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Speakers and Content


Conference Chairman

Chris Wright

Chief Executive, Catch22 - A forward looking Social business

Chris Wright, Conference Chairman

Welcome and Opening Remarks on:
Catch22’s experience and approach in helping vulnerable young people, including those at risk of falling into the NEET category, to turn their lives around. 

Jeff Cull (Keynote Address)
NEET Team Leader, Participation Division, Department for Education (DfE)     

Jeff Cull

'NEETs -The National Perspective' covering:

  • What does the latest participation data tell us?
  • What do we know about those not participating?
  • The impact of being NEET
  • The Government’s response

Diana Choulerton
RPA Lead, School Improvement Service, London Borough of Ealing

Graeme Ferguson
Senior School Improvement Officer, Learning and Inclusion Department, Children and Young People Directorate, Derby City Council

Graeme Ferguson    

'Key Learning From the DfE RPA Locally-Led Delivery Project Areas' including:

  • Implications for LAs, Schools, Colleges, training providers and other stakeholders.
  • Making a difference – case studies from the LLDPs

Dr Vincent Pattison FRSA
Head of Policy and Research, Ingeus Centre for Policy and Research
Ingeus - the largest Prime Provider of the Work Programme - the UK Coalition Government’s flagship employment programme.

'Hiding the Wiring: Getting long-term unemployed young people into sustainable employment'

For most young people a period of unemployment is an unwelcomed reality as they find their way in the labour market, post-education. However, for the vast majority of young people, unemployment is a temporary blip in their labour market transitions. Arguably much more serious, are those young people for whom unemployment becomes structural as they move from short-term to long-term unemployment. Currently, over a quarter of a million young people have been out of work for over a year, which is almost four times more than in 2001. It is these young people upon whom policy must be most sharply focussed and integrated. At the centre of this support is the Work Programme, which uses the expertise of Prime Providers and their partner networks to deliver personalised services aimed at moving unemployed people into sustainable employment. The presentation will focus on the issue of long-term youth unemployment through the prism of the Work Programme and will touch upon the key characteristics of long-term unemployed young people; their main barriers to sustainable employment; the role of cross-government policies in tackling the issue - and where we go next.

Marcus Hook
Head of Apprenticeships and Employability, Catch22

'Catch22 Office Apprenticeships Service – Bournemouth – The Journey!'

A newly created innovative service which will work with over 20 NEET young people each year from  Bournemouth and surrounding areas. The service will support and offer young people often finding themselves NEET, an apprenticeship and specialist support in a professional business environment which will ensure a journey of success for each individual. The journey for each young person is developed based on aspirations and the development of skills and confidence to give them the vital support they need to get on in life. The support, coupled with an apprenticeship and the opportunity to be creative and productive, offers not only an effective service to the business community and beyond, but a chance for businesses to invest in the future success of young people.

The case study will cover:

  • What the service is
  • How it works
  • The recruitment of young people to the service
  • The package of support delivered
  • The wider family support
  • 3 live journeys from young people from being NEET to the service and beyond – real experiences/opinions and suggestions from young people
  • Innovation
  • Outcomes
  • Sustainable models
  • Best practice

Lisa Gagliani
Chief Executive, Bright Ideas Trust     

Derek Hunt

Managing Director, Cullen’s Clearances Ltd

'NEET to Managing Director in one easy step'

Bright Ideas Trust Chief Executive Lisa Gagliani will introduce Derek Hunt, who at 16 left school without a job. After years of part time work, disappointments and multiple ‘layings off’, Derek decided to give it a go and be his own boss instead and hasn’t looked back. Is this the answer for those who simply don’t fit in – or don’t want to?

Kevin Munday
Programme Development Manager of ThinkForward
The Private Equity Foundation (PEF)

'ThinkForward - A NEET Solution'

This session will introduce an innovative new programme piloting in London. The ambition is to halve the number of NEET young people in the Shoreditch area. Every secondary school in the area has the opportunity to host a senior and experience coach to work with 14 and 15-year olds most at risk of being NEET. This is mentoring with a work-twist, heavily supported by the business community. Whilst at an early stage, the programme is already showing promising results. The audience will have the opportunity to meet the managers of the programme as well as a young person who has benefited.

Haydn Insley
Fab Lab Manager
The Manufacturing Institute 







'An Open Door to NEET Young People - Fab Lab Case Study'

Fab Labs were born 10 years ago at The Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In essence they are workspaces equipped with a range of high-tech fabrication equipment, from laser cutters to 3D printers, which can be used for free by the public to make almost anything. Haydn Insley, manager of Fab Lab Manchester, will talk about how this non-traditional environment and open door policy has made learning, inventing and entrepreneurship accessible to all. An imaginative doorway for NEET young people which empowers them to innovate, invent and create their own products.   One of the aims of this session is to gain the feedback from the audience on the best way of using this superb resource to engage more directly with the NEET cohort.   

Stephen King (Lunchtime Address)
Marketing and Sales Manager, Ascentis

'Options for NEET’s and JCP Contracts'

Stephen King, a Marketing and Sales Manager at Ascentis, will provide a brief overview of the options Ascentis has to offer when working with NEETS and Job Centre Plus contracts. Ascentis will be exhibiting throughout the day and will welcome any questions. We look forward to seeing you there.

Joanne McHugh (Lunchtime Address)
Head of Funding, Big Lottery Fund

'Introduction to Big Lottery fund’s investment Talent Match. Fulfilling lives: Supporting Young People into work'

Joanne will be introducing the aims and outcomes of the Talent Match programme. Providing details of how the programme came about and what we hope to achieve from it. This will include the importance we have placed on the young person's involvement in both the design of the programme and the projects delivered by each partnership, the importance of working in a cross-sector partnership and our investment into the evaluation and learning.

Further information will be published here shortly