5th International Conference on Employer Engagement in Education and Training: 2018

On the 5th and 6th July 2018 in London, Education and Employers and the Edge Foundation brought together leading researchers, practitioners and policy makers from around the world to present recent research and discuss employer engagement in education, policy development and delivery and provide a platform to inform governments with innovative policy and leadership in the field.

We received an overwhelming number of high-quality papers from around the world. Over the two days in a packed programme researchers presented a wide range of topics under the main theme of the conference, you can watch short videos of some of the guest speakers following this link.

For wider dissemination of the content of the conference we have asked presenters to share their slides with the public, you can find out more about what has been discussed and covered during both days by following this link.

Tom Ravenscroft (Enabling Enterprise)

This two day event, with support from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the Careers and Enterprise Company . and the Commercial Education Trust, focussed on employer engagement in education and training and how it relates to the Government’s plans for social mobility improvement, the implementation of its Industrial Strategy and improving the flow of skills into the labour market post Brexit.

Day one saw introductions from a series of esteemed commentators in the field, including the CEO of Teach First, Russell Hobby, the president of the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) Carl Ward and the Associate Dean of University of Huddersfield, Professor Kevin Orr. This was followed by a panel session organised by the Commercial Education Trust which explored the skills needed by employers in the future and how young people can learn these during school. Delegates then broke into a series of workstreams around Employability Skills; Employer Engagement in Primary; School to Work Transitions and Governance. The afternoon programme was packed with sessions on vocational education, in the UK and internationally, and employer engagement pathways.

You can watch the keynote speakers from day one here:

Russell Hobby (Teach First)

Carl Ward (Association of School and College Leaders)

Professor Kevin Orr (University of Huddersfield)

Russell Hobby (Teach First)

The second day of the conference (6th July) began with an exciting keynote panel including Dr. Anthony Mann, Senior Policy Analyst, OECD, Sherry Coutu, CBE, Founders4Schools and Rt. Hon. David Laws, The Education Policy Institute, discussing the opportunity presented by the Government’s Industrial Strategy to form partnerships between education and business. The discussion was informed by influential research and data, with a focus on practical ways to directly impact future outcomes for young people.

You can watch the key note speakers from day two here:

Dr Anthony Mann (OECD)

David Laws (Education Policy Institute)

Sherry Coutu OBE (Founders4Schools)

David Laws (Education Policy Institute)

This was followed by a second panel session organised by EuroFound, in which speakers discussed how businesses and schools can improve upward social mobility for young people. Dr Louise Ashley (Royal Holloway) also explored the impact of socio-economic factors on access to well paid jobs and progression once in them. Breakout sessions then considered how employers view employer engagement; International VET insights; the new and changing youth labour market and the future of skills.

Dr Louise Ashley (Royal Holloway, University of London)

The conference was closed with a final Q&A session with Dr Deirdre Hughes OBE (University of Warwick), Dr Anthony Mann (OECD), Sue Gale (Adviza), Professor Tristram Hooley (Careers and Enterprise Company) and Dr Elnaz Kashefpakdel (Education and Employers) which explored the need for ‘Career Dialogue’ between employers and schools. Olly Newton, Director of Policy and Research, Edge Foundation, then gave a closing statement to delegates, urging them to continue making their voices, and the voices of the research community, heard to policy makers and government.

Sue Gale (Adviza)

The conference was made possible through the kind support of: