Towards an Inclusive Skills Strategy - 12 months on

Wednesday, 1 November 2017 | The Principal Hotel, Manchester

The AELP Autumn Conference, sponsored by City & Guilds, takes place six months after the introduction of the apprenticeship levy so it’s a really good time to take stock of the programme reforms and debate what improvements still need to be made. The debate will take place after we have learnt the official apprenticeship start numbers since May and whether they have been as bad as rumoured. We will probe the reasons for the decrease; for example, have levy paying employers been holding back on their starts? Employers will be among the speakers sharing their experiences so far.

Twelve months on from last year’s event when there was continued controversy about apprentices being able to start programmes under new standards without proper assessment arrangements in place, we are finally seeing progress on the safeguarding of programme quality with senior officials at the Institute for Apprenticeships finding their feet. But how far are we from a really sound system being established? The conference will try and find out.

The technical education reforms for the proposed T levels continue to gather pace even though the skills minister has sensibly delayed their full introduction. Delegates will hear about the work placement challenges, the development of occupational standards – which hopefully won’t diverge much from the ones for apprenticeships – and the opportunity for partnership working with local colleges and others. 

Social mobility remains a key driver behind the government’s education policies and therefore the conference will debate the difference that Traineeships can make, English and maths provision, 16-18 funding and disadvantaged learners. 

2017 has been another year of huge change and our Autumn Conference should help providers navigate the challenges that wait in 2018. You can’t afford to miss it!

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