Click a speaker's image for more information.

Announced Speakers include:

Adrian Rowley, Grafton Merchanting GB
Richard Marsh, Kaplan
Jennifer Coupland, DfE
Alex Richardson, WTPN
Elizabeth Pawlowski, Carillion

Lucy Hunte, Health Education England
Clare Howard, Natspec
Mark Pike, Develop
Kirstie Donnelly, C&G
Charlotte Bosworth, Innovate Awarding

Martin Dunford OBE

Chief Executive, Skills Training UK & Chairman, Association of Employment and Learning Providers

Martin is the Chairman of AELP and CEO of Skills Training UK. His company Skills Training UK is a significantly sized provider of bespoke Apprenticeship and Traineeship programmes, with a particular focus on individual and business improvement and has direct contracts with both the Skills Funding Agency and the Education Funding Agency for the Study Programme and Youth Contract for 16/17 year old NEETS.

After University, Martin began his career in international (Europe, Japan, USA) sales and marketing, product and business development of high value, scientific instrumentation; a demanding hi-tech manufacturing and industrial market where competitive advantage is achieved via rapid continuous improvement. Continuous or business improvement particularly in the STEM sector is at the core of Skills Training UK’s approach to work based learning and Apprenticeship delivery.

Martin is one of the founders of AELP and has been elected as its Chairman for each of the last twelve years. Starting with a handful, AELP now has over 750 members.

Other appointments held include board membership of the Learning and Skills Development Agency (LSDA) and Quality Improvement Agency (QIA) where he was Chair of the Finance Committee. He was also a long standing member of both the Further Education & Skills Ministerial Advisory Panel and the Apprenticeship Ambassador’s Network.

Martin was awarded an OBE in the 2010 New Year’s Honours list for services to skills training.

Mark Dawe

Chief Executive, Association of Employment and Learning Providers

Mark Dawe was appointed Chief Executive of AELP in March 2016 following five years as CEO of the Exam Board, OCR. Previously Mark was Principal and Chief Executive of Oaklands College in Hertfordshire when he had been a board member of AELP. He has a wealth of experience across a broad spectrum in the education field.

Prior to his role at Oaklands College, Mark was Deputy Director, FE Strategy at the Department of Education and Skills having joined as Deputy Director, Adult Basic Skills Strategy Unit in 2003. After qualifying as a Chartered Accountant, Mark joined Canterbury College, becoming Head of Corporate Services in 1994. In 2000, he helped set up eGS, an e-procurement provider to the public sector. He is currently a governor of Sawston Village College and vice chair of Stapleford Community Primary School. He is also on the Board of the Ufi trust. Previously he has been a corporation member of Lewisham College as well as being on a variety of National Boards. In his spare time, he is a Scout leader, cycles and supports Plymouth Argyle!

Kirsty Evans

Interim Director of Funding Programmes, Skills Funding Agency

Kirsty Evans was appointed Interim Director of Funding Programmes in March 2016.

Since 2013, Kirsty has worked in the role of Deputy Director Funding Policy Implementation for the Skills Funding Agency (SFA), having previously held roles as Director of Funding Policy, Director of Area Relationships, and Regional Skills Director.

Her previous roles include local and national roles in the Learning and Skills Council, working on strategy development, business planning and service development across the 14 to 19, adult and employer skills agendas. Before this Kirsty worked for Oldham Chamber and Merseyside Training and Enterprise Council.

Dr Jo Ingold

Lecturer, Human Resource Management and Public Policy at Leeds University Business School

Her research interests include active labour market policies, the employment challenges for disabled people and parents/carers and policy learning between countries. Jo is currently undertaking research on employer engagement in employment and skills programmes in the UK and Denmark, funded by an ESRC Future Research Leaders Award. She is a member of the Associate Editorial Board of the leading sociology of work journal Work, Employment and Society and has previously worked in the voluntary sector and held posts in the Department for Work and Pensions and the Department for Education and Skills.

Sir Frank McLoughlin CBE

Associate Director Leadership, The Education and Training Foundation (ETF)

Sir Frank McLoughlin CBE is one of the leading voices in the FE and Training sector. He was principal of City and Islington college for 14 years, which is one of the most consistently successful colleges in the country. He advised on policy development at a local, regional and national level. Sir Frank was Chair of the highly influential Commission on Adult Vocational Teaching and Learning (CAVTL). He was awarded a CBE in 2009 and a Knighthood in 2015.

Ashley McCaul

Chief Executive, Skills for Growth

Ashley McCaul is currently Chief Executive of London work-based learning provider Skills for Growth. Ashley has over 15 years’ experience working within post-16 education in both the public and charitable parts of the sector.

During her ten years leading Skills for Growth, Ashley has guided the organisation through significant change. All of the change has sought to build on the charity’s existing strengths, establish a distinctive mission and ethos, whilst responding to the rapidly changing post-16 environment. Skills for Growth are a significant deliverer of Apprenticeships, Traineeships and Study Programmes in London.

Prior to the CEO role at Skills for Growth, Ashley held a range of posts within Training and Enterprise Councils, Learning & Skills Councils (LSC) and the Learning and Skills Development Agency (LSDA). Her various roles have contributed to the implementation of government policy and leading on quality improvement initiatives nationally. She designed and delivered a Quality Improvement Network for Work Based Learning Providers in 9 national regions during her time with LSDA and worked on Contract and Quality Management (including pre and post inspection support) in her role with the LSC. 

Councillor Sean Anstee

Leader of Trafford Council and Lead for Employment & Skills, Greater Manchester Combined Authority

Councillor Sean Anstee is the Leader of Trafford Council, Greater Manchester.

In addition, he is the Trafford representative and a Vice Chairman of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority holding the lead portfolio for Skills, Employment & Worklessness.

Sean is a Deputy Chairman of the Local Government Association, the national voice of local government, working with councils to support, promote and improve local government.

He is a Non-Executive Director of Trafford Housing Trust and the Manchester Growth Company and Vice Chairman of the North West Regional Leaders Board.

Sean holds a BA (Hons) in Business Management and is a Member of the Chartered Management Institute.

In 2015, Sean was recognised by the Local Government Chronicle as one of the top 100 most influential people in local government and is a keen marathon runner.

Warwick Sharp

Deputy Director, Head of 16-19 Policy and Technical Education Division, Department for Education

Warwick started his career as a teacher in a North London Academy, where he also had responsibility for Careers and Work Related Learning Provision. He has had a wide range of roles at the Department for Education, including leading the school improvement team; managing assessment in primary schools; leading on development of strands of the new National Curriculum; and designing leadership programmes and policies. Warwick was recently on secondment to Lloyds Banking Group where he led the payments strategy and worked across a range of areas within the retail bank. Warwick was appointed as Deputy Director at the Department for Education in March 2015, heading up the Division responsible for 16-19 policy and Technical Education.

Jenifer Burden

Director of Programmes for Science & Engineering, Gatsby Charitable Foundation

Jenifer is a Director of Programmes for the Science & Engineering Education team at the Gatsby Charitable Foundation. At Gatsby she focuses on programmes to support the delivery of technical education. Prior to joining Gatsby, Jenifer was inaugural Director of the National STEM Centre in York, and also worked at the University of York Science Education Group. She studied Genetics & Cell Biology at the University of Manchester, completed a PGCE at Manchester Polytechnic, and taught for 12 years in secondary schools in the north west.

Liz Gorb

Director of Apprenticeships, Business School, Manchester Metropolitan University

Liz is currently leading on the development and delivery of Degree Apprenticeships across the University. She has been working with many large corporates and a number of Manchester's small businesses to develop and introduce the new Degree Apprenticeship in Digital & Technology Solutions and the Chartered Managers Degree Apprenticeship.

Another challenge was setting up the first Legal Services Apprenticeships delivered in a university. Liz has substantial experience of leadership and management in a variety of settings in both London and the North West. She has successfully led teams delivering training & development to a wide variety of companies and employers.

Previously Head of Department at the City Lit, Covent Garden and East Cheshire Business School, Liz led the Knowledge Action Network Programme at MMU Centre for Enterprise, which provided expert support for over 100 SMEs in the North West.

Richard Guy OBE

Apprenticeships Strategic Programme Adviser, City & Guilds

Richard worked in the Jobcentre network then as a management trainer for industry and then in developing and setting up YTS and Adult Training in Manchester whilst working for the Manpower Services Commission. He then moved to the MSC’s head office in Sheffield where he was responsible for policy on vocational qualifications, design of training programmes and assessment and certification.

He was appointed Chief Executive of South and East Cheshire TEC in 1989 when it became operational and was actively involved in the TEC movement nationally including working part time as Director of Policy for the TEC National Council.

Richard joined Manchester TEC as Chief Executive in 1994. In 2000 he facilitated partners to come together to form the Manchester Enterprises Group, a £100m turnover organisation responsible for determining the Economic Development Strategy for Greater Manchester and its implementation. He remained CEO of this group ( renamed Manchester Solutions) until 2013.

After leaving Manchester Solutions Richard set up his own consultancy, Employer Led Skills Limited, specialising in Apprenticeships policy and strategy. He now works at City & Guilds leading future direction related to Apprenticeships.

Richard was awarded the OBE for services to training and enterprise. He continues to have a particular interest in the development and delivery of apprenticeships.

Barry Fletcher

Chief Operating Officer, Ingeus

Barry Fletcher is responsible for Ingeus’ delivery in the UK, overseeing their divisional teams covering employability, skills, youth services and health.
With Ingeus since 2004, Barry held operational management roles in employability before becoming North West Regional Director in 2011. Prior to becoming COO in February 2015, Barry was Director for National Employability and Skills, leading their central support functions and training business. Barry is an ERSA Board Member and Chair of the Business Services Association Welfare Committee.

Sara Goldie

Director of Skills, APM

Sara joined APM in the spring of this year, having spent more than 20 years in work based learning, post-16 education managing at regional and national level. Having an innovative approach to developing new ways to win contracts and clients, she leads on SFA, ESF and EFA streams. Sara’s role at APM is to develop the strategic skills agenda within APMs welfare programmes ensuring a joined up seamless approach to “enabling better lives” Past roles have included chair of ALP South East as well as the Thames Valley Regional Network.
Sara’s spare time includes community governor of the River Academy Trust, gardening and can often be found out walking in the Oxfordshire countryside, with her Beagle Jess.

Pat Russell

Programme Director for Work and Health, APM

Pat has recently joined APM to lead its development of an offer for the Work and Health Programme, working closely with the current UK business not only to test out new ideas but to bring the best learning from the parent company in Australia, from leading health and disability organisations and from cutting edge research.

Formerly, Pat was a civil servant with wide experience in both policy development and delivery. Most recently as Head of the Office for Disability Issues, she was at the forefront of driving change across Whitehall getting greater involvement of disabled people in policy making. She was previously responsible for development of DWP’s commissioning strategy in 2008 and was Deputy Director for both the Social Justice and Young People and Employment divisions of DWP.

Outside work, Pat volunteers for the Scout Association and is Chair of the Board of Trustees for Staffordshire Scout Council which is responsible for providing week-in, week-out activities for nearly 8,000 young people supported by 2,000 adult volunteers.

David A Hare

Manager, Business Growth Services, Grant Thornton LLP

David works within Grant Thornton’s Business Growth Services department and has responsibility for a number of services providing targeted commercial advice to SMEs and mid-market businesses. David is the firm’s national lead on the Apprenticeship Levy and has been supporting a wide range of levy paying employers to understand its impact and optimise their response. David also sits on Grant Thornton’s internal task force to develop its own strategy to benefit from the new funding arrangements.

Before joining Grant Thornton in 2011, David spent 10 years in local and regional government delivering economic development and skills programmes.  

Jonathan Lawson

Apprenticeship Development Lead, Manchester Metropolitan University

Jonathan is Apprenticeship Development Lead at Manchester Metropolitan University. Working alongside the Director of Apprenticeships, he plays a strategic role in leading the Apprenticeship Unit and developing Manchester Met's apprenticeship portfolio.

Jonathan has represented the university in a number of Trailblazer groups and is a regular speaker at events and conferences on the subjects of Degree Apprenticeships, Higher Level Apprenticeships and the Apprenticeship Levy.

In other roles, he is also the National Programme Director for the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses initiative at Oxford Said Business School and has served as an assessor chair for the Small Business Charter Mark, as chair of the Institute of Small Business and Entrepreneurship’s special interest group on growth, and as a member of the Cheshire and Warrington LEP Business Advisory Board. 

Peter Lauener

Shadow Chief Executive, Institute for Apprenticeships

Peter is the Chief Executive and Accounting Officer for the Education Funding Agency and the Skills Funding Agency. He is also the Shadow Chief Executive for the Institute for Apprenticeships.

The EFA is an executive agency of the Department for Education and is responsible for the majority of the DfE’s funding of the education system - £57.98bn in 2015-16. The EFA fund all state-provided education to 8 million children ages 3 to 16 and 1.6 million young people aged 16 to 19 providing additional support to those with high needs.

SFA is an executive agency, sponsored by the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills and is responsible for the funding of skills training for further education (FE) in England. SFA supports over 1,000 colleges, private training organisations, and employers with more than £4 billion of funding each year.

Peter was appointed Chief Executive and Accounting Officer when the Education Funding Agency (EFA) was formed in April 2012 and to the role of Chief Executive of the Skills Funding Agency in November 2014. Peter holds both roles concurrently and has separate accountability for each agency’s budget.

In addition, Peter has recently been appointed as Shadow Chief Executive for the Institute for Apprenticeships (IfA). Peter’s role will involve setting up the Institute before it becomes fully operational in April 2017.

Starting his career as an economist in the Government Economic Service, Peter has also worked in organisations such as the Scottish Office (pre-devolution), the Manpower Services Commission, the Department for Education and Employment and the Government Office network. He was appointed Chief Executive of the Young People’s Learning Agency in September 2010.

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