local government

Delivering Apprenticeships Across the Public Sector

local government

08:45 - 16:20

Tuesday 4 June 2019

Central Manchester

This Forum provides participants with an excellent opportunity to examine successful apprenticeship delivery methods across the public sector. Attendees will be updated on the transition between the apprenticeship framework and the Institute for Apprenticeship’s new standards, as well as how to obtain the government’s £3.2 billion worth of funding to support the sector in meeting the 2.3% apprenticeship target. In addition, award winning organisations will share guidance around how to deliver high-quality apprenticeship schemes through establishing robust local partnerships, collaborating with key stakeholders, and tailoring programmes to meet employer needs.


This Forum is designed for the wider Public 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

This Forum is also open to Fire and Rescue Services, Higher Education, Policing, Health, Private and Voluntary sectors to encourage debate and networking

Key Speakers Confirmed:
  • Jessica Bushell, Employer Engagement Strategy Senior Manager, Education and Skills Funding Agency 
  • Paul Warner, Director of Research & Development, Association of Employment and Learning Providers 
  • Darren Shaw, Head of Assessment, Institute for Apprenticeships
  • Claire Paul, Director, Leadership Development & New Talent, BBC Academy
  • Roland Bryant, Apprenticeship Lead, Portsmouth City Council
  • Councillor Sean Fielding, Lead for Education, Skills and Apprenticeships, Greater Manchester Combined Authority 
View the agenda and additional speakers


Nearly two years on since the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy, the public sector is still struggling to meet the 200,000 new apprentice starters it was targeted to deliver by 2020. In the year leading up to November 2018, there were 45,314 new apprenticeship starts across the whole of the public sector, which constitutes 1.4% out of a total workforce of 3.2 million at the start of the year. Clearly, this demonstrates that the public sector still has some way to go towards meeting its target by the 2020 deadline.

Moreover, the public sector is expected to play a major role in assisting apprenticeship growth across the UK more generally, to assist in reaching the target of 3 million apprentice starts by 2020. To help meet this target and deliver the required number of apprenticeships, the government introduced the Apprenticeship Levy in April 2017 to help fund them. Upon its introduction, the Levy was expected to allow employers to address skills gaps, improve retention, reduce spend on agency support, and create embedded progression paths for the existing workforce.

However, since the levy was introduced apprenticeship starts have fallen, with numbers down nearly a quarter in 2017/18 compared with the year before. The Apprenticeship Levy and 2.3% recruitment target has drastically changed the public sector apprenticeship landscape. Failure to successfully deliver first-class apprenticeship programmes could see the public sector lose high-quality young candidates and limit the potential of the entire sector.

The onus is now on public sector institutions to work constructively with training providers, employers and the wider community to create apprenticeship opportunities and promote the valuable and viable careers that the sector can offer young people across the UK.


Registration, Refreshments and Networking


Chair's Welcome Address

Ann-Marie Bathmaker, Professor of Vocational Education, University of Birmingham (invited) 


Morning Keynote: Driving Forward the Public Sector Apprenticeship Agenda

  • Sharing guidance around effective and efficient use of the apprenticeship levy by public sector employers to help meet the 2.3% target
  • Exploring the impact of changes to apprenticeship funding since August 2018, where the number of funding bands was extended from 15 to 30
  • Detailing the additional funding available for providers training 16-18 year olds, apprentices who require learning support, and care leavers aged 16-24
  • Providing guidance around the submission of public sector apprenticeship target reports, in advance of the reporting deadline in September 2019
  • Explaining the utility of the ESFA’s online apprenticeship service, which was recognised as ‘digital public service innovation of the year’ at the Digital Leaders Awards 2018 and used by over 13,000 employers

Jessica Bushell, Employer Engagement Strategy Senior Manager, Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) (CONFIRMED)


Special Keynote: Supporting Providers to Deliver High-Quality Apprenticeship Programmes in the Public Sector

  • Providing a raft of best-practice resources to apprenticeship trainers and providers around topics such as reasonable adjustments, pricing and eligible costs, and off-the-job training
  • Sharing results from the AELP 2018 Member Survey relating to opinions on the levy, and discussing ways to improve the current allocation system
  • Understanding the importance of employers selecting the correct end point assessment organisation for their apprentices
  • Consulting key stakeholders on plans for the development of new apprenticeship standards, such as the proposed Business Administration standard, and supporting their journey towards submission

Paul Warner, Director of Research & Development, Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP) (CONFIRMED)


Special Keynote: Providing Apprenticeship Opportunities for Graduates and Non-Graduates

  • Examining the process and procedures put in place to combine comprehensive recruitment with talent development, ensuring apprentices have a clear career pathway
  • Outlining the lessons learnt when rolling out a large scale recruitment scheme which sees the BBC offer over 200 apprenticeship/trainee opportunities for young people
  • Examining the different methods implemented when attracting graduate and non-graduate talent into the public sector
  • Highlighting how the BBC ensures it is offering new opportunities in emerging areas, such as Cyber Security and Research & Development, to ensure they continue to attract high-quality candidates

Claire Paul, Director, Leadership Development & New Talent, BBC Academy (CONFIRMED)


Questions and Answers Session


Refreshments and Networking


Case Study: Developing Effective Further Education Apprenticeship Programmes to Maximise Student Development and Employment Success

  • Sharing insight and guidance around how Hartlepool College became the No. 1 college in the North and the No. 2 college in the country for timely apprenticeship success
  • Detailing methods utilised by the college to achieve a silver TEF award including high contact hours, involvement of industry experts in course design, and an effective focus on retention and employability 
  • Exploring the benefits of bringing together apprentices, employers and training providers at the college’s Big Apprenticeship Event, and sharing tips around how FE colleges can host similar successful networking forums
  • Detailing the close partnership working with Cleveland Fire Brigade Risk Management Services to create an opportunity for ten new recruits to start an exciting career in high-risk safety management 

Darren Hankey, Principal, Hartlepool College of Further Education (invited)


Case Study: Effectively Coordinating Apprenticeship Delivery Through a Regional Jobs Hub

  • Exploring how the Greater Manchester Apprenticeship Hub is able to support the apprenticeship agenda by pooling expertise and resources from a wide variety of partners across the city region
  • Providing a forum for collaboration between organisations with an interest in supporting apprenticeships
  • Offering grant funding for a range of projects that support the delivery of high-quality apprenticeships, such as the Apprenticeship Ambassadors scheme, placing real apprentices into schools and colleges to advocate for apprenticeships as a route into a successful career
  • Outlining progress made on the delivery of a £6 million City Deal to revitalise local industries and drive growth through apprenticeships
  • Maximising employer take up of apprenticeships in key sectors by improving information sharing, providing advice and guidance services for young people, and developing the capacity of providers to ensure supply matches demand

Councillor Sean Fielding, Lead for Education, Skills and Apprenticeships, Greater Manchester Combined Authority (CONFIRMED)


Case Study: Creating Apprenticeship Opportunities Through Effective Stakeholder Engagement and Partnership Working

  • Supporting the promotion, development and take-up of apprenticeships through the Leeds Apprenticeship Hub, working with young people, local employers and training providers to create new vacancies 
  • Working effectively with stakeholders to organise the Leeds Apprenticeship Recruitment Fair, attracting around 6,000 visitors and 130 local and national employers, and receiving extremely positive feedback 
  • Running a range of bespoke, sector-specific seminars in partnership with LeedsBID and Leeds Becket University to engage with parents, recognising they are one of the most important groups supporting young people to make positive career choices
  • Collaborating with local schools in Leeds to promote apprenticeship opportunities and educate young people about the benefits they offer as a viable route into employment, especially those at risk of dropping out and becoming a NEET 

Julia Massey, Head of Employment Access and Growth, Leeds City Council (invited)

Libby Megson, HR Service Manager, Leeds City Council (invited) 


Questions and Answers Session


Lunch and Networking


Afternoon Keynote: Leading and Supporting Development of Rigorous Apprenticeship Standards

  • Sharing progress around the ongoing transition away from Apprenticeship Frameworks and towards the more rigorous Apprenticeships Standards; examining the impact on both providers and employers
  • Providing guidance on successfully completing an end-point assessment plan, apprenticeship occupation proposal and forming a trailblazer group, in order to develop a new apprenticeship standard
  • Suggesting effective methods for promoting newly-approved apprenticeship standards to other key stakeholders, such as training providers, end-point assessment organisations and other employers
  • Outlining the four ways in which a trailblazer group can choose to deliver External Quality Assurance (EQA) for a standard, and advising on which models are most appropriate for particular contexts or occupations

Darren Shaw, Head of Assessment, Institute for Apprenticeships (CONFIRMED)


Special Keynote: Strategically Working Towards an Ambitious Apprenticeship Target - Lessons From Central Government

  • Establishing a centralised team to lead and coordinate the HMRC apprentice agenda by bringing together all apprenticeship activity, streamlining internal processes, and driving greater engagement
  • Successfully doubling the number of apprentices in HMRC to 3.3% and meeting 90% of 2017-18 targets, the highest of all large government departments; sharing insight around how this was achieved 
  • Highlighting the value of integrating apprenticeships into existing career pathways and capability planning
  • Sharing lessons learnt from expanding the HMRC apprenticeship portfolio from 12 apprenticeships in 9 professions to 33 in 17 professions
  • Launching a major internal communications campaign to increase awareness and demand internally for mid-career apprenticeships to effectively mitigate recruitment restrictions affecting target delivery 

Vickie Roberts, Head of HMRC Apprenticeships, HM Revenue & Customs (invited) 


Questions and Answers Session


Refreshments and Networking


Case Study: Effectively Delivering Apprenticeships and Exceeding the 2.3% Target in Local Government

  • Exceeding the Government’s public sector apprenticeship target of 2.3% for 2017/18 by 0.11%
  • Changing hearts and minds – overcoming barriers and transforming internal culture to effectively promote and deliver apprenticeships
  • Making the most effective and efficient use of the levy and exploring how the local authority shares it with local employers
  • Sharing guidance around effective procurement practices and partnership working with apprenticeship providers to create opportunities around themes such as occupational therapy and social work
  • Developing career pathways for young people in the workplace by making use of the additional funding for 16-18 year olds
  • Linking the apprenticeship agenda with wider city development and regeneration projects

Roland Bryant, Apprenticeship Lead, Portsmouth City Council (CONFIRMED)


Case Study: Developing and Delivering High-Quality Apprenticeships Programmes for Emergency Services

  • Successfully addressing the dual challenge of the public sector apprenticeship target and an ageing workforce through offering 12 apprenticeship opportunities within the services’s Fire Prevention team
  • Detailing how the service partnered with Wirral Met College to develop the programme and deliver the relevant Level 2 certificates for the Community Safety Apprenticeship qualification 
  • Outlining the process of recruitment and youth outreach to identify suitable candidates, such as running open days in collaboration with Wirral Met College 
  • Sharing guidance around designing an effective, fair and robust application process involving physical assessment, swimming tests and interviews
  • Assessing how the service ha made best use of the Apprenticeship Levy to adopt and deliver a wider portfolio of apprenticeship standards, including Firefighter, Leadership and Management roles

Nick Mernock, Director of People & Organisational Development, Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service (invited)

Karen Metcalf, Youth Manager, Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service (invited)

Sue Higginson, Principal, Wirral Met College (invited) 


Questions and Answers Session


Chair's Summary and Close

*Programme subject to change 


You May Also Like