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School Leavers & Apprentices Conference for Employers: The Levy & Alternative Talent Streams (5th Edition)

Date Tuesday 23 May 2017
Venue London - Danubius Hotel Regents Park, London NW8 7JT


Mike Thompson

Mike has been working in Barclays for over 25 years in a variety of Frontline and Support leadership roles across the business.

His past 6 years have been in HR where he has built up extensive experience of implementing management and leadership development programmes, employee engagement programmes and managing the development of Barclays Learning and Development Curriculum.

His achievements include the roll out of the highly successful Leadership Excellence Programme across UK, Africa and Europe and the implementation of the Barclays Apprenticeship Programme.

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Helen Hawxwell

Helen has worked in the field of recruitment, training and apprenticeships for 13 years, holding a variety of roles in the private, public and third sectors. As a qualified and experienced HR professional and programme manager, Helen has led numerous large-scale and award-winning training programmes resulting in hundreds of people securing employment and training opportunities across England. Helen is currently managing an innovative project and partnership between nine further education colleges and a leading skills provider in Greater Manchester, which will enable more young people to access quality apprenticeship opportunities in the region. Helen previously worked at UK Commission for Employment and Skills, where she led strategic policy projects influencing changes in government policy around further education and skills provision, higher education, and partnerships with employers.

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Alison Meardon

Alison is a Senior OD Manager for NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) where she manages a range of teams and projects, including leading on the organisation’s response to the Government’s Apprenticeship agenda.  She recently led a comprehensive review and restructure of the Organisation and Workforce Development function, prior to which she completed a seven-month secondment to NHS England where she was responsbile for an outplacement support package for a large number of staff affected by organisational change.  She helped to co-ordinate NHSBT’s first and second International Development Programmes and was the Programme Manager for the Senior Leadership Development Programme.  Alison is an experienced Syndicate Director, having performed the role on several occasions for the College of Policing’s Leading Powerful Partnerships programme.  She enjoys the opportunity to network and learn from other organisations, and was able to develop this by leading two Action Learning programmes for the Cross Sector Leadership Exchange.
In 2012 Alison was lucky enough to spend ten days working with the Blood Transfusion Service in Uganda on training initiatives aimed at improving retention rates of donors and improving the number of donations collected.
Before joining NHSBT Alison enjoyed a thirteen-year career as a Music Teacher.  She was a Head of Department and Head of Year in schools in London, Cairo and Kuwait.  Alison graduated with a Bachelor of Music, holds a Master’s in Education Management and a Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE).  Alison also holds a Post Graduate Diploma in HR Management and is a Graduate Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).
Alison is, at heart, a musician.  With Priory Voices she regularly sings the weekend services in cathedrals across the country, and has been a member of the BBC Symphony Chorus since 1994.  With them she has performed in numerous concerts, radio and cd recordings, both in the UK and abroad.  Particular highlights include many Last Night of the Proms performances and participating at the Prom at the Palace to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee.

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Roman Dibden

Upon finding school difficult, Roman decided on a different path, starting an Apprenticeship in Housing at 16. The decision paid off and he quickly moved through the ranks to become an Employment & Training Coordinator after just eight months.

In 2015 Roman embarked on a new opportunity, taking up the role of Schools & Engagement Advisor at The Skills Company, enabling him to share his knowledge of Apprenticeships with thousands of young adults in Greater Manchester and beyond.

In 2017 he was also awarded Talent and Recruitment Professional of the year and given the prestigious Chairman’s rising star of the year award at the Made in Manchester awards. Roman is passionate about tackling social injustice and providing opportunities for individuals from all warps of life.

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Peter Corbin

Peter graduated as a mature student from the LSE and entered teaching in 1981. As head of his sixth form, he pioneered innovative careers advisory programmes working closely with local and national employers.  After a ten year break in IT, he returned to education in 2003, actively engaged in the Labour Government’s BSF and Academies programme. 

Through his initial involvement with notgoingtouni, he has become very active in developing employment and training opportunities for young people, maximising the opportunities for every teenager to get the best possible start in the world of work, and ensuring they receive the best possible guidance. 

He is an unrepentant critic of the current Government’s policy towards careers guidance, having both chaired and spoken at many conferences and provided evidence to Government reviews and the Education Select Committee.  He has published several articles on the challenges facing training providers, careers guidance, drop-out rates from the UCAS clearing scheme and most recently on the collapse of the democratic link between schools and their communities resulting from academisation.

He is currently supporting the thirty-one Kent grammar schools and a multi-academy trust ensuring that that work-based pathways into careers get an equal hearing alongside university.  Part of this was a recent event he organised from scratch at Kent County Cricket Ground that introduced over 300 students to higher and degree apprenticeships.

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Simon Fennell

Simon is an experienced employment specialist who works with both the private and public sector in relation to contentious and non-contentious work. He provides advice to a number of large commercial clients, many of whom are household names, on all aspects of employment law. Simon is the go to adviser for the in house legal team of a global automotive manufacturer when negotiating the TUPE elements of their procurement contracts.

Simon is renowned for delivering advice in a straightforward and easy to understand manner and his down to earth approach puts clients at ease.  His pragmatic and results focused approach keeps negotiations moving and identifies solutions to problems which might otherwise cause transactions to be derailed.

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Sasha Morgan Manley

Sasha has first hand experience of designing, delivering and implementing nationally acclaimed apprenticeship programmes that add value to a business, enhance the quality of the services and products offered to customers and provide opportunities for young people. Sasha has a wealth of experience, both as a talent manager and as a consultant, in helping organisations boots their profile and raise their levels of internal engagement by putting development at the heart of a business. She is passionate about providing an alternative to the traditional university led route into a career and is passionate about setting the foundation for life-long learning.

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Sophie Brooks

Sophie takes the strategic lead on setting direction for M&S’ employability, diversity, volunteering, schools and local community programmes. She grows these portfolios in size and reach, raising their profile and establishing programmes internationally. Her work has been recognised in multiple awards including: the 2013 Deputy Prime Minister’s Social Mobility Compact Award for the Best Work Placement Scheme, the 2014 Business Charity Award for the Best Employment Scheme, and the 2014 IGD Employability Award. She advises senior stakeholders and provides the external voice to the business to ensure they are leading the way. She sets up and manages teams to run internal events to promote and celebrate their success in these areas. She represents M&S in a number of external forums and conduct regular speaking engagements on the importance of CSR programmes and their link to employee engagement.

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Lizzie Crowley

Elizabeth has recently joined the CIPD as a Policy Adviser. Elizabeth is a policy and research professional with over 13 years’ experience in the employment and skills arena, having worked with both the public and private sector to develop high-quality research to inform organisational practice, public policy and shape the public debate.

Prior to joining the CIPD Elizabeth led The Work Foundation's research and policy development on the youth labour market – and has published a number of influential reports on youth unemployment. She has regularly appeared on national and regional TV and radio, including BBC Breakfast, BBC the One Show, the Today Programme and Channel 4 news. Elizabeth graduated in Sociology and has a master's degree in Social Science Research Methods, both from the University of Glasgow.

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