04 Nov, 20209:00 am-3:45 pm
Online Conference

This Forum provides an opportunity for participants to discuss strategies for enhancing the quality of adult education

This Forum provides a timely opportunity for participants to discuss strategies for enhancing the quality of adult education, in light of the September 2020 government announcement of a ‘Lifetime Skills Guarantee’.

The latest initiative to enhance training opportunities in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent job losses will offer adults free college courses and flexible loans to facilitate re-training and boost the nation’s technical skills. This offer will be available from April 2021 in England, as part of the National Skills Fund.

This follows the announcement of the National Retraining Partnership, as part of the wider Industrial Strategy, and a £3 billion National Skills Fund to be rolled out from 2021, for which education and training providers must prepare to upskill and retrain adults in an effective way to fill skills gaps across the country, particularly in light of skills shortages which are likely to widen as a result of Brexit.

In addition, with the impact of COVID-19 leading to redundancies, reduced working hours, and a need for businesses and organisations to diversify what they offer and how they operate, in July 2020 the Government announced the ‘Plan for Jobs‘. Skills development has been boosted with £1.6 billion of funding, and a £2.1 billion kickstart scheme is due to be delivered. As such, this event will see policymakers and sector leaders share policy updates for facilitating these efforts, while best practice case studies will share methods for ensuring training and learning opportunities are accessible to those who would most benefit and are in line with the latest labour market needs.

Key Features of an Online IG Event

  • Match making networking and live delegate meet ups
  • Replay functions so you never miss a session
  • Live chat, questioning and polling tools
  • Real time resources and presentations
  • Next generation conference engagement platform
  • Topic based discussion groups


9:00 am
Login and Accessing Online Event Platform

Use this time to explore the agenda for the day and make new connections with peers.

A short explainer video will help you explore how to make the most of our new next generation Conference platform.

You’ll be able to create networking meet ups, access content on demand and use our new Q&A, chat functions and virtual polling tools.

9:30 am
Chair's Welcome Address
Lindsey Fraser
Lindsey Fraser
Deputy Director (Partnerships)
Leeds Lifelong Learning Centre
9:40 am
DfE Policy Update: Expanding Adult Education Through the National Retraining Scheme and the National Skills Fund
  • Looking at the wider ambition the Prime Minister has set out for life long learning
  • Outlining plans for the development and delivery of the National Skills Fund – including the recently announced bootcamps and the Level 3 guarantee
  • Looking at some of the reskilling and upskilling mature in light of the COVID crisis


This session will include time for questions.

Tom Hewitt
Tom Hewitt
Stakeholder Engagement Team Lead for the National Skills Fund Division
Department for Education (DfE)
10:20 am
Social Mobility Commission Update: Ensuring Adult Education is Accessible to All
  • Assessing the key outcomes from the Adult Skills Gap report and exploring the key barriers to adult learning for low-income adults with few qualifications
  • Highlighting how training for low paid workers is often overlooked for the training of highly paid workers and how this contributes to a lifetime of low paid work
  • Encouraging employers to upskill workers by providing opportunities to develop managerial skills, and how traditional training providers can support these efforts
  • Sharing recommendations to improve opportunities for upskilling low paid workers, including initiatives to make retraining more accessible and flexible for learners, especially following the impact of COVID-19
  • Exploring how the government’s September 2020 announcement of free college courses may help enhance access to lifelong learning


This session will include time for questions.

Alastair da Costa
Alastair da Costa
Chair, Capital City College Group
Member, Social Mobility Commission Board
10:45 am
Sponsored Case Study Session: Cognition and Lifelong Learning - Understanding Neurodiversity in Adult Education
  • Introduction to cognitive diversity: exploring neurodiversity, the impact on adult education and why understanding this will improve inclusivity in adult education
  • SEND in the Education Inspection Framework from an adult education perspective
  • Guide to the ESFA Adult Education Budget


This session will include time for questions.

Dr Louise Karwowski
Dr Louise Karwowski
Head of Science
11:10 am
Break, Virtual Networking and Live Delegate Meet Ups

Your opportunity to make the most of the virtual Conference, meet up with fellow delegates, make connections, tour our real-time resources and content and take part on discussions via the tailored channels.

Don’t forget if you’ve missed a session, you can use our replay functions, so you can watch all the content on demand at a time that suits you.

11:30 am
Interactive Panel Discussion: Working in Partnership to Develop High-Quality, Needs-Based Training

Delegates will have the opportunity to submit questions in advance of the forum to pose to the panel, as well as engaging with them on the day. Discussion topics will include:

  • The formation of the National Retraining Partnership and how this fits into wider Industrial Strategy plans
  • Strategies for boosting productivity and skills in sectors where a shortage has been identified including AI, creative industries and construction, with the help of £64 million in funding
  • How to ensure new opportunities meet the needs of all stakeholders, including employers, training providers, and low-skilled workers who typically miss out on continued learning
  • Analysing the impact of COVID-19 on the type and frequency of training that is needed, and the change in demographic that may be searching for new training opportunities
  • Exploring how the government’s September 2020 update on the National Skills Fund and retraining opportunities will have an impact from April 2021
Ed Richardson
Ed Richardson
Senior Policy Adviser
The Confederation of British Industry (CBI)
Iain Murray
Iain Murray
Senior Policy Advisor
The Trades Union Congress
Simon Tindall
Simon Tindall
Head of Skills and Innovation
Open University
12:15 pm
Learning How to Support Employers to Upskill the Local Workforce
  • Working with partners across the local authority to raise aspirations among young people and workers so sustainable careers can be built across local businesses
  • Sharing how the adult learning offering at the college feeds into the Bolton Vision Plan 2030 to support a sustainable local economy
  • Discussing how adult learners may secure a place on a free employability course, and how this offering to boost confidence and workplace skills is being adapted for a post COVID-19 climate
  • Outlining how courses are tailored to employer and trainee needs, including in a taught classroom environment, workplace assessment and distance learning
  • Responding to COVID-19 and plans for moving forward in and out of local lockdowns


This session will include time for questions.

Karen Westsmith
Karen Westsmith
Director of Adult and HE
Bolton College
12:40 pm
Break, Virtual Networking and Live Delegate Meet Ups

Your opportunity to make the most of the virtual Conference, meet up with fellow delegates, make connections, tour our real-time resources and content and take part on discussions via the tailored channels.

Don’t forget if you’ve missed a session, you can use our replay functions, so you can watch all the content on demand at a time that suits you.

1:40 pm
Learning and Work Institute Guidance Update: Supporting Adults Transitioning Through Life Stages to Access Adult Education
  • Sharing findings from the Learning at Life Transitions Report which explores the motivations and barriers to adults re-engaging with learning at key points in their lives, such as preparing for retirement and returning to work after caring for children
  • Discussing what practitioners should do to make learning more accessible and attractive to adults within these transition stages, for example by ensuring flexible and suitable childcare provision or clear communication about how learning can enhance retirement
  • Sharing recommendations to update and enhance the quality of your adult learning provision, including providing a curriculum that aligns with the goals and interest of adults across a range of life stages, especially in light of COVID-19
  • Considering the next steps to be taken to enhance adult education opportunities, including proposals for a national lifelong strategy and an entitlement to career reviews for adults at key points of transition, and how the government’s ‘Lifetime Skills Guarantee’ may align with this


This session will include time for questions.

Dr Fiona Aldridge
Dr Fiona Aldridge
Director for Policy and Research
Learning and Work Institute
2:05 pm
How to Utilise the EFT Professional Standards to Improve Adult Education Provision
  • Outlining the core components of the ETF Professional Standards, including values and attributes, knowledge and understanding, and skills, and the role these must play in delivering adult education
  • Discussing how to implement the Professional Standards Framework in different settings, including traditional further education college as well as independent training providers that work to deliver on the specialist needs of the employer
  • Discussing methods for constructively challenging staff, teachers and employers, to evaluate their practice and methods for motivating learners, particularly against the landscape of COVID-19


This session will include time for questions. 

Andrew Dowell
Andrew Dowell
Head of Professional Status
Education and Training Foundation
2:30 pm
Break, Virtual Networking and Live Delegate Meet Ups

Your opportunity to make the most of the virtual Conference, meet up with fellow delegates, make connections, tour our real-time resources and content and take part on discussions via the tailored channels.

Don’t forget if you’ve missed a session, you can use our replay functions, so you can watch all the content on demand at a time that suits you.

2:50 pm
The Role of Universities in Delivering Outstanding Adult Education Training
  • Sharing guidance on what universities should be doing to enhance their education programmes to create a generation of high-quality adult education lecturers who can deliver outstanding teaching
  • Outlining the impact Covid-19 has had on teaching and learning and discussing how exactly the university has worked to overcome these
  • Discussing what constitutes outstanding adult education teaching and how universities can embed this into their education programmes
  • Assessing how universities and further education providers can work closely together to ensure that course curriculums are tailored and students have the opportunity to experience adult education teaching prior to completing their degree
  • Analysing how Covid-19 has changed the support offered to students throughout their course of study to tackle the challenges of adult education training, including engagement of disadvantaged adults and meeting business needs


This session will include time for questions. 

Professor John Holford
Professor John Holford
Robert Peers Chair in Adult Education, University of Nottingham
Editor, International Journal of Lifelong Education
3:15 pm
Practical Insights Session: How to Deliver Award-Winning Adult Education Through Effective Curriculum Design
  • Learning how Redbridge Institute became the first local authority adult education service in London to achieve an outstanding Ofsted grade and become one of only four outstanding providers in the country
  • Outlining how to develop highly effective regional partnerships to inform a tailored and community-focused curriculum aligned to local and regional priorities and offering guidance on collaborating with local partners
  • Providing outstanding support to learners throughout the Covid-19 pandemic including a high proportion of learners from deprived backgrounds and working to develop crucial skills, widen employment opportunities and achieve consistently high grades
  • Analysing how Covid-19 changed the way the Redbridge Institute engages with its learners and how the institute sought to ensure its learners received a high level of education throughout the crisis
  • Offering guidance on raising the standards of teaching and learning and how this has improved the quality of adult education provision, resulting in the Institute having no areas of improvement according to Ofsted


This session will include time for questions.

Dawit Asress
Dawit Asress
Assistant Principal, Quality and Student Services
Redbridge Institute
3:40 pm
Chair's Summary and Close

*Programme subject to change


This Forum is designed for Further Education Providers and Local Authorities. Typical job titles will include:

  • Principals
  • Teaching and Learning Advisers
  • Heads of Improvement
  • Curriculum Leaders
  • Corporate Directors for Education
  • Human Resources Managers
  • Course Directors
  • Directors of Curriculum Development
  • Employment and Skills Officers
  • Heads of Employer Engagement
  • Strategic Planning Managers
  • Heads of Talent Management
  • Apprenticeship and Training Managers
  • Learning and Development Leads


For group discounts and enquiries about your registration please contact us on 020 3770 6580 or enquiries@insidegovernment.co.uk


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