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AELP National Conference: shaping the future of the skills system on the eve of July’s General Election

On the eve of July’s General Election, delegates from across the skills sector will gather for the Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP) National Conference. Highlights include an array of keynote speakers, interactive workshop sessions and updates from AELP on key projects, including the launch of mini-commissions that will channel the collective power of the sector, backed by evidence, to get Government to make important and long overdue changes. There will also be an update on AELP’s Regulatory Burdens project.

AELP National Conference takes place at the London Novotel West in Hammersmith on 24/25 June and is sponsored by Bud. There will be a sharp focus on the forthcoming General Election – and with skills already playing a central part of political party campaigns, AELP has set out six ways in which a focus on skills can help unlock economic growth.

A packed agenda focused on the future

Keynote speakers include: Former Skills Minister and Education Select Committee Chair, Rt Hon Robert Halfon, as well as acclaimed broadcaster and author, Matthew Syed and key representatives from employers and devolved authorities. Workshop sessions are built around five Zones to enable in-depth exploration and learning across key issues that affect members: Funding, Commercial & Growth, Teaching & Learning, Technology and People & HR.

Across the conference there will be an in-depth debate on the role of Independent Training Providers (ITPs). This is ahead of forthcoming work by AELP to shine a light on some of the other important key work that ITPs deliver away from apprenticeships. From Skills Bootcamps to 16-19 Study Programme and beyond, AELP want to ensure all the work ITPs do is recognised and understood by both policy makers and commissioners.

On Monday, the plenary session includes a panel debate, “Devolution: Dilution or Revolution?”. With both the Conservative and Labour Parties both promising more devolution, this is an important time to take a step back and have an overall look at how local and national skills needs knit together.

AELP Mini-Commissions: Tackling the big issues one-by-one

 As part of the conference, AELP will be outlining its plans to set up a series of mini-commissions to help deliver evidence to an incoming government on the major issues affecting the skills sector. These mini-commissions will last 8-12 weeks and will bring together AELP and its members to create short, impactful ways of delivering evidence-backed policy advice to the incoming government. The first AELP mini-commission will focus on whether the existing functional skills exit requirements are holding back apprenticeship progression and outcomes.

A focus on reducing regulatory burden

Another key aspect of the National Conference will be a focus on AELP’s plans to work with officials across government to reduce the burden over regulation on providers. AELP will be sharing an update on this work – and will host a workshop session to give delegates a chance to feed in their views on how regulatory burdens can be reduced.  

I am really excited about our National Conference this year. Given we are on the eve of an important General Election, this is a pivotal time so conference will be a great opportunity to discuss how that will impact the skills sector. We are also looking forward to setting out more details of our first mini-commission on functional skills qualifications, our work on reducing regulatory burdens in the sector, and hearing from important and inspiring speakers,including Matthew Syed and Robert Halfon.

Ben Rowland, AELP Chief Executive, said:

AELP National Conference: shaping the future of the skills system on the eve of July’s General Election

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Last published: 21/06/2024