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Apprentices and School Leavers Conference 2018

Thursday, 6 December 2018 @ 9:00 am - 4:30 pm

£449.00 – £499.00

It's back and better than ever. Are you ready to hear from top employers and professionals  as well as learn from their successful apprenticeship programmes?

Discover the benefits of investing in apprentices and getting the right programme in place for your business to ensure talented employees with the right skills are ready to hit the ground running and increase your business' productivity.

Learn best practices and ways of attracting talent from non-university graduates: if top universities won't guarantee the skills your business needs, apprentices may be the right solution for your talent acquisition.

Our speakers will give you the tools to set up and run a successful apprenticeship programme that fits your business needs, as well as show you the impact it will have on your productivity and the positive benefits of offering hands-on experience and career development to young people. 

We will also discover the latest political and educational changes and how it affects the development of your internal programmes.

If you are an in-house HR professional, our event is for you! This conference has been tailor made for HR Managers and Directors, Heads of HR and Talent Management, L&D professionals, Recruiters, Graduate and Apprenticeship programme specialists.

Please note that as this conference is subject to changes to the date, venue, programme and speakers.

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Event Sponsors


Milkround is your graduate career resource with hundreds of internships, placements, graduate jobs and schemes. Start your job search here, or use our advice pages to research careers and help with your decision making. We’re committed to giving students and graduates career confidence, and that means conquering fears of finding, applying and making that first step on the career ladder. With Milkround you get direct access to employers.


Group GTI

Group GTI is the leading early careers business in the UK providing an unrivalled range of products and services to the early careers market, including the leading job boards TARGETjobs.co.uk and TARGETcareers.co.uk, trendence research and TARGETrecruit, the recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) business.

They are passionate about early in careers recruitment and fully embedded in the early careers market - and it shows in their results. They bring the latest ideas, innovation and best practice to their clients’ campaigns, allowing them to recruit the highest calibre talent for their organisations. Some of their clients outsource their complete early careers recruitment campaigns to Group GTI, while others use them to support or develop specific elements of their recruitment process such as marketing & attraction, application screening, telephone & video interviewing, candidate management and assessment centre design.



If your organisation would be interested in promoting itself through the wide variety of exhibitions, sponsorship and marketing opportunities available at this event, please visit our sponsorship mini-site or contact our sales team at sales@symposium-events.co.uk or 020 7231 5100.



09:00 Coffee and Registration
09:30 Chair’s opening remarks

Carolyn Savage, Head of Apprentice Engagement, National Apprenticeship Service, Education and Skills Funding Agency

09:45 How it all began; where we are and the learnings

  • Tenders and Provider selection: what was important for BT
  • The journey of apprenticeships at BT: getting the right infrastructure in place for the journey ahead
  • Learnings: ensuring continuous improvements to the learner experience
  • Recognition: successes along the way

Jane Smith, People Director, Consumer Commercial, BT

Navila Amin, Senior Talent Development Manager, BT Consumer

10:10 Maximising the impact of your attraction activity to engage with top talent for apprentice and school leaver opportunities

  • Understanding how and when students make career decisions and how to target them most effectively
  • Market insights: an overview of school students’ career aspirations and understanding key influencers
  • How to promote school leaver programmes and apprenticeships as attractive alternatives to university
  • Hear from apprentices and school leavers on what attracted them to their current employers

Hannah Harrison, Business Director, TARGETrecruit

10:35 How to get Apprenticeships working for your business – making your programme fly!

  • Understanding your business talent and skills needs
  • Developing the strategy
  • Gaining buy-in
  • Agreeing your plan and target setting
  • Implementing your strategic plan
  • Evaluation and ROI/ROE

Andy Smyth, Early Talent and Apprenticeship Manager, TUI Group

11:00 Question and discussion with speakers
11:10 Refreshments and networking
11:30 Could avoiding graduates give your business the competitive advantage?

  • Is the UK is obsessed with academic intelligence at the expense of talent and other intelligences, so ‘loses’ good people in the system
  • Our education system was designed during the enlightenment for manufacturing-based roles therefore why are we putting such emphasis on the results as indicators of ability/production in a services-based economy?
  • Redington hire as many apprentices and school leavers as graduates; using their cognitive diversity helps each other grow for the benefit of them and the business 

Kav Patel, People Director, Redington Ltd

11:55 Investing the Apprenticeship Levy to positively impact company D&I objectives

  • Incorporating Apprenticeships into the broader People Development Strategy
  • Integrating apprenticeships with internal development programmes to create complimentary talent flows

Beth Orford, Strategic Resourcing Partner, Virgin Money

12:20 Questions and discussion with speakers
12:30 Lunch and networking
13:30 Knowledge share networking session 

Roundtable discussions with your peers to share solutions to key challenges

Focus: Retention and Return on Investment

14:00 Apprenticeships – a tool for social mobility and addressing skills gaps

  • Apprenticeships and barriers to engaging
  • How are we engaging with apprenticeships in schools?
  • How employers can be involved

Carolyn Savage, Head of Apprentice Engagement, National Apprenticeship Service, Education and Skills Funding Agency

Ekansh Sharma, Young Apprentice, Accenture

14:25 Energising the future

  • Defining an apprentice programme – how to prepare for apprentices and maximise the resources you have.
  • Switched on for your business – what does an apprentice programme look like in your organisation?
  • The energy of apprentices – what impact they have and the challenges faced.
  • Maintaining that spark – a long term investment that needs recharging

Chris Havard, Apprentice Programme Manager, Electricity NW

14:50 Questions and discussion with speakers
15:00 Refreshments and networking
15:20 Panel Discussion

The most effective ways to engage apprentices within your organisation

Kav Patel, People Director, Redington Ltd

Georgie Brazier, Marketing Manager, Milkround

Charlotte Thurston, Head of School Engagement, Education and Employer Taskforce

15:45 “Use it or lose it, don’t fund your competition”

  • Attracting: Hints, tips and best practice on sourcing candidates and liaison / negotiation with education providers to ensure a win/win proposition
  • On-boarding and ongoing: The importance of a robust onboarding strategy that gives the new apprentices a great initial experience and long-term home
  • Existing team: Establishing a talent pool, efficiency programme and strategies to optimise your levy.

James Moffat, UK Head of L&D, Kloeckner Metals Ltd

16:10 Questions and discussion with speaker
16:20 Chair’s closing remarks and end of conference


Some of the experts speaking at this event include…

CHAIR – Carolyn Savage, Head of Apprentice Engagement, National Apprenticeship Service, Education and Skills Funding Agency

Carolyn Savage is Head of the Communications and Events team at the National Apprenticeship Service, and has worked in the field of education and skills for a number of years. Part of her current role is leading on learner engagement and promoting the benefits of an apprenticeship.

She passionately believes in apprenticeships both in terms of a tool for social mobility but also as a programme that can bring many returns on investment for employers and help them with their skills needs.

Chris Havard, Apprentice Programme Manager, Electricity NW

With over 15 years in the learning and Development arena, specifically in the world of Apprenticeships, Chris currently manages the Apprenticeship Programme to over 60 Apprentices at Electricity North West. Prior to this role he managed the Emerging Talent Programme for Graduates and Apprentices at AO.com.

In his role at Electricity NW, Chris has designed and delivered Apprentice programmes in a number of areas from Project Management to IT, Business Analysts to Digital Marketing, Business Marketing to Customer Service and more recently within the engineering sector. The programmes have emphasised the importance of not only developing Apprentices technically  but in other areas also, and have included activities such as Duke of Edinburgh Gold Awards, residentials, charitable activities director presentations and site visits to relevant suppliers all while ensuring the business needs are met and the line managers are fully supported.


James Moffat, UK Head of L&D, Kloeckner Metals Ltd

James is an award winning Learning and Development specialist, Executive Coach and Speaker, with a wealth of experience working with major corporate companies across a diverse selection of industries (including Veterinary, Renewable Energy, Mobile Telecoms, Retail, Dental, Automotive, Finance and Steel). A former consultant and now UK Head of L&D for Kloeckner Metals UK, James is an expert in the full L&D cycle from design and delivery to managing talent and apprenticeships. 

An NLP Practitioner, iMA Practitioner and Fellow of the ILM, he believes in the power of positivity (even in the face of adversity) and is extremely passionate about developing people. As a member of HM Forces and former Firefighter, James served in many arduous and challenging environments as well as undergoing some of the most rigorous training in the world. He uses his experiences to demonstrate that success doesn’t only come from the state of skills and training, but also a state of mind

Andy Smyth, Early Talent & Apprenticeships Manager, TUI UK & Ireland

  • City & Guilds Trustee and Chair of the City & Guilds Industry Skills Board
  • AISB Board Member, Chair of the Trailblazer Special Interest Group developing the Pilot First Officer Apprenticeship Standard

Andy leads the strategy, development and management of Early Talent & Apprenticeships for TUI in line with business needs and government policy. This includes governance of the company’s apprenticeship programmes which were awarded OFSTED Grade 2 in 2011 and in 2016.

Andy has led the work of modernising the delivery of qualifications to match business processes; enabling apprenticeships and vocational programmes to extend in to new business functions. He is a regular contributor to government policy boards having worked with the LSC, SFA, BIS and now the IfA, ESFA, and DfE on learning & skills matters and how they contribute to growth, inclusion and productivity.

Kav Patel, Head of People, Redington

Kav heads the People function at Redington, a global investment consultancy looking to make 100 million people financially secure. He also sits on the board of Investment 2020, an industry body that is improving the diversity of talent entering investment management.

He’s had an eclectic career to date; having been an emerging markets equity derivatives trader, a management consultant and an innovation consultant. In between he’s had time to work on schemes addressing the lack of career guidance in the state schooling system.

The unique perspective his experience brings him has allowed him to come into the work of People/HR unencumbered by legacy views. His alternative and sometimes outspoken views are always interesting and will definitely be food for thought for anyone looking to challenge the norm.


Jane Smith, People Director, BT

Jane Smith is the People Director for Commercial in BT & EE Consumer, where her portfolio includes partnering all UK sales channels, BT Sport and the technology behind some of BT’s national infrastructure. 

Jane has a wealth of experience working in commercial, customer orientated businesses in the UK, Europe and Asia, with extensive experience across operations, projects and all aspects of HR. She’s built and led large teams in multiple markets, specialising in improving and simplifying ways of working to increase operational efficiency improving business performance.  

As a member of the senior team, Jane has developed the operational and people strategies and led large organisational-wide transformational change programmes, for which she’s been recognised for delivering short-term and long-term results.


Navila Amin, Senior Talent Development Partner, Consumer, BT

Navila heads up the Early careers function for the Consumer business in BT. She is a seasoned HR generalist and executive coach with a wealth of experience in working with senior leaders in the organisation helping them to achieve their ambitions

Over the last two years Navila has been working in the early careers space setting up programmes across the brands. Not only for new hires, but also for existing employees. The role has meant she has run tender processes, ensured quality and compliance to meet all legislative requirements under the new funding rules.

Her background as a HR generalist means she has a very different approach on how things would land in the business. She has a real passion for early talent into the business being a pipeline for the future, but also ensuring that Consumer are supporting the communities they are working in and giving opportunities to those from disadvantaged backgrounds.



Hannah Harrison, Business Director, TARGETrecruit

Hannah has overall responsibility for the delivery of all recruitment campaigns at TARGETrecruit, working with many leading graduate brands across a wide variety of sectors. She previously worked for GTI as an account manager from 2003-2007 before taking up a role leading Graduate Recruitment at the Financial Services Authority.

During her five years at the regulator, Hannah was responsible for the FSA’s marketing strategy and delivery, selection design and execution, and programme management of the FSA’s graduate development programme, specialist schemes and undergraduate and MBA intern programmes.

Beth Orford, Strategic Resourcing Partner, Virgin Money

Beth Orford is a learning and development specialist with a particular interest the use of apprenticeships to build talent flows for organisations and great careers for individuals.  She is the founder of the Apprenticeship Development Network North East – a community of practice which now includes over 200 members working to better understand apprenticeships.  She has over 20 years of experience in financial services roles spanning operations, management, risk, culture, and of course, learning and development. 

Beth currently works for Virgin Money as a Strategic Resourcing Partner; leading the Virgin Money AcadeMe.  This is the home for early careers development for the business – building skills into and at work for a wide variety of people.  Through this role she has responsibility for employability outreach programmes to young people and those changing careers, work experience programmes, and strategic through to on the ground delivery of their growing portfolio of apprenticeship levy funded programmes. 

Georgie Brazier, Marketing Manager, Milkround

Georgie is the marketing manager for Milkround, the UK’s leading student and graduate job board. Having worked at Milkround for over 3 years, Georgie has taken a keen interest into the ever-changing world of early talent and how employers need to encourage students from all backgrounds to apply for their roles. A key highlight for this year has been working with Access Accountancy to tackle social mobility and demystify a career in accountancy within low socio-economic schools.

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*Please note these prices are for in house HR practitioners. Suppliers who are interested in attending should contact our sales team on 020 7231 5100 or via this form for more information.



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Thursday, 6 December 2018
9:00 am - 4:30 pm
£449.00 – £499.00
Event Categories:


Hilton Hotel, Canary Wharf, London
South Quay, Marsh Wall
London, E14 9SH United Kingdom
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Symposium Events
020 7231 5100