The Programme

09:00Conference Registration and Refreshments
10:00OPENING PLENARY: Educating the North: Driving Ambition in the Powerhouse
Delivering growth in the North

Welcome to Leeds

  • Councillor Judith Blake CBE, Leader of Leeds City Council

Educating the North: Driving Ambition across the Powerhouse

  • Henri Murison, Director, Northern Powerhouse Partnership

Followed by discussion and response from:

  • Collette Roche, Chief of Staff, Manchester Airports Group
  • Ed Cox, Director, IPPR North
  • Councillor Judith Blake CBE, Leader of Leeds City Council
10:30PLENARY I: EDUCATION FOR THE NORTH
Chaired by: Baroness Morris of Yardley

Every child a success: Improving life chances through education

To open the panel debate:
Sir Michael Wilshaw, Former Chief Inspector of School and Head of Ofsted

Other panelists and perspectives include:

  • Fiona Spellman, CEO, Shine
  • Raksha Pattni, Director, Ambition School Leadership
  • Cllr Susan Hinchcliffe, Leader, Bradford City Council
11:30Refreshment Break

Exhibition Viewing

11:45PLENARY II: SKILLS FOR THE NORTH
Chaired by: Lorna Fitzsimons, CEO and Co-Founder, The Pipeline

Investing in the skills and workforce the North needs

To open the debate, two perspectives on skills for the North:
Sir Gerry Berragan, CEO, Institute for Apprenticeships
David Hughes, CEO, Association of Colleges

Other panelists and perspectives include:

  • Mark Dawe, CEO, Association of Employment and Learning Providers
  • Claudia Harris, CEO, Careers and Enterprise Company
  • Seyi Obakin, Chief Executive, Centrepoint
  • Justin Kelly, Director of Corporate Communications and Business Development, Siemens
12:45Lunch

Exhibition Viewing and Lunchtime Fringe Session


  • Youth Zone
    Come to the Youth Zone and meet young people and agencies from across the North. A short presentation at 13:00 followed by networking

    with Youth Focus North West, Groundwork South Yorkshire, Centrepoint, National Youth Agency, Go Think Big and Design Council, supported by Citadel Policy & Communications
13:30Breakout Sessions

There will be a number of sessions and opportunities for delegates to choose from and to find out more about the key issues facing the North:
13:30Option 1: Getting the North to work: devolving solutions to long-term employment
Sponsored by Working Links

Devolution offers the North a great opportunity to provide local solutions to providing support and sustaining long-term employment. This session will discuss what local and combined authorities and skills and work programme providers are doing on the ground to remove the barriers to work and encourage routes into work which are inclusive and support the needs of the local economy. What powers need to be devolved from Government to build a skilled labour market for all? Is devolution the solution?

Speaking on the panel will be: Kirsty Hunn , Performance Manager, Working Links; Anna Round , Senior Research Fellow, IPPR North and Tony Wilson , Director of Policy and Research, Learning and Work Institute. Chaired by: Sam Windett , Head of Policy and Communications
13:30Option 2: Fulfilling careers for all people in the North: what needs to change?
with The People's Powerhouse

How should we respond to the careers’ advice needs across people’s lifetimes? This session will discuss issues that matter to local people - the gaps in careers support, the disability employment gap and gender inequality to name a few. A more inclusive North will rely on a more inclusive careers service for all if we are to maximise the skills, talents, employment and life chances of all our citizens.

Speaking on the panel will be: Dan Fell, CEO, Doncaster Chamber of Commerce; Dr Deirdre Hughes OBE, Director, DMH Associates; Dr Michele Lawty-Jones, Director, Lancashire Skills Hub and Elizabeth Taylor, CEO, Bootstrap Enterprises. Chaired by: Fran Parry, Managing Director, Bright Sparks
13:30Option 3: Growing talent: the case for business engagement in schools
with The Careers & Enterprise Company


This interactive session delivered by Claudia Harris, Chief Executive of The Careers & Enterprise Company, will provide a compelling case for businesses to engage with schools and colleges. What does the evidence tell us about the impact of employer interactions with young people? Why does this matter? How can employers address skills gaps by engaging in schools? This session will showcase best practice from across the north, hearing how British Steel generate a pipeline for their apprenticeship programme through school engagement and top tips from Frederick Gough School on what schools really want from employers. Find out how you can get involved in the Careers & Enterprise Company’s nationwide network of employers working with schools and colleges.

Speaking on the panel will be: Claudia Harris, Chief Executive, Careers & Enterprise Company; Sarah Yong, Head of Government Relations, Careers & Enterprise Company; Helen Lee, Early Years Recruitment Coordinator, British Steel; Jo Roche, Work Related Learning Coordinator, Frederick Gough School; Richelle Schuster, Associate Director, Grant Thornton
13:30Option 4: Learning for life: the role of unions in building a skilled workforce
with Union Learn

How can your organisation or sector work in partnership with unions to deliver a skilled workforce and quality apprenticeships in the North? How do we ensure that the future world of work is one that supports workers through life and creates opportunities to develop new skills? This Union Learn session will be an opportunity to discuss how working with unions can improve the quality and experience of apprenticeships and upskill the workforce.
14:30PLENARY III: ADULT SKILLS LIFELONG EDUCATION FOR THE NORTH
Chaired by: Rt Hon Caroline Flint MP, Co-Chair of the Northern Powerhouse All Party Parliamentary Group

Creating new routes into employment and skills

  • Frank Soodeen, Head of Public Affairs, Joseph Rowntree Foundation
  • Dave Eva, Contracts Manager, Union Learn
  • Sarah Weir, CEO, Design Council
  • Jo Miller, CEO, Doncaster Council
  • Dr Deidre Hughes OBE, Director, DMH Associates
15:30CLOSING PLENARY: UNLOCKING THE NORTH'S POTENTIAL TO DELIVER GROWTH
  • Lord Jim O’Neill of Gatley
16:00Close of Conference

This programme is subject to change.