Employment and Skills Convention 2018

  10/07/2018 - 20/08/2018   Event ID :8113

Get in, get on: services that work for everyone

We stand at a crossroads. Employment is at record levels. Employment and skills services, charities, councils and JobCentre Plus have all played their parts in transforming lives during changing times. But even with this progress, still too many groups face entrenched disadvantage and too many areas risk being left behind. Despite being one of the world’s wealthiest countries, living standards remain little changed in a decade.

We live in changing times. Looking ahead, political and economic uncertainty will continue to affect us all. Against a backdrop of lower growth and Brexit uncertainty, the employment and skills system will once again see extensive reform – including Universal Credit rollout, Work and Health, apprenticeships, the national retraining scheme, devolution and more besides. With investment in support continuing to fall in real terms, the next few years will likely be more challenging than the last.

This Convention is for everyone who wants to play a leading role in changing lives. We know that services, charities, councils and partners will continue to rise to these challenges. We share a commitment to building a country that works for everyone, and where all can achieve their potential. This convention will celebrate our successes, showcase what’s working, give expert insight on the latest developments, and debate the future.

This year’s big questions

  • How do we make a reality of ‘Improving Lives’? How will the Work and Health Programme, new Jobcentre Plus support, work and health trials and local services work together and with partners to support one million more disabled people to work?
  • How do we place adult skills, apprenticeships and the national retraining scheme at the heart of what we do? How do we ensure that the apprenticeship levy, non-levy provision, local skills support and the emerging retraining scheme can help re-balance local economies, and support everyone to achieve their potential?
  • What does the new landscape of combined authorities, metro mayors and local devolution hold? What does this mean for future commissioning and support, and how do we learn from the best in aligning, co-ordinating and integrating support?
  • What are the implications of Universal Credit? What will the latest changes mean, where are the best examples in managing its impacts, and how do we ensure that it delivers dignity, security and opportunity?
  • How do we build a system that works for everyone? For those out of work who want to prepare for work; for those in work who want better work; for those looking to upskill or retrain; for employers who want to do more or do it better; and for local areas to deliver inclusive growth?

Presentations and resources

See blogs here.

Plenary: Closing the opportunity divide: delivering full and fulfilling employment

Keynote speaker: Rt. Hon Lord David Willetts, Executive Chair, The Resolution Foundation

Secretary of State’s address

Rt. Hon Esther McVey MP, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

Workshop 1: The big Picture: reducing disability employment gap

Speakers: Deven Ghelani, Director and Founder, Policy in Practice; Marise Mackie, Cluster Manager, Pluss;
Hazel Dales, Partnership and Integration Manager, Central London Works – Work and Health Programme. Ingeus UK

Workshop 2: What the labour market shows: challenges for employment and skills

Speakers: Duncan Melville, Chief Economist, Learning and Work Institute; Paul Bivand, Associate Director of Analysis and Statistics, Learning and Work Institute

Workshop 3: Upselling the workforce of tomorrow

Speakers: Rod Natkiel, Chief Executive, Fair Train

Workshop 5: How do we ensure a better deal for young people?

Speaker: Charlotte Robey-Turner, Senior Researcher, Learning and Work Institute

Workshop 6: A Tale of Two Cities – How Portsmouth and Southampton are working together to address ill health and worklessness in their populations  

Speakers: Kathryn Rankin, City Deal Programme Manager, Southampton City Council; Liz Crate, Operations Manager Solent Jobs Programme, Portsmouth City Council

Debate 3: Moving up or moving out: skills for getting unstuck

Chair: Kathleen Henehan, Research and Policy Analyst, Resolution Foundation

Workshop 7: Blueprint for engaging employers 

Speakers: Scott Parkin, Chairman, Institute of Employability Professionals; David Imber, Principal, VRC Ltd

Workshop 9: New thinking in place-based and housing partnerships for better employment support  

Speakers: Christine Brown, Future Excel and City Deal Working Together Project External Evaluator

Workshop 10: Jumping barriers: neurodiversity and employment

Speakers: Kate Gilbert, Head of Business Development; Candy Whittome, Head of Social Inclusion, Genius Within CIC

Workshop 11: Kick out the JAMs: Creating pathways out of low pay and designing in-work progression support  

Chair: Dr Fiona Aldridge, Assistant Director Research and Development, Learning and Work Institute.

Speakers: Hannah Murphy, Researcher, Learning and Work Institute; Tom Stannard, Director of Economy and Skills, Oldham Council; Matthew Ainsworth, Assistant Director – Employment, Greater Manchester Combined Authority

Workshop 12: The Work and Health Programme: a local integrated solution

Speakers: Richard Clifton, Chief Commercial Officer; Jon Smith, Head of Work and Health Programme, Shaw Trust

Our exhibitors

Battersea Academy for Skills Excellence
Clarion Futures
DWP Access to Work
Learning and Work Institute
Transform & Achieve
Policy in Practice
Spectra First/Care Leaver Covenant
The Digital College

Sponsors and supporters