Call to book: 01983 861133

School Leavers and Apprentices: Practical Workshop for Employers

Danubius Hotel Regents Park , 18 Lodge Road, St. John's Wood, London NW8 7JT

18 months on from the introduction of the apprenticeship levy and statistics reveal a 24% drop in new apprenticeships. The finger is being pointed at employers. 

Registration fee: £450 plus VAT per delegate 

Following 5 sold-out School Leavers & Apprentices Conferences for Employers since the introduction of the apprenticeship levy, this new workshop has been designed around real-time issues which have resulted from it. 

Despite apprenticeship schemes still being held as a solution to the countries skills shortages by a majority of employers, the complicated levy has meant that some employers have been unable to use it effectively, with others being accused of misusing it entirely. Though there are many incredible success stories, there are still fundamental issues preventing many organisations from levying the levy. This "warts and all" practical workshop will ensure employers are equipped to harness the potential of the levy, and to create successful apprenticeship schemes that contribute to business success and retain apprentices long-term.

With the current skills shortage ever widening and the Apprenticeship Levy now in full swing, it is vital that employers implement a compliant, effective and successful school leavers and apprenticeship programme to remain competitive.

PLEASE NOTE: Workshop leaders will be added as they are confirmed.

Highlights of this workshop

  • Get to grips with the nitty gritty of the apprenticeship levy
  • Learn how to maximise funding and incentives
  • Make sure your course really matches your organisation's needs
  • Discover ways to overcome the high costs of training
  • Ensure you retain your apprentices long term

This is a brand new event, but past speakers for the hugely successful conference on this topic included:

CIPD, National Apprenticeship Service, Shoosmiths, Barclays, NHSBT, M&S, IBM, The Skills Company, Greater Manchester Apprenticeship Company, Wigan & Leigh College, KPMG, Barclays, Volvo Group, BAE Systems, Hilton Worldwide, NHS, Lloyds Banking Group, KPMG, TUI, Volvo Group, BT, Thales UK, IBM, EY, KPMG, Mercedes-Benz UK, GSK, Microsoft, Barclays and Whitbread

Recent feedback for the conference

"Inspirational path to new talent in organisation via apprenticeships"

"Inspirational and lots to take-away and implement"

"Very engaging"

"Excellent insights to establishing a programme and making it a success"


"Useful practical tips"

"Really interesting"

"Great to see a range of employers all at different stages!"

"Great ideas for growth of people into apprenticeships"

Highlights of last year's conference:

  • CIPD Keynote address
  • The business case in the post-Brexit landscape
  • A Government update on the apprenticeship reform plans
  • A legal update on the apprenticeship levy and implications and strategies
  • Vital case studies from Barclays, NHSBT and M&S
  • Hearing the secrets of creating and implementing a world-class early talent programme
  • Key aspects to successful workplace learning
  • Accessing untapped talent - effective recruitment strategies, traineeships and feeder programmes
  • Broadening your talent horizons with an inspirational panel of ‘untapped talent’ ambassadors
  • Hands on practical workshop sessions to equip you with strategies to work with schools and colleges and to help you design and implement the optimum programme for your organisation

Which functions will benefit from attending

  • HR, Resourcing and Recruitment professionals, Legal, Policy, Talent, Training, Learning & Development, Diversity & Equality, Early Careers, and those with oversight, involvement and responsibilities within this area


Coffee and registration

Welcome: defining aims, objectives and learning outcomes for the day

The challenges


  • Why are the stats showing a fall in uptake?
  • Which areas are lacking: industry, geography, socio-demographic?
  • What is the real cost to employers? Is it too high?
  • Is the scheme just too complex?
  • Social mobility vs funding cuts: what is the real picture?
  • How has the scheme been abused?
  • Minimal training and cheap labour: myth or reality?
  • Middle-class hijack: who are the culprits?
  • Plugging the skills gap: where are the gaps and how successful have we been so far?
  • Levelling the playing field: increasing social mobility and attracting socially disadvantaged
  • Has there been a lack of joined-up thinking form Government? Understanding employers’ roles and drivers

Morning coffee


  • A culture of unambition? Is it true and if so, how should employers tackle it?
  • Real quality apprenticeships vs low-quality internal training
  • Stubborn misperceptions: separating truth and lies
  • How does the levy need to evolve and be reformed to make it work better?
  • How can you ensure you are heard? Lobbying and consultation
  • Will spending time be extended?
  • Moving towards agreement in standards
  • Devolving training centres to maximise accessibility
  • Skills shortage areas: how can we maximise funding and incentives?
  • Negotiating your own organisation’s payment scheme

David Willet, Corporate Director, Open University (TBC)

Lunch and networking

Delegates are encouraged to join industry-specific discussion roundtables over lunch in order to continue to identify and discuss sector-specific challenges and potential solutions


  • Designing workable schemes that really meet your organisation’s needs: key elements
  • Simplifying administration: what can you do now to lessen the headache?
  • Ways to overcome the high cost of technical training: what could work for you?
  • T’Levels: the good, bad and ugly
  • Tailoring an apprenticeship scheme to match your sector, size and business model
  • What can the UK learn from the Dutch, French and German models?
  • Modular apprenticeships
  • Making sure courses really match your organisation’s needs
  • Understanding the new Apprenticeship Standards
  • Standards and assessment plans

Afternoon tea


  • Pinpointing what your apprentices really value: you may be surprised
  • Are you really supporting apprentices or is the system being hijacked by senior executives?
  • Making savings: where should you look?
  • Where and how to maximise efficiency: a checklist
  • Are you likely to retain your talent?
  • How to plan for a post-Brexit economy
  • Making wellbeing a priority for your apprentices
  • Establishing recruitment and talent streams: what role should apprenticeship schemes play?
  • Key elements of an outstanding apprenticeship programme

Key takeaways, wrap up and outstanding questions


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