.



Keynote Speakers

Kathryn Porter

Vice-Chair, Apprenticeship Ambassadors Network and Director, Youth Strategy, Europe, Middle East and Africa, Hilton Worldwide

Nic Hutchins

Principal Skills Manager, Apprenticeships, Greater Manchester Combined Authority

Catherine Thomas

Public Sector Relationships Executive, Skills Development Scotland

Keynote Speakers

Kathryn Porter

Vice-Chair, Apprenticeship Ambassadors Network and Director, Youth Strategy, Europe, Middle East and Africa, Hilton Worldwide

Catherine Thomas

Public Sector Relationships Executive, Skills Development Scotland

Nic Hutchins

Principal Skills Manager, Apprenticeships, Greater Manchester Combined Authority

Speakers

Rebecca Davies

Senior Economic Development Officer, TDA

Emily Tucker

Head of Apprenticeships and Employer Engagement, South Devon College

Simon Broad

Head of Operations, New Talent, BBC

Sarah McMillan

Corporate Lead, Economic Strategy & Skills, South Tyneside Council

Dominique Unsworth

SME Apprenticeship Ambassador and Chief Executive Officer, Resource Productions

John Banks

Apprenticeship Delivery Manager, Lloyds Banking Group

Diane Lightfoot

Chief Executive, Business Disability Forum

Shalah Akhtar

Tax Manager, PwC UK

Carla Butler

Head of Skills and Employment, Families, Children and Learning, Brighton and Hove City Council and Member, Apprenticeship Diversity Champions Network

Jade Adams

Degree Apprenticeships Manager, University of Birmingham

Caleb Wright

Apprenticeship Scheme Manager, University of Birmingham and Member, Apprenticeship Diversity Champions Network

Abbie Langridge

External Affairs Apprentice, Construction Industry Training Board