Sector events this week!

Amazing Apprenticeships/Youth Employment UK: Developing Quality Apprenticeships Conference Series

Supporting young, disadvantaged people into apprenticeships, 19 October, full details, other dates and to register see here.

Not only is it the right thing to do, but with 77% of millennials and genZ wanting to work with inclusive organisations, supporting young, disadvantaged people widens the talent pool and strengthens the recruitment pipeline.

Join expert speakers from The Social Mobility Commission, Impetus, EDSK, Essex County Council and the Department for Education to explore the latest policy developments aimed at helping young people into apprenticeships to understand how your organisation can affect change for the better.


Learning and Work Institute: Youth Employment and Skills Summit: Is it ‘job done’ for young people? 20 October  – 9.45am – 2pm
Full speaker line up and registration link to join for free here


9.45am – Welcome and introductions

10am – Keynote speech: Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Minister for Employment)

10.30am – Panel discussionLevelling up: Supporting youth employment locally

11.15am – Coffee break

11.30am – Panel discussion: Employers: Building forward better

12.15pm Breakouts

  • Careers education in the recovery;
  • Unequal impacts for young people facing disadvantage;
  • Expanding high quality apprenticeships and technical education for young people
  • Colocation and localising youth provision;
  • Flexing delivery for the future

1pm – Coffee break

1.10pm – Final keynote: Steve Rotherham, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region

2pm – Close


IEP SUMMIT 2021 – ‘Developing Productive People’, 21 October – 10am – 5pm

Location: Great Room, RSA House, 8 John Adam Street, London, WC2N 6EZ

Registration: 10.00am including light breakfast, refreshments and networking

Keynotes, panel and open discussion: 10.30am

Drinks Reception: 4 – 5pm

Full line up, registration and more here.


More upcoming events

See more ERSA and sector events here. 

ELITE Employer Event: Rising to the Challenge


ELITE are hosting ‘Rising to the Challenge’ – an employer event promoting equality in the workplace. The event is aimed at supporting employers in hiring and retaining people with disabilities and difficulties in these uncertain times.

The event with be held on Zoom 5th October between 10am – 12.30pm and have the following speakers scheduled;

  • Lynda Ormerod from the Department of Work and Pensions – will outline how Access to Work can help you to hire and maintaining people with disabilities.
  • Sarah Alford and Caitlin Rees from Berry Smith Lawyers – will provide employment and HR advice for these uncertain times.
  • Chris English – will be dispelling the myths and misconceptions around employing people with disabilities. He’ll also be discussing the benefits of becoming ‘Disability Confident’.

Click here to hear more about the event from Chris.

Tickets can be booked at Eventbrite or directly via our website.

IEP Digital Technology Conference

Cognisoft Logo

Cognisoft Digital Technology Conference

To register for this event, click here.

Following the success of our inaugural event last year IEP are delighted to once again be bringing you the IEP Digital Technology Conference, sponsored by our partners Cognisoft, a leading provider of web-based software solutions for government funded training, employability and skills providers across England, Scotland and Wales. CogniSoft has worked alongside the employability sector since 2000 and have an in-depth understanding of the issues providers face in delivering employability programmes. The experience and knowledge they will be bringing to the conference in relation to technological advances available to our sector will be a key component of the conference content and we are delighted that they are supporting our event as Headline Sponsors.

Taking place online between the 20th and 24th September this FREE event is a must-do for anyone currently working in employability and skills or who are interested in joining our sector, offering an ideal opportunity for practitioners and employers to come together to learn and network.


DAY 1 : Monday, September 20

Theme: Recruitment and Selection in the Digital World

10:00 am – 10:15 am – Welcome & Introduction – Scott Parkin FIEP (Speaker) Chief Executive, Institute of Employability Professionals (IEP)

IEP Chief Executive Scott Parkin will set the scene for the week ahead with speaker introductions and a brief summary of what’s coming up.


10:15 am – 11:15 am – Recruitment in the digital age – Beth Curtis (Speaker) Director of Business Development and Strategy, Protocol

An exploration and discussion of how recruitment has changed, continues to change and may evolve in the future. As well as exploring different tools and techniques, the session will explore the benefits and challenges for both the candidate and potential employer, and how each can make the most of the experience, particulalry in the post-COVId world. Attendees will be asked to engage and debate the issues, sharing their challenges and examples of best practice where possible.


11:30 am – 12:30 pm – Recruitment and Selection in the Digital World – Jayne Garner FIEP (Speaker) | Head of Integration | Ingeus

12:45 pm – 1:15 pm – Networking 1


DAY 2: Tuesday, September 21

Theme: Learning through technology

10:00 am – 10:15 am – Welcome & Introduction – Scott Parkin FIEP (Speaker) | Chief Executive | Institute of Employability Professionals (IEP)

Scott Parkin will recap on the highlights of the previous day’s events and give an overview of what’s in store for the day ahead.


10:15 am – 11:15 am – Improve the odds of work readiness in the digital world through experiential learning – Sian Wilson FIEP (Speaker) | Practice Labs

Join us to discuss how digital skills is evolving and how developing digital skills of our customers can improve their odds of sustainable employment.


11:30 am – 12:30 pm – Supporting the advisors in their digital journey – Emma Cook FIEP (Speaker) | Managing Director | CogniSoft Ltd

There is so much emphasis on supporting and upskilling Participants in the Digital Technology world, but how do you ensure that your advisors are not only comfortable with the technology and platforms you are asking them to use, but competent in its use and the reasons why they need to use it?

Your advisors are primarily employed to work with people, but the need to work with technology is equally important. Do we make an assumption that because we live in a digital age that everyone has the correct transferrable skills to cope in the workplace?

Our session will explore the need for advisors to be competent in the use of the platforms you use and discuss how we can achieve this.


12:45 pm – 1:45 pm – Busting the Online Training Myths – Bill Colman (Speaker) | The Digital College

When was the last time you asked yourself if you were using online learning in the most effective way? This session will challenge everyday assumptions about online learning, and how you invest your time, budget and resources. Learning from our network of over 100 partners and tens of thousands of students, we highlight some of the pitfalls and traps providers can fall into and how to avoid them. We will take a look into the future direction of online training and discuss whether digital inclusion will soon be a thing of the past.

2:00 pm – 2:30 pm – Networking 2


DAY 3: Wednesday, September 22

Theme: Coaching and support at a distance

10:00 am – 10:15 am – Welcome & Introduction – Scott Parkin FIEP (Speaker) Chief Executive, Institute of Employability Professionals (IEP)

Scott Parkin will recap on the highlights of the previous day’s events and give an overview of what’s in store for the day ahead.


10:15 am – 11:15 am – Optimising employment delivery through utilising data insights from the jobseeker journey – Mark Abrahams C.Psychol (Speaker) | Head of Research and Analytics | Aptem

Mark Abrahams C.Psychol, Head of Research at Aptem, talks us through the jobseeker data journey, data collection points and how can we move away from being ‘Data Rich Insight Poor’. How can we make use of these data insights from the jobseeker journey to go beyond compliance/contractual reporting? How can data be used to improve operational performance from a work coach and jobseekers perspective to predict outcomes and manage risk?


11:30 am – 12:30 pm – Lisa Hughes FIEP (Speaker) | JobSkilla


12:45 pm – 1:45 pm – Delivering your best quality to your customers – Louise Doyle (Speaker) | Mesma and Sally Forsyth (Speaker) | BDE | mesma

When interacting with your team members is from a distance and their interactions with customers isn’t face to face, it is hard to have the confidence that your teams can deliver the same quality of customer service that they do onsite. It is critical that every touchpoint with your customers will accelerate their progress towards their employment goals, however it is delivered. In this session, Louise Doyle, will help you to develop strategies for quality assurance and improvement to ensure that your frontline teams are fully supported to deliver the same high quality of support to your customers from a distance.

2:00 pm – 2:30 pm – Networking 3


Day 4: Thursday, September 23

Theme: Inclusion in a virtual age

10:00 am – 10:15 am – Welcome & Introduction – Scott Parkin FIEP (Speaker) Chief Executive, Institute of Employability Professionals (IEP)

Scott Parkin will recap on the highlights of the previous day’s events and give an overview of what’s in store for the day ahead.

10:15 am – 11:15 am – Inclusion and Resilience in a Digital World – Maria Smith (Speaker) | CEO & Founder | Bounce Australia

The world of work is a fast-changing environment. As virtual engagement and connection become the new normal, we are presented with a whole range of new challenges and opportunities. We have to get the perspective right to make it work best for us, especially when it comes to creating an inclusive and resilient workforce.

In this immersive virtual workshop, Maria Smith will help you develop your skills to build connection and trust within a digital context. You’ll learn to use powerful coaching techniques to strengthen your relationships and understand the strategies needed to build resilience in yourself and your people. Maria will give you the essential tools and techniques to bolster your coaching skills in the changing COVID landscape so you can deliver consistent results for your organisation.

11:30 am – 12:30 pm – The success of digital inclusion and what to do next ? – Hilary Clifford (Speaker) | Managing Director | AoC Services | Association of Colleges

This session will look at the rapid change and growth within AoC through adopting a digital first approach at the onset of the pandemic. Over the last 18 months our services have grown significantly, reaching thousands of new people working within colleges, creating a louder and more diverse range of voices and we have created many new products and services to meet member requirements. We will look at some of the challenges, the approaches we have taken and the impact made. we will also look at the future plans to build on this more inclusive and informal relationship with our member organisations and the staff working within them.

12:45 pm – 1:15 pm – Networking 4


DAY 5: Friday, September 24

Theme: Labour market intelligence and building employer relationships

10:00 am – 10:15 am – Welcome & Introduction – Scott Parkin FIEP (Speaker) Chief Executive, Institute of Employability Professionals (IEP)

Scott Parkin will recap on the highlights of the previous day’s events and give an overview of what’s in store for the day ahead.


10:15 am – 11:15 am – Associate Professor Jo Ingold FIEP (Speaker) Associate Professor, Deakin UniversIty

We all know that digitalisation is important but we don’t yet know how far it’s transforming the actual delivery of employment services. This session draws on comparative research on digitalisation of employment services in the UK and Australia that maps the scale and use of digital tools by the sector. Data insights will be presented from surveys of providers and interviews with providers and tech companies in both countries and there will be opportunity for discussion about the implications for employability professionals.


11:30 am – 12:30 pm – Understanding the post-pandemic economic bounce back and what this could mean for the employability sector – Andy Durman (Speaker)| EMSI Burning Glass and Will Cookson (Speaker) | Emsi Burning Glass

We will track through an overview of the latest employment trends as the economy bounces back from COVID-19 lockdowns and explore how this might influence how employability providers can shape their activities to meet a fast changing employment and hiring environment.


12:45 pm – 1:15 pm – Networking 5

1:15 pm – 2:00 pm – Reflections & Takeaways

End of Conference Wrap Up with Scott Parkin FIEP (Speaker) | Chief Executive | Institute of Employability Professionals (IEP)

Final Thoughts & Thank You’s



We will be bringing the Digital Technology Conference 2021 to you via state-of-the-art digital platform, Whova. Winners of the Best Event app at the Event Technology Awards and billed as ‘The Oscars of Event Technology’ we are really excited about the new possibilities the platform offers including:

• Livestreams and pre-recorded video

• Session streaming

• video replay

• digital booths and network tables

• attendee engagement & networking

• Live Q&A, polls, chat, and more

The Whova technology will enable speakers to engage and interact with participants before, during and after sessions and offers a unique opportunity for participants to make connections, meet-ups, start conversations, share photos and find and connect with others with common interests. It will be the closest thing to a physical conference you will find in a virtual capacity, with exhibition break-out rooms and speed-dating-esque video chatrooms too!

This year’s event promises to build on the success of 2020, once again bringing together some of the industry’s leading specialists to discuss and present their ideas on technological advances and current challenges to help understanding and to identify your own skill gaps and how to address them. Over the five days we will be focusing on 5 key themes:

• Recruitment and Selection in the digital world

• Learning through technology

• Coaching and support at a distance

• Inclusion in a virtual age

• Labour market intelligence and building employer relationships

Daniel Howard FIEP, MD of Skills Forward and Operations Director for Learning for Work who was a speaker at DTC 2020 said: “I thought last year’s Digital Technology Conference was a perfect example of likeminded organisations coming together to address a common goal. It was a privilege to be able to present and engage with colleagues across the sector, particularly as we all work together to build back better following one of the most devastating moments in our recent economic history. The work the IEP does to facilitate conferences like this, and meaningful discussion is to be commended.’

If you are interested in speaker opportunities, sponsorship or exhibiting, please contact as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

Sponsorship and Exhibiting opportunities:


Sponsor Profile Page to share brand and connect with attendees

Custom Banner Ad

Direct messaging with attendees via chat

Self service page set up



Engage with attendees via livestream and video uploads

Access to personal Virtual Exhibitor Booth through web or mobile app

Promotion through passport contest

Lead gathering through coupons, giveaways, raffles or likes

Interactive virtual exhibitor booth chatbox

Self service – build your own branded booth

Exhibitor webpage and gallery to increase visits

If you are interested in any of the above sponsorship or exhibiting opportunities please contact Scott Parkin FIEP at


About IEP

IEP is the only professional membership institute for the employability profession. It represents its members to key influencers and sets the standards for the profession. Our vision is ‘Employability professionals everywhere are the best they can be.’ 


About CogniSoft

A leading provider of web-based software solutions for government funded training, skills and employment service providers across England, Scotland and Wales for over 30 years.

Our approach is based on working in detail with our customers throughout their implementation and beyond, in order to deliver tailored systems that closely fit the customers’ processes. Our experience helps us inform and shape this process to ultimately deliver systems that will work in practice. We have a great track record in designing and implementing effective database systems for some of the highest profile organisations in UK, particularly in the area of Welfare to Work.

An Audience with Matthew Fell – The Revolution of Work

Matthew Fell of the Confederation of British Industry and the University of Leeds’s Nexus group are presenting exclusive findings on the impact of COVID-19 on innovation, collaboration, and future ways of working.

Join CBI’s Chief UK Policy Director, Matthew Fell, and Nexus (University of Leeds) to hear exclusive findings from The Revolution of Work – a report commissioned by Nexus and conducted by CBI Economics, exploring the impact of COVID-19 on innovation, collaboration, use of workspace and future ways of working for businesses post-pandemic.

Following on from an event in June previewing initial findings from the survey, this online event will take a deeper dive and present a solutions-based approach to current challenges facing businesses in the post-COVID-19 world of work. This event, hosted by CBI, will take place on the 15th of September at 14:00. To register for this event, please book your place here.

You will have the opportunity to hear key insights from a cross-sector panel of business owners, who will share their experiences and discuss the recommendations from the survey to offer tangible solutions to futureproof your business.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Emerging trends and challenges for firms, and what a shift in the status quo means for your business
  • How to make the most of hybrid working models and exploit physical workspaces to enable innovation, creativity, and collaboration
  • How to build and maintain a strong company culture in a hybrid world
  • How to overcome barriers to innovation in this critical post-crisis period
  • How to use innovation and creativity to thrive.

To access a digital version of the report and find out more about Nexus, click here.

New Funding Opportunity launched: AEB Good Work for All – Application Deadline Friday 19 March


A new grant award opportunity called AEB Good Work for All has now launched.

It is open to all skills providers located in London and the ‘London Fringe’ who would like to deliver adult education and training services to Londoners starting on 1st August 2021. This new provision will support the London Recovery Programme in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition to applying to deliver AEB, providers can apply to deliver the new ringfenced National Skills Fund Level 3 Adult Offer. Through this new offer, Londoners, aged 24+, will be able to access almost 400 fully funded courses which can be found on the list of eligible qualifications.

Applications are open for a period of six weeks, and will close on Friday 19 March at 17:00. Applications must be submitted via GLA OPS.

Two market warming events will take place on 25 and 26 February –  please sign up on Eventbrite.

Further information is available in the Prospectus, and other guidance documents, which are available on the GLA website via the link below.

Funding Opportunity: ESF Creative Enterprise Zone (CEZ) Lewisham Project.

We would also like to remind you the Grant Award Process for The Mayor’s European Social Fund (ESF) Programme – Lewisham Creative Enterprise Zone (CEZ) project is live and the deadline for application is Friday 12 March 2021.

For more information, and to apply, see here.

The deadline for submitting questions via email at is Tuesday 02 March 2021.

Events for the sector

ERSA Partnership


Webinar: How well has the benefits system coped during COVID-19? 10 November, 2pm
The Welfare at a (social) distance project

Forum: Secure Homes & Work, sponsored by Cognisoft, 17 November @ 11am 
Chaired by ERSA Board Member Nick Parker, Vestia with contributions from Communities that Work, Cognisoft and new CAEHRS Framework partnership PORTRUS (newly formed partnership between Pinnacle People and People Plus Australia). 

Forum: Enterprise Works, forum sponsor available, 18 November @ 2pm
Theme: Self employment with labour market insights including SEISS from Tony Wilson, Director, IES, latest UC information for the self employed including the minimum income floor and assessment periods from Dr Phil Agulnik, entitledto along with a presentation from Sarah Trouten, Chief Executive, The Institute of Enterprise and Entrepreneurs. ERSA members, are you interested in chairing this forum? Please get in touch via 

Webinar: Career Adaptability, 23 November @ 11am
Saffron Interactive

Forum: Digital, sponsored by Aptem Employ,  8 December @ 11am
Dr Darren Coppin, Founder & Head of Research, Esher House joins the meeting to discuss ‘Using Behavioural Science for learners and jobseekers in a pandemic’ along with Matt Kingswood from The Digital College who’ll who’ll do a session on Accessible Learning. We’re also calling for case studies  ‘Using technology solutions to improve outcomes for learners and jobseekers’ so if you work with or know of an innovative digital solution that has been proven to work for learners or jobseekers, the ERSA team want to hear from you. We’ll host all suitable case studies on the website and and will invite the best ones to present at future forum.  Email the team at with your future agenda items and case studies. Read more

Follow ERSA via to be notified when when they go live

Employment services sector recognised in 2018 New Year’s Honours List


Teresa Scott, the founder of career support specialist Kennedy Scott, has been awarded an OBE for her services to entrepreneurship and employability in the 2018 New Year’s Honours List. 

ERSA – the representative body for the employment support sector – has warmly welcomed Teresa’s achievement.  Kennedy Scott is amongst a number of ERSA members to receive recognition, including Shaw Trust’s Ken Olisa, Mencap’s Christopher Hebden and Peabody’s former Chief Executive, Stephen Howlett.

Poppy Jaman, Chief Executive of Mental Health First Aid England – an organisation that offers mental health first aid training in the workplace – has also been honoured, as well as several DWP officials, including Denise Horsfall for services to welfare in Scotland.

Teresa – who originally trained as a teacher – founded Kennedy Scott in 1989. The organisation was proud to be one of the first in the employment sector to offer apprenticeships.  It now specialises in supporting people with complex barriers to work to help them build successful and fulfilling careers. It has enjoyed significant success as a DWP Prime Contractor for Specialist Employability Support (SES) and as a Work Programme and Work Choice provider.

A highly respected figure in the sector, Teresa’s OBE rewards nearly two decades of dedication to the welfare and employability sector. In 2016 Ms Scott was also awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award from ERSA and was appointed to the Board of Institute of Employability Professionals (IEP) in September 2017.

Commenting on her achievement, Teresa says:

‘I am humbled to be recognised in the New Year’s Honours list. After years of consistent hard work, I believe this award really is recognition of our organisation’s dedication to employment equality and the collective focus of our team. I am incredibly proud of the difference Kennedy Scott has made to people’s lives and it has come through the hard work and dedication of the staff.’

‘There is still a considerable amount to be done in supporting people with various challenges, including those with disabilities, in achieving long-term sustainable employment. I am committed to finding new ways to deliver this and to provide an even better service to those we support. I hope receiving this honour helps raise the awareness of the hard work that needs to be done in this area.’