Event Focus: AELP Autumn Conference

In this month’s Event Focus blog, Aidan Relf, Director of Public Affairs at Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP), writes about the AELP Autumn Conference 2019 taking place in Manchester on Tuesday 29 October 2019.


AELP Autumn Conference 2019

The AELP Autumn Conference 2019 is taking place at a time of almost unprecedented political uncertainty. The main theme is that whatever happens though over the next few weeks, the economy still needs young people to be trained and the skills of existing workforces to be improved.

The event will therefore provide a forward-looking oversight across all the main skills programmes and the agenda and the keynote speakers will cover:

  • an apprenticeship system that meets the needs of all employers
  • what employers want in terms of skills training
  • the future strategies of the Mayoral Combined Authorities
  • the aims of the new National Retraining Scheme
  • careers initiatives that actually work in our schools and
  • delivering quality provision in tough circumstances.

With both the incoming chief executive of the Institute for Apprenticeships and the ESFA’s director of apprenticeships speaking at the event, AELP members are hoping for some good news which delivers on Boris Johnson’s promise that apprenticeships and technical education should be “properly funded”. Throughout 2019, providers have been reporting that their non-levy funding allocations are woefully short for meeting employer demand for apprenticeships and in the meantime the ESFA is pressing ahead with its plans to move the non-levy paying employers on to the Apprenticeship Service. How the latter can be achieved successfully without certainty over a sustainable programme budget could be the key question at the conference.

The party conference season confirmed that there is a strong political awareness about the shortage of non-levy funding and before the conferences started, AELP published its latest policy lines on both the apprenticeship reforms and what needs to be done in respect of other government skills programmes – these documents are available on the AELP website. AELP CEO Mark Dawe will be opening the AELP Autumn Conference by taking delegates through the key lines.

Kindly sponsored by City & Guilds, the AELP Autumn Conference is a packed plenary session-only day features top speakers including the CBI and representatives from two of the country’s biggest employers. There will also be the usual excellent range of exhibitors on hand to show providers their latest products and services.

Please visit aelpautumnconference.org.uk for more information and to book your place.


Every month in the ETF course e-newsletter an upcoming FE sector event or conference will be highlighted in on our Blog by the event organisers under the title ‘Event Focus’. If you would like one an upcoming event of yours to be highlighted on our Blog, in our monthly courses newsletter, and in our event calendar, please contact Ed Smith. To sign-up to the courses newsletter and other ETF newsletters go to our newsletter page of the ETF website.

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