further & higher education Training
local government

The Future of Local Government Apprenticeship Delivery

further & higher education Training

local government

08:45 - 16:30

Wednesday 20 November 2019

Central London

Early Bird Discount Offer

10% off all advertised rates for a limited time only. Discount available to public / voluntary organisations only.

This Forum will provide delegates with the opportunity to discuss the ‘Apprenticeship Funding Rules 2018-2019’ with experts and learn how to meet the 2.3% public sector apprenticeship target. Attendees will hear from key sector leaders including the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA),  Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual) and the Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP) regarding progress in improving apprenticeship delivery. Furthermore, best practice case studies will share guidance on how local authorities and colleges can work collaboratively to deliver high-quality apprenticeship schemes and maximize the development of local apprentices. The forum will also provide valuable solution-based guidance on overcoming challenges facing public sector apprenticeship delivery.


This Forum is designed for Local Government and the Further Education Sector. Typical job titles will include:

  • Heads of Human Resources
  • Apprenticeship and Training Managers
  • Heads of Recruitment
  • Personnel Officers
  • Heads of Learning and Organisational Development
  • Heads of Organisation Transformation
  • Higher Education Policy Advisers
  • Learning and Development Leads
  • Economic Development Managers
  • Workforce Programmes Operational Managers
  • Careers and Apprenticeship Managers
  • Project Managers
  • Senior Business Partners
  • Adult Learning and Employment Managers

This Forum is also open to Higher Education, Private and Voluntary sectors to encourage debate and networking.

Key Speakers Confirmed:
  • Dan Simons, Senior Manager, Employer Services Strategy Apprenticeships, Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA)
  • Simon Ashworth, Chief Policy Officer, Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP)
  • Lucy Sydney, Director of Strategic Relationships for VTQ, Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual)
  • Helen Woods, Apprenticeship Delivery Manager, The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA)
View the agenda and additional speakers


Registration, Refreshments and Networking


Chair's Welcome Address

Stephen Kelly, Apprenticeship Manager, The College of North West London (invited)


Morning Keynote: Ensuring Effective Funding to Deliver Apprenticeships Across the Public Sector

  • Examining the ESFA’s ‘Apprenticeship Funding Rules 2018-2019’, including how organisations can best utilise the co-investment rate, and different funding rules for employers, employer-providers and training providers
  • Sharing guidance on how local authorities can demonstrate they have actively considered apprenticeships, either for new recruits or career development for existing staff, as outlined in the Meeting the Public Sector Apprenticeship Target report
  • Outlining how organisations can use the ‘Apprenticeship Activity Return’ to demonstrate their quantitative and qualitative progression in meeting the 2.3% apprenticeship target
  • Highlighting the ESFA’s next steps in rolling out the apprenticeship service to every employer in England, not just levy-paying providers, including the impact this will have on local authorities in meeting the 2.3% target

Dan Simons, Senior Manager, Employer Services Strategy Apprenticeships, Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) (CONFIRMED)


Special Keynote: Supporting Local Authorities to Deliver High-Quality Apprenticeship Programmes

  • Sharing guidance on utilising the apprenticeship levy and the relationship between local authorities and the education sector which is calculated on the total payroll bill of the Local Authority, which includes teachers employed and paid through the Local Authority payroll
  • Examining the impact of the levy on local authorities and schools and how they can maximise the payments including employers paying the levy deciding how they want to distribute the cost of the levy payments and how it is spent
  • Highlighting possible apprenticeships which local authorities and schools may wish to procure, including both educational and service support apprenticeships, such as teachers, chartered managers, HR Support and early years practitioners
  • Exploring AELP’s guidance on how employers and training providers can work together to comply with the 20% off-the-job training, aiding providers to overcome the anxieties of employers who regard the rule as a barrier to not engaging in an apprenticeship programme

Simon Ashworth, Chief Policy Officer, Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP) (CONFIRMED)


Interactive Questions and Answers Session


Refreshments and Networking


Special Keynote: Effectively Delivering Local Apprenticeships for School Leavers Across the Council Supply Chain

  • Sharing guidance on how the council established a robust partnership between themselves and Slough Academy, as a method to provide school leavers with an apprenticeship across the council and ensure a high-quality learning experience
  • Outlining how the academy will oversee the council’s apprentices and the continuous professional development of existing and new staff
  • Highlighting the benefits of a local authority partnering with a local school/academy, including attracting new talent to the council and creating new opportunities across the local area
  • Exploring the next steps for delivering the programme including a new development opportunity which begins with learning the skill of an assistant role in the field of interest whilst undertaking an Apprenticeship Training Programme and gradually working up to a higher level in the field

Councillor Sabia Hussain, Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Governance & Customer Services, Slough Borough Council (invited)


Case Study: Effectively Developing Shared Learning Centres for Apprenticeship Delivery

  • Outlining the college’s Civil Engineering Training Centre (CETC); a mock construction site that provides civil engineering apprentices with a realistic training environment to ensure they are site-ready
  • Examining the process of establishing the mock site, including collaborating with local authorities and to determine how the facility will be run and utilised most efficiently, allowing scope for sharing resources and costs
  • Highlighting the benefits of a dedicated centre including having a considerable contribution to the apprentice employment prospects, with 98% of students and apprentices progressing onto work or further education
  • Outlining the next steps in developing a dedicated working space for apprenticeships including the second phase of CETC construction to deliver a wider range of training programmes, has attracted national and government interest

Winner of the Construction Apprenticeship Provider of the Year Award at the FE Week and AELP ACC Apprenticeship Awards 2019

Andrew Kaye, Deputy Principal, Fareham College (invited)


Interactive Questions and Answers Session


Lunch and Networking


Afternoon Keynote: Outlining How Local Authorities Can Prepare for Apprenticeship End-Point Assessments

  • Exploring Ofqual’s annual report 2018-2019 including progress so far in assuring Apprenticeship End-Point Assessments (EPAs) including an agreement to be the external quality assurance provider for 61 assessment standards by March 2019
  • Providing local authority workers with advice on preparing for EPAs as outlined in the 2017 ‘Apprenticeship End-Point Assessments: Guide for Employers’ document including contacting Ofqual if employers would like to be provided with external quality assurance
  • Outlining resources and guides for employers around Ofqual’s approach to external quality assurance of EPAs and raising awareness that learners cannot start on the older framework apprenticeships from 2020


Lucy Sydney, Director of Strategic Relationships for VTQ, Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual) (CONFIRMED)


Special Keynote: Exploring the Key Challenges and Opportunities for Local Authorities Aiming to Meet the 2.3% Target

  • Exploring the ‘Levy, Apprenticeships and the Public Sector’ report including key concerns for local authorities after the introduction of the apprenticeship levy such as increasing wage costs and the levy becoming a box-ticking activity focusing too closely on the quantity of apprentices
  • Outlining how employing over 500 apprentices since 2017 is helping to close the skills gap caused by austerity by providing a pipeline of finance professionals for the sector
  • Analysing the local authority spend needed including £400 million annually until 2020 with a target of 33,000 new apprentices and exploring what this may mean for local authorities
  • Highlighting key techniques for how Local Authorities can meet the 2.3% target by training current workers on apprenticeship schemes and on-the-job training rather than employing new staff

Helen Woods, Apprenticeship Delivery Manager, The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) (CONFIRMED)


Case Study: Providing an Outstanding and Innovative Programme for Apprentices and Local Schools

  • Analysing the award-winning Apprenticeship programme which is noted for its engagement of schools and innovative use of added value to increase participation
  • Demonstrating how councils can act as a broker between employers and training-providers, reducing the ‘noise’ in the system and maximising Levy opportunities
  • Overcoming the challenge for local schools who often receive excessive/conflicting amounts of careers information on Apprenticeships
  • Identifying best practice in recruiting those from a care background onto Apprenticeships

Andrew Turner, Work-Based Learning Skills and Participation Development Officer, Rochdale Borough Council (CONFIRMED)

Winners of the ‘Macro Employer of the Year’ and the ‘Recruitment Excellence’ awards at the 2018 North West Apprenticeship Awards

Shortlisted for the ‘Innovation Category’ at the Local Government Chronicles Awards 2019


Interactive Questions and Answers Session


Refreshments and Networking


Case Study: Successfully Attracting Young People from Economically Disadvantaged Backgrounds into Apprenticeship Programmes

  • Outlining how Corydon Council utilised the Apprenticeship Levy to attract underrepresented groups to apply for apprenticeships through social media advertisement and simplified application process leading to a 96% retention rate
  • Sharing guidance on embedding inclusivity techniques into the apprentice recruitment process, such as group assessment days for candidates who felt threatened by formal interviews
  • Highlighting how the council supported their apprentice’s development by implementing workshops on themes such as goal setting or overcoming challenges throughout their learning experience
  • Addressing the success of the programme including the last round of apprentices consisting of 85% BAME applicants and 20% with additional learning needs

Winner of the Apprenticeship Employer of the Year Award in the 2018 Personnel Today Awards

Robert Henderson, Executive Director: Children, Families and Education, London Borough of Croydon (invited)


Case Study – Improving Apprenticeship Delivery and Opportunity: A Regional Approach

  • Outlining a collaborative apprenticeship scheme which will create over 400 new STEM apprenticeships across Greater Cambridge’s technology cluster through two organisations Form the Future CIC and Cambridge Regional College
  • Demonstrating how further education can engage business by helping them to establish how their skills gaps could be filled with apprentices
  • Drawing attention to how the approach challenges preconceptions about apprenticeships and attracts a new target market by taking steps to advertising the benefits of the programme to parents and students who may need convincing
  • Highlighting how to sustain such a scheme in future including encouraging regional schools and employers to sign a pledge committing to taking an active part in the service and encouraging existing apprentices to volunteer as ambassadors

 Anne Bailey, Co-founder and Director, Form the Future CIC (CONFIRMED)

Mark Robertson, Principal and CEO, Cambridge Regional College (invited)


Interactive Questions and Answers Session


Refreshments and Networking


Interactive Roundtable Discussion: Collaborating to Help Solve Key Challenges Facing Public Sector Apprenticeship Delivery

This session will provide delegates with the opportunity to work together to co-produce solutions to the biggest challenges facing the sector today. Each table will be led by a speaker to facilitate discussion and develop effective solutions to a specific issue. There will then be an opportunity to present back to the wider room.

Stephen Kelly, Apprenticeship Manager, The College of North West London (invited)


Chair's Summary and Close

*Programme subject to change 

According to the Department for Education, 89% of public sector bodies are set to miss the apprenticeship target of 2.3% by March 2021. Furthermore, according to findings by the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills in their 2015 ‘English Apprenticeships: Our 2020 Vision’ summary, employers are finding the apprenticeship system too complex with just under 1/3 of employers suggesting that a reduction in bureaucracy would encourage them to become more involved in delivering apprenticeships.

In November 2018, the Department for Education (DfE) published the ‘Public Sector Apprenticeship Target Reporting’ briefing which highlighted the progress and areas for future improvement being made in the Public Sector towards meeting the 2.3% target. The report found that 59% of public sector organisations had increased their apprenticeship numbers compared to the previous years. However, the report also found that the public sector is facing systemic challenges and procedural issues, such as financial and regulatory barriers, as well as perception challenges which including attracting enough apprentices.

Furthermore, the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) released the ‘Apprenticeship Funding: How It Works’ guidance in March 2019 which introduced the apprenticeship service, an online service which simplifies how employers pay for apprenticeship training. The report also outlines the ‘co-investment rate’ to support employers who do not pay the levy, allowing the cost of training and hiring an apprentice to be shared.

With a legal obligation for local authorities to prove that they are actively working towards the 2.3% apprenticeship target by 2021, it is therefore vital that councils work in partnership with training providers, employers and the wider community to promote the valuable and viable careers offered by apprenticeships. Failure to do so could see the public sector miss out on a pipeline of future high-quality young candidates or up-skill their current workforce.

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