Skills, Employment and Growth Conference: Harnessing the power of devolution to boost skills and employment
“We need to do more to support our young adults into quality jobs and help them gain world-class skills.” – Philip Hammond, Chancellor of the Exchequer
The announcement of T-Levels and investment in technical skills included in the 2017 budget represent the biggest ever shake-up of vocational training in the UK. The reforms come at a time when uncertainty surrounding Brexit threatens to have a major impact on the country’s skills base, employment levels and growth rate. Government policies, including the apprenticeship levy saw 2.4 million apprenticeships created in 2010-15 with a further 3 million expected by 2020. The ongoing devolution of powers to city regions in England will allow local authorities to provide innovative solutions to address skills shortages and boost regional growth.
Join us for the Skills, Employment and Growth Conference where leading experts will discuss the main issues that will shape the future of the UK’s economy and labour market.
Please register interest below and we will keep you updated
Topics covered on the day will include:
- What will be the impact of the introduction of T-Levels and a £500 million investment in vocational training?
- What support is available for employers offering apprenticeships?
- What is the skills strategy for a devolved Greater Manchester and how will training providers work more closely with employers?
- What impact will Brexit have on the skills base in Greater Manchester?
- How can effective school governance ensure closer links between education and the private sector?
- What effect has the apprenticeship levy had on employers?
- What support is available to help businesses become “Youth Friendly Employers”?
- How can the public and private sectors address the youth skills gap?
- What needs to be done to close the disability skills gap?
- Benefit from unique insights into the latest Government policy, the impact of Brexit and the implications of devolution.
- Network with delegates from across the education sector, local Government and the business world.
- Have your specific questions answered by some of the biggest names in skills and employment policy.
- Analyse examples of best practice and learn innovative approaches to skills training, boosting employment and driving growth.
- Plan ahead to meet the skills demands of employers in the future.
The Skills, Employment and Growth Conference boasts many outstanding speakers from across the public and private sectors. Each one has been handpicked based on their experience and professional background to ensure that all delegates benefit from relevant, high-quality presentations. Expect speakers to cover a wide variety of topics including:
Brexit and the new industrial strategy: In the wake of the Brexit vote, the Government unveiled plans for “a modern Industrial Strategy fit for Global Britain”. Business experts welcomed the move, commenting that the plan will “help Britain adjust to a more globally-focused, post-Brexit economy”. However, the private sector has also raised serious concerns about the effect Brexit will have on skills, employment and growth. Representatives of the IT sector, The Royal Academy of Engineering and Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors are among the professional bodies which have suggested that an end to freedom of movement could severely restrict industry access to a skilled workforce. What impact will Brexit have on the UK labour market and how can industry adapt to meet any skills shortages?
Skills devolution: The growing number of devolution deals will see several city regions take control of their skills budget and have the power to restructure further education and training to meet the specific needs of local employers. Linking training directly with industry provides an opportunity to boost both employment and growth while providing the opportunity to develop innovative new approaches. What impact will the devolution of skills policy have and how can businesses and the public sector ensure their area benefits from the new opportunities?
The national living wage: When the national living wage for workers aged 25 and over was introduced in April 2016, many employers raised concerns that it would have a negative impact on growth, force a reduction in worker hours and result in a recruitment freeze. Government estimates put the total additional cost to employers at £1.1 billion per year. Twelve months on from the introduction of the national living wage, what impact has the policy had for employers, employees and the economy as a whole?
Young people: The proportion of 16 to 24-year-olds in the UK not in employment, education or training has risen to 12%. In order to provide young people with the skills they need to succeed, the Government has set a target to create 3 million new apprenticeships by 2020. The scheme, which will be funded by a levy on employers, has been described as “wildly optimistic” by the Institute for Fiscal Studies with concerns raised that a lack of quality checks will result in apprenticeships that “devalue the brand”. What can the education, skills and training sectors do to help more young people into work?
Registration and Coffee
Opening Remarks and Session from Chair
Ian Boardman, Career Development and Employment Manager, University of Salford
An Update on the Government's Apprenticeship Reforms
Carl Cresswell, Deputy Director for Routes into Apprenticeships and Work Unit, Department of Education
Councillor Sean Anstee, Trafford Council
Councillor Sean Anstee is the Vice Chairman of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority and Chairman of the Greater Manchester Skills & Employment Partnership. He holds the lead portfolio for Skills, Employment & Worklessness. Sean is also a Deputy Chairman of the Local Government Association and a member of the City Regions Board. Councillor Sean Anstee is standing as the Conservative candidate in the election for greater Manchester’s first metro mayor.
Inspiring Governance; how to make a difference to education in your community
Claire Leman, Regional Manager, Inspiring Governance, The Education and Employers Taskforce
The Education and Employers Taskforce charity was launched on the 15th October 2009 with the aim of ‘ensuring that every school and college has an effective partnership with employers to provide its young people with the inspiration, motivation, knowledge, skills and opportunities they need to help them achieve their potential and so to secure the UK’s future prosperity’.
Refreshments, Networking & Exhibition
Closing the gap between what experts say, and what audiences needs to know
David Hore, Director, Projects and Foundation, Fluence
Fluence brings a new level of efficiency to education, language production and content management, using a revolutionary combination of linguistic know-how, big-data and machine learning.
What the apprenticeship levy means to you and how it can benefit your business
Chris Taylor, Professional Services Manager, Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce
Greater Manchester Chamber is the largest Chamber of Commerce in the UK. They influence key decision-makers in local and central government and are regularly consulted for feedback from the business community when policy is being developed, locally and nationally.
Addressing youth unemployment and the skills gap
Laura-Jane Rawlings, Chief Executive Officer, Youth Employment UK
YEUK is the leading campaigning and membership organisation dedicated to tackling youth unemployment in the UK. Youth Employment UK was set up to support all of those working in the youth employment space, including young people who we feel should be at the heart of the work taking place in this sector.
Lunch & Networking
Harnessing the power of justice devolution to transform services
Tony Lloyd, Interim Greater Manchester Mayor and Police and Crime Commissioner for Greater Manchester, Greater Manchester Combined Authority
Tony was elected to Parliament in 1983 for the Stretford constituency and following significant boundary changes in 1997, represented Manchester Central until he stood down on 22 October 2012 to contest the Police and Crime Commissioner election. In June 2015, Tony was appointed interim Mayor of Greater Manchester.
Disabled people: halving the disability employment gap
Philip Connolly, Policy and Development Manager, Disability Rights UK
Disability Rights UK is the leading charity of its kind in the UK. We are run by and for people with lived experience of disability or health conditions.
A: How Rathebone traineeships and apprenticeships help to meet the needs of young people and employers
Duncan Nicholson, Strategic Partnership Manager, InTraining & Rathbone
Rathbone Training is a British youth charity that transforms the lives of young people through learning. With centres in England, Scotland, and Wales, we reach over 10,000 people each year. We provide programs to improve Maths and English whilst gaining qualifications and valuable work experience. We also offer apprenticeships in a range of employment sectors and run specialist provision for young people aged 14+ who are partially or fully excluded from school. Rathbone Training is a holder of the Bronze Fair Train National Quality Standard for work experience and the Matrix Standard for Information, Advice and Guidance.
Tess Perrem, Construction Industry Training Board (CITB)
CITB works with the industry and its clients to ensure the construction sector has the right skills, in the right place, at the right time.
Transforming the local economy, delivering growth and prosperity to the city region
Adrian Healey, The Skills Company
The Skills Company works with 10,000 people a year; it is the largest deliverer of Apprenticeships in Greater Manchester. The aim of the Skills Company is to provide a career entry point and sustainability in employment for individuals – either through Pre-employment training, Study Programme, Traineeships or Apprenticeships and higher education courses essentially helping people (youth and adult) get into, stay in and progress in work.
The evolution of the role of the provider to support employers navigate to their destination
Simon Ashworth, Chief Policy Officer, The Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP)
Simon is currently Chief Policy Officer for the Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP), the trade association for the employment and skills sector, made of over 800 members who deliver in excess of 75% of all apprenticeships.
Ian Boardman, Career Development and Employment Manager, University of Salford
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- Understand the implications of Brexit and the Government’s industrial strategy.
- How the Government’s apprenticeship targets can help address the skills shortage and high unemployment levels among young people.
- Assess the impact of the national living wage.
- How the devolution of the skills budget will benefit the economy.
- How industry and training providers can work more closely to ensure young people are learning the right skills.