Early Careers Development Conference 2017 – Presentations


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Now in its third year, the Early Careers Summit 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.

Given the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy, there is no better time for you to gain insights that will allow you to review and benchmark your early careers strategy and programmes. The summit will focus on reviewing early career strategies in light of the levy and political and economic changes such as Brexit, to ensure your current and future organisational talent needs are secured.

The summit is the must attend conference dedicated to uncovering both the strategic and practical elements needed to develop and deliver; early engagement, internship, work experience, apprenticeship and graduate programmes that align to your organisational talent agenda.

Attending this summit will enable you to:

  • Gain insights from best practice case studies from a range of industries
  • Take away practical tools and strategies to develop robust early careers programmes that align to your overall talent agenda
  • Attend smaller breakout sessions on the topics that really interest you
  • Network and share best practice insights with industry peers
  • Hear from leading industry experts about the changes that will affect the development of early talent within your organisations.


 09:00 Coffee and Registration
09:30 Chair’s opening remarks – Grace Mehanna, Campaign Director, Youth Employment, Business in the Community
 09:45 Futureproofing and evolving your early career strategy

  • Impact of the apprenticeship levy on early career programmes
  • how the professional services sector is adapting its school leaver and graduate and graduate proposition in respect of apprenticeships
  • The associated considerations, practicalities, risks and challenges when doing so

Daron Locke, Group Commercial Director, BPP

Pauline McGee, Head of Quality and Risk Management, BDO LLP

10:10 Adding some fizz to Graduate Recruitment: a case study of Pepsico’s ‘Go Trendsetter’ attraction and engagement campaign

  • Insights to Pepsico’s ‘Go Trendsetter’ graduate attraction and engagement campaign
  • Developing a bespoke campaign that enables brand alignment, early employee engagement and improved quality of applicants

Els Ramelet, ESSA Campus Lead,PepsiCo

James Thickett, Senior Director Talent Acquisition ESSA, PepsiCo

10:35 Best practice recruitment and selection to capture early engagement

  • The importance of the candidate experience to securing early engagement
  • Latest insights on best practice assessment and selection approaches to enable greater accessibility, elimination of unconscious bias and highlights strengths
  • Integrating experiential asessments to engage and enable greater insights to the realities and expectations in the role.
10:45 Questions and discussion with speakers
 11:10 Refreshments and networking
 11:30 Driving development, skills and talent for the future: Case study of Starbucks Apprenticeships

  • Creating a pipeline opportunity to attract and retain talent
  • Developing mechanisms to continuously advance early talent and build transferrable skills
  • The value of establishing higher level and degree apprentices

Russell Butcher, Senior Manager –  Education, Qualification and Skills, Starbucks

11:55 Knowledge share networking session:Roundtable discussions with your peers to share solutions to your key challenges in developing your early careers strategy 

  • Key considerations in reviewing the early careers pipeline
  • Review of the various programmes and their contribution to the early careers and talent agenda
  • Measuring ROI and developing a business case for the investment in the various programmes
 12:20 Questions and discussion with speakers
 12:30 Lunch and networking
13:30 Panel discussion: The springboard to success – partnering with education institutions

  • Understanding the employment challenges, expectations and desires from the perspective of students
  • How are educational institutions evolving to ensure students are work-ready (technically and mentally) for the various routes to employment
  • The benefits of early engagement with students and managing expectations upon employment

Jane Campbell, Head of Student Careers, University of Leeds

Judith Hicks, Head of Inspiring Governance, National Governance Association

Mary Vine-Morris, Regional Director, Association of Colleges

 14:00 Diversity as part of our DNA – a case study of best practice

  • Insights to best practice recruitment to ensure greater diversity, accessibility and inclusion
  • Creating an employer brand as an inclusive employer of choice
  • Advocating diversity and inclusion through internal and external mentoring and coaching programmes

Jeffery Lovejoy, UK recruitment Manager, FDM Group

Mentoring as a means to early engagement and development

  • Understanding the development and support needs of emerging talent – The impact of pastoral support
  • Developing employability capabilities, competence and confidence through insight and work experience programmes
  • Training of internal managers and emerging talent supervisors to effectively develop and coach talent

Philip Paige, UK Early Years Lead, JP Morgan

14:25 Developing resilience and a growth mindset 

  • The importance of developing a growth mindset and resilience in early talent
  • Providing opportunities for talent to showcase accountability and leadership
  • Creating opportunities for personal leadership and growth mindset with early talent – Change Ambassadors

Ben Elmer-White, Learning and Development Manager, Babcock Clyde

Key learnings from developing an Apprenticeship programme from scratch

  • Insights to the key learnings and success factors of establishing and expanding apprenticeship programmes
  • Marketing and engaging key stakeholders; potential candidates, schools and parents
  • Building the internal support network and frameworks for success
  • Developing alternative attraction and engagement routes to increase accessibility and inclusion

Sam Lee, Head of Recruitment, Bond Dickinson

14:55 Questions and discussion with speakers Questions and discussion with speakers
 15:05 Refreshments and networking
 15:20 Knowledge share networking session:Roundtable discussions with your peers to share solutions to your key challenges in developing your early careers strategy 

  • Strategies that can be applied to ensure greater accessibility and inclusion during the recruitment and selection of early talent
  • Development and engagement strategies to retain early talent
 15:50 Creating a holistic early careers pipeline that supports existing and future talent

  • Establishing a robust early careers pipeline that support successful and unsuccessful candidates
  • Google’s engagement and development programmes as an avenue to continually engage key talents pools i.e female technicians and build candidate capabilities
  • Reviewing and re-evaluating the early careers mix with the introduction of an apprenticeship programme

Liane Rainbow-Davis, EMEA Campus Recruitment Lead, Google

16:15 Questions and discussion with speakers
16:20 Chair’s closing remarks and end of conference



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

Having worked at J.P. Morgan for 17 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 Early Years Careers team 5 years ago.

Additionally Phill is chair, of the Financial Services Trailblazer group which has defined 3 new standards that are now live and is part of the group working on both a Degree and Masters level apprenticeship in the sector. He is also leading the firms responses to the new apprenticeship levy.

Russell Butcher, Senior Manager, Education, Skills and Qualifications, Starbucks EMEA

Russell joined Starbucks in September 2015 and leads the Apprenticeships and partner (employee) skills programmes aimed at advancing opportunity for Starbucks partners through their time with the business and beyond.

At Starbucks, Russell has helped to extend progression opportunities through the introduction of Higher Level Apprenticeships; increased learning opportunities in languages, literacy and numeracy and CPD accredited programmes, introduced a formal Internships programme and lead the implementation of the innovative Tenancy Deposit Loan Scheme benefit pioneered by Shelter – Starbucks Home Sweet Loan – providing partners with an interest-free loan to help with housing costs.

Sam Lee, Head of Recruitment, Bond Dickinson

Samantha is responsible for the delivery of the overall recruitment strategy and contributing to the wider HR strategy at national law firm Bond Dickinson. She takes on leadership for the recruitment team (which includes the early careers programmes) providing support, guidance and mentoring to a team of recruiters and administrators. She also has responsibility for developing and delivering best practice throughout the entire recruitment process ensuring that the firm recruits and retains the very best talent within the business.

Samantha is an Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development and is also an active member of the Legal Recruiters Forum in Bristol

Els Ramelet, ESSA Campus Lead, PepsiCo

Els Ramelet is the ESSA Campus Lead – Project Manager at PepsiCo.  Els’ latest project includes the PepsiCo’s graduate recruitment campaign Trendsetter Go Digital Challenge. Since joining in 2011, Els has held a number of different roles within the organization including; HR Generalist and Benelux Talent Acquisition Manager.

Els completed her Masters in HR at the University IAE in Grenoble (France). Prior to joining PepsiCo, Els held a number positions in consulting and corporate recruitment.

James Thickett, Senior Director, Talent Acquisition, ESSA, PepsiCo

James joined PepsiCo in September 2016 as the Senior Director, Talent Acquisition ESSA.  Prior to joining PepsiCo, James held a number of role including Talent Acquisition Director at Nike in Amsterdam, SRi Executive Search – Partner in London/Dubai and Snr Manager at Badenoch & Clark in London.

Jane Campbell, Head of Student Careers, University of Leeds

Jane Campbell is Head of Student Careers at the University of Leeds a post she has held for the last two and a half years. She is a careers guidance professional with over 25 years’ experience in various sectors including higher education, further education, adult education and schools. She spent over 20 years working with young people latterly as a Director of a company providing careers information, advice and guidance to 13-25 year olds in Bradford.

Before moving to her current post Jane worked for the Open University managing Student Services in the Leeds office. Since becoming Head of Student Careers in Leeds Jane has led on developing Faculty based teams, a new set of KPIs for employability and developing student mentoring. She is currently working with local employers to encourage students to think about the opportunities available in the region after graduation.

Grace Mehanna, Campaign Director for Youth Employment, Business in the Community

Grace is Campaign Director for Youth Employment at Business in the Community. Her work focuses on encouraging businesses to create accessible and quality employment opportunities for all young people.

She has been campaigning on good workplace practices for over 15 years.She started her career in Race for Opportunity (RfO) which focuses on improving employment opportunities for ethnic minorities across the UK where she developed the Race benchmarking and a programme of events and networking opportunities for business. Grace then moved to BITC’s Workwell Campaign which was developed by international business leaders with the core purpose of creating happier and healthier workforces.

This focused on encouraging businesses to support their employees and enable improved employee engagement and wellbeing and build business resilience, performance and productivity.  Grace took up the role of Campaign Director for the Youth Employment Campaign in 2015 which encourages businesses to create accessible and quality employment opportunities for all young people.

Liane Rainbow, EMEA Campus Recruitment Lead. Google

Liane Rainbow is responsible for Technical Student Hiring and Outreach Programs for Google EMEA based out of the London office. Her background has been within the graduate recruitment world for over 10 years. Leaving agency recruitment to join CPL Ireland within Microsoft’s european head offices in Dublin, then returning to London to join Morgan Stanley working from both the London and Budapest offices within the Technology, Operations and Finance teams before moving across to Google in the spring of 2010. Liane’s role at Google now encompasses teams responsible for technical student employment and development programs and university outreach across the EMEA region.


Mary Vine-Morris, Regional Director, Association of Colleges

Mary Vine-Morris has over 25 years’ experience of the management of Adult Education, Further Education, Work-based Learning and social and economic regeneration. She has worked closely with partners in London’s education and business sector to provide strategic leadership of post-16 learning across the Capital; including recent experience with the Learning and Skills Council and London Councils.

In September 2014 Mary was appointed Regional Director for the Association of Colleges; promoting, supporting and representing Further Education colleges. Mary works on behalf of London colleges, engaging with key stakeholders to represent the sector and shape the broader skills agenda for London.


Jeff Lovejoy, UK & Ireland Recruitment Manager, FDM

Jeff Lovejoy has been working within the graduate recruitment market for the last 7 years beginning at Enterprise Rent A Car to his current role with FDM Group as the UK & Ireland Recruitment Manager.

FDM is the largest IT graduate recruiter in the UK. Jeff leads a team that recruits around 1000 graduates per year; in 2016, they received over 55,000 applications in the UK alone.

He is passionate about supporting graduates in their search for careers and speaks regularly on such topics as diversity and inclusion in technology, career advice and personal branding at conferences and events around the UK.


Judith Hicks, Head of Inspiring Governance, National Governance Association

Judith has worked as an HR professional within the retail & logistics sector for fifteen years, working for Tesco, Pets At Home & Booker.  She has held a variety of national roles focusing on recruitment, talent management, performance management, organisation design and learning & development. She is a chartered member of the Institute of Personnel & Development.

In 2008 Judith became a parent governor at a school in Warwickshire and has been a Chair of Governors since 2010.  Most recently, Judith has worked for Warwickshire County Council as a consultant within the governor development service, where she has worked with maintained schools, academies and MAT’s to design & deliver bespoke interventions, mentored chairs and conducted external reviews of governance.

Judith has recently joined the NGA as Head of Inspiring Governance; the project which will manage a governor recruitment & development service.

Daron Locke, UK Group Commercial Director, BPP

Daron supports and advises clients to introduce training solutions aligned to their business strategy. Daron has over 20 years’ experience, in the professional firms sector.

Pauline McGee, Head of Quality and Risk Management, BDO LLP

Pauline qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1992 and has spent over 10 years in student training, both in the UK and overseas. She has been a partner at BDO LLP since 2010, where she leads a team of professionals who provide support, training and guidance to the firm’s partners and staff on quality and risk matters including monitoring and managing the firm’s top risks, internal audit, information security, data security and ethical matters.

Pauline sits on the firm’s Quality and Risk Management Committee, acts as the firm’s Data Protection Officer and leads the firm’s own internal audit process. She is also the partner responsible for student training, where she has a strategic role around the training provided to school leavers and graduates.

Ben Elmer-White, Learning and Development Manager, Babcock Clyde

Ben Elmer-White joined Babcock International at HMNB Clyde in April 2013, where he has driven major change in Learning & Development, Early Careers, Competence and Career Frameworks, and Behavioural Change.

Prior to joining Babock Clyde, Ben held a number of senior management roles in Operations,  Sales, Learning and Development and People Management. Ben also created his own consulting company delivering customer experience, sales & service, learning & development, employee engagement, culture change, recruitment & selection, reward & recognition solutions to clients including British Gas, CSS Hong Kong –working in Asia Pacific, and TeleTech.



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