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Early Talent Forum 2019

Thursday, 16 May 2019 @ 9:00 am - 4:30 pm

£449.00 – £499.00

Chaired by Jenifer Cameron, CEO of Action4Youth and featuring thought leaders from organisations including Specsavers, Debut, Shoosmiths, J.P. Morgan, IBM, Civil Service, Education and Employers, Virgin Atlantic and more; the annual Early Talent Forum has quickly become recognised as an industry leading conference for in-house Early Talent professionals.

The summit will provide a platform to learn about and discuss the latest trends, best practices and innovative solutions to attract, develop and retain emerging talent in highly competitive markets. 

Attending this summit will give you insight to:

  • The development and launch of programmatic Degree Apprenticeships
  • How to attract early talent and beat the social mobility challenge
  • How to nurture and develop apprentices against your strategic plan
  • Growing and diversifying apprenticeship offerings
  • How to invest in school leavers: what, why, when and success factors
  • Adding value to recruitment strategies with diversity and social mobility
  • How Virgin Atlantic developed a 'red hot' apprenticeship programme
  • and more!

 We look forward to seeing you at the summit!

Who should attend:

  • Early / Emerging Talent Professionals

  • Student and Campus Recruitment Professionals

  • Talent Attraction and Management Professionals

  • Learning and Development Professionals

  • Human Resources and Talent Management Professionals

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Event Sponsors


Every year, more than £100 million is spent on marketing careers to students and graduates through traditional recruitment channels. Yet, entry level teams struggle with brand awareness, hard-to-fill roles, diversity and stretched team resources. Debut was created to solve that. Debut is a completely free app for students to showcase their skills and background in an engaging way to employers, bringing them opportunities they may never have considered or come across organically. For graduate employers, Debut provides unprecedented targeting and access to a wide and receptive talent pool, alongside real-time engagement across all universities in the UK.


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 and presentation

The Inspiration Programme: partnering in the community with business and organisations

  • Developing confident and work ready young people
  • Broadening horizons, thinking and experience

Jenifer Cameron, CEO, Action4Youth

10:00 Development and launch of a programmatic Degree Apprenticeship

  • What’s at the heart of a great apprenticeship experience?
  • What takes an experience from good to great?
  • How do we create a cohort and sense of community within an apprenticeship Talent pool?
  • What are our measures of success? What’s the evaluation methodology?

Laura Lane, Global Leadership and Talent Specialist, Specsavers

Guy Kidd, Senior HR Business Partner, Specsavers

10:25 Early talent attraction: the social mobility challenge

  • Rethinking traditional recruitment methods to improve social mobility in the UK
  • Wy today’s students and graduates don’t feel support in their job search
  • The increasing importance of responsibility and character

Jacob Binkin, Senior Director of Partnerships, Debut

10:50 Questions and discussion with speakers
11:00 Refreshments and networking
11:20 Red hot apprenticeships from Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Holidays

  • What makes Virgin apprenticeship programmes ‘Red Hot’ from Trailblazer to take off
  • How apprenticeships compliment the early talent strategy at the worlds most loved travel company

Albie Liddiard, Apprenticeship Programme Manager, Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Holidays

Angela Lemkes, Organisational Effectiveness Manager, Virgin Atlantic

11:45 Growing and diversifying apprenticeship offerings

  • Engagement with University of Exeter
  • Redefining what an apprentice is within the firm
  • Apprentice retention and progression

Phillip Paige, Executive Director, UK Early Years Careers Lead, J.P. Morgan

12:10 The Faststream programme

  • Addressing social mobility and diversity in recruitment
  • Taking positive action to increase representation
  • Adding value to a recruitment strategy with diversity and social mobility

Greg Hobbs, Deputy Director of Fast Stream and Early Talent, Civil Service

12:35 Questions and discussion with speakers
12:45 Lunch and networking
13:45 Knowledge share networking session 

Roundtable discussions with your peers to share solutions to key challenges

Developing a successful early careers strategy

14:10 Attracting Early Talent candidates in the digital age

  • Promoting an authentic online brand for Apprentices and Graduate candidates
  • Creating an engaging space and presence
  • How inclusion and wellbeing impacts candidate attraction

Samantha Hope, Head of Attraction and Recruitment, Shoosmiths

14:35 Panel Discussion

Apprentice and school leaver investment: what, why, when and success factors

Frazer Hawthorne, National Skills Academy UK Scientific Apprentice of the Year, National Nuclear Laboratory

Sarah Naylor, Apprentice, IBM

Isobel Martin, Apprentice, J.P. Morgan

15:00 Questions and discussion with speakers
15:10 Refreshments and networking
15:25 The Employability Value of the Curriculum: redefining embedded employability in higher, further and school education

  • Recognition by employers and students of how academic qualifications prepare them for the workplace
  • The significant transferable value in qualifications that aligns strongly with what employers are seeking in recruits and future employees
  • Extracted employability offers a new approach to how we understand the employability value of what is taught, drawing students, employers, educators and careers professionals into common language and thinking. 

Dr Kate Daubney, Head of Careers & Employability, Kings College, London

15:50 The case for starting early

  • Research and best practice around working with primary / younger years and why this is important to your organisational career and attraction strategy
  • Drawing the Future Research Study findings and other leading research recently presented at Davos

Rhys Moffat, Employer Engagement Manager, Education and Employers

Dr Elnaz Kashefpakdel, Head of Research, Education and Employers

16:15 Questions and discussion with speakers
16:25 Chair’s closing remarks and end of conference


Some of the experts speaking at this event include…

CHAIR – Jenifer Cameron, CEO, Action4Youth

In a career committed to the not-for-profit sector, Jenifer has experience in national, regional and local charities in a variety of causes right across the UK. Success in fundraising and communications led to senior management roles in several organisations in the past 20 years including Springboard, The Royal Institution, Action4Youth and St Joseph’s Hospice.

Since joining in 2016, Jenifer has led Action4Youth through a period of significant change and growth. It is now in a robust position to deliver against its objectives of creating opportunities for young people to develop positively and to be the best possible next generation of our society.


Laura Lane, Senior Talent and Leadership Partner, Specsavers

Laura grew up in the John Lewis Partnership on a graduate scheme, following a management degree at Loughborough university. Her 10 years with the JLP afforded her fantastic opportunities from running supermarkets to management training to executive coaching through to Talent management.

She then took my skillset in to an SME where she was head of business development, leadership and coaching for a small consultancy firm – providing a brilliant platform to be externally facing, consulting and partnering with a multitude of organisations big and small.

Laura then joined a global engineering company as Head of Talent to build and deliver the organisational People plan before returning to her retail roots at Specsavers. Her current focus is building an Early Talent strategy for Specsavers’ growing, global, matrix business as they embark on a brand and culture change towards becoming a leading healthcare provider.

Phillip Paige, UK Early Years Lead, J.P. Morgan

Having worked at J.P. Morgan for 19 years now, with a background primarily in currencies and commodities product control and project management, Phill has always had an interest in encouraging students to develop employable skills. He has volunteered extensively with Young Enterprise which lead to J.P. Morgan approaching him to head up their Schools Engagement team 6 years ago.

Additionally Phill has chaired the Financial Services Trailblazer group for Investment Operations which has defined 3 new standards that are now live and been a member of the broader Financial Services Trailblazer.

Phill is driven by a passion for helping to find the very best junior talent for J.P. Morgan in the UK and for helping to prepare students for the world of work, whether they end up with J.P. Morgan or not. Never afraid to try something different or challenge preconceptions, he and his team are seen as thought leaders within the firm. 

Jacob Binkin, Senior Director of Partnerships, Debut

Jacob leads the partnerships team at Debut and has overall responsibility for helping the UK’s leading graduate employers attract the ideal early talent for their business. A passionate and driven individual, Jacob enables employers to get to grips with the latest developments in early talent recruitment, engagement and technology.

He works across a wide range of sectors with partners including EY, HSBC, Vodafone, Google and many more. Jacob holds a degree in History and Philosophy from University of Leeds and has previously worked in business development roles at RFi Group, Experian MicroAnalytics and L’Oréal.

Greg Hobbs, Deputy Director of Fast Stream and Early Talent, Civil Service

Greg is a career Civil Servant. Over 15 years, and across three central government departments (Ministry of Defence, HM Revenue & Customs and, more latterly, Cabinet Office) Greg has built a career in change leadership.

As Head of the Fast Stream (graduates) and Fast Track (apprentice), Greg leads the team responsible for attracting, identifying and developing the future leadership of the Civil Service. Fast Stream is the Civil Service’ flagship talent management program. Alongside these, Greg leads 3 Internships totalling 750 people focussed on improving the socioeconomic, Ethnic Minority, disability and neurological diversity of the Civil Service.

Rhys Moffat, Employer Engagement Manager, Education and Employers

Rhys is the Employer Engagement Manager at Education and Employers, where he manages the portfolio professional associations and networks.Prior to this, he was the education lead for a series of policy-led communications and events specialising in the public sector.

Rhys spent 5 years working in schools as a teacher and head of department in both primary and secondary settings. He currently continues this interest in education as a trustee of a local primary school, as well as an alternative provision charity.

Elnaz Kashefpakdel, Head of Research, Education and Employers

Elnaz is leading the research team at the charity Education and Employers. She is responsible for providing on-going evidence towards the importance of employer engagement in education and training. She is a trained quantitative analyst, and co-authored several works on employer engagement in education and school-to-work transitions. Most of the research produced during her time at the charity are presented at international conferences and showcased at government departments, including DfE and BIES.

Her research is referenced in government documents such as Industrial Strategy (2016), Career Strategy (2017) and career education policy briefings and public media such as BBC and TES. Elnaz has a PhD from University of Bath in the area of higher education policy evaluation. She joined the charity in 2011.

Albie Liddiard, Apprenticeship Programme Manager, Virgin Atlantic

Albie has 12 years’ experience in aviation and has spent the last 7 years in various L&D roles.

Specialising in Apprenticeships, Albie is experienced with developing and implementing apprenticeship standards and is a founding member of the Cabin Crew Trailblazer group and the Vice Chair of the Aviation Ground handling apprenticeship standards.

Albie is responsible for operationalising the Apprenticeship strategy across Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Holidays, current portfolio is 14 programmes and growing…..

Angie Lemkes, Organisational Effectiveness Manager, Virgin Atlantic

Angie is responsible for leading the apprenticeship and future skills team across Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Holidays. Having successfully applied for Virgin Atlantic to be an Employer Provider, Angie is now focused on delivering high quality apprenticeship programmes which align to Virgin Atlantics talent and succession strategies.

Angie is a member of the Aviation Industry Skills Board, The Travel Industry Skills Board, and was actively involved in the Cabin Crew Apprenticeship Trailblazer group.  Angie has worked in Talent Development for around 12 years, and prior to joining Virgin Atlantic, Angie led the Global L&D team at Hall and Partners, and previously worked in Talent Development roles within the Financial Services and Professional Services Industries.

Sarah Naylor, Apprentice, IBM

Sarah embarked on the HR Management apprenticeship pathway upon completion of her A-levels in 2016, and alongside the job, studied at BPP University, London. During her apprenticeship, she had the opportunity to experience both specialist and generalist HR roles that have given her well-rounded experiences as a HR professional.

In recent months, she has completed her apprenticeship and has transferred out of Human Resources and into the business in order to gain further client exposure and knowledge of IBM services.

So far at IBM, Sarah has won a highly commended award for South East Apprentice of the Year and has been a part of the Young Apprentice Ambassador Network for the South East of England.

Samantha Hope, Graduate Recruitment Manager, Shoosmiths LLP

Samantha is Shoosmiths’ graduate recruitment manager based in Milton Keynes. She attracts, recruits and develops trainee solicitors, by co-ordinating the vacation placements and training contracts across the firm’s 11 office locations in the UK.

Samantha has a passion for the use of digital media in recruitment and marketing. She leads the social media pages for the careers teams at Shoosmiths, including a Facebook live video series called #ShoosmithsLIVE – designed as an opportunity to engage with a diverse range of potential candidates all over the world.

A law graduate herself, Samantha has been working in the graduate recruitment market since 2008, before joining Shoosmiths in 2010.

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Thursday, 16 May 2019
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