Westminster Employment Forum

Lifelong learning and establishing the National Retraining Scheme - take-up, delivery and adapting to user needs and a changing labour market


This conference will focus on the development of the new National Retraining Scheme (NRS) - and wider issues around lifelong learning.

There will be keynote contributions from:

  • Ian Caplan, Programme Director, National Retraining Scheme, Department for Education;
  • Patrick Craven, Director of Assessment Policy, Research and Compliance, City & Guilds;
  • Iain Murray, Senior Policy Officer, TUC; and
  • Nic Trower, Senior Policy Advisor, CBI.

Further speakers include: Simon Ashworth, Association of Employment and Learning Providers; Dr Fiona Aldridge, Learning and Work Institute;; Kenny Barron, Unite the Union; Joe Billington, National Careers Service; Lesley Giles, Work Foundation; Dr Susan Pember, Holex; Stephen Radley, CITB; Patrick Spencer, Centre for Social Justice and Simon Tindall, The Open University.

It will provide an opportunity to look ahead to issues for the national rollout later this year, and to evaluate the first stages of implementation following the first phase of the NRS  - in the Liverpool City Region, the West Midlands Combined Authority, the Leeds City Region LEP, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough combined authority area, the Heart of the South West LEP and the North East LEP.

Delegates will assess the approach that is being taken to implementing the Scheme by the National Retraining Partnership - the group of government officials and business and trade union representatives overseeing the Scheme’s introduction.

We expect discussion on the phased nature of the roll out, and targeting older workers and those without a degree - as well as how the Scheme can most effectively integrate into the existing skills, training, and qualifications landscape, and adapt to user needs.

Attendees will also put forward priorities for the new government in growing engagement with adult learning. It comes with recent data from the Learning and Work Institute finding the lowest figure ever recorded for adults to have taken part in learning in the last three years.

The agenda

  • Developing the National Retraining Partnership - key priorities for implementation, collaborative working, and being able to adapt to user needs;
  • Funding, scope, and engagement with industry and the workforce to create an effective national retraining offering;
  • The role of qualifications in the post-National Retraining Scheme skills landscape;
  • Careers advice and guidance, retraining, and the impact on labour mobility; and
  • Lessons from the pilots and user research, and next steps for implementation.

Case study

  • Learning from international approaches to lifelong learning.

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: the DfE; DWP; HM Treasury; Cabinet Office; BEIS; DCMS; Defra; DfT; Department for the Economy (NI); HMPPS; MoD; MOJ; The Scottish Government and the Welsh Government.

Price: £95 PLUS VAT

Shortly after every Westminster Employment Forum seminar, a briefing document is produced. This is distributed to all delegates on the day as well as to our policymaker contacts in government, and to stakeholders more widely.

A seminar publication provides a timely record of proceedings, and acts as a guide to the latest thinking on current policy issues for those unable to be at the event.

This publication includes


Contributions from keynotes and panellists, including accompanying slides*
*Subject to approval

Delegate Pack

Information from the day, including delegate list, biographies and agenda


Transcript of questions and comments posed to speakers from attending delegates


Supplementary articles from speakers
and delegates