Just 10 days after the official return to learning, the AELP Spring Conference 2021 on Thursday, 18 March has all the up-to-date information and guidance which a provider practitioner needs.  The only thing we can’t guarantee ITP delegates is a home testing kit for covid!

There is so much to do to ensure a safe return to learning and enable apprentices and other learners to catch up on what they have missed over the past few months.  Tens of thousands of learners have now passed the planned end dates for their programmes and further education and skills providers are keen to support them, even if there is no additional government funding to assist this monumental effort.

In addition to the end of the lockdown, a shaft of light has appeared in the form of teacher assessments for functional skills testing, but one glance at the conference agenda will identify some of the challenges ahead.  This year may also be fundamentally different from any before in that far more teaching and assessment will take place online as a now permanent feature of the learning landscape. 

As usual, AELP’s spring event primarily takes the form of workshops and we have another excellent line-up this year which can offer an assessment of the new Plan for Jobs measures in the Budget and the sector reforms are still going on with the publication of the FE white paper.  Above all, our presenters know that delegates will be eager for information which will help them maximise learning opportunities available after the latest lockdown.

Four major themes are covered by our workshops: Regulation, Technology, Teaching & Learning and Quality.  Some of the eye-catching workshop topics include:

  • Using emerging technologies to deliver immersive learning experiences
  • Increasing transparency in apprenticeship funding: An update
  • Adult Education Budget and the New Adult L3 offer
  • How to facilitate complex dialogues with learners
  • Collaborating to Engage with BAME Communities
  • Supporting learner skill development with maths and English through engaging virtual delivery.

I will begin the conference, sponsored by Learning Curve Group and NCFE, with a headline policy update before we launch into a policy roundtable discussion with a great set of sector leaders who will offer their insight on how the next few months will unfold:

  • Rob Colbourne, Performance Through People
  • Dominic Gill, Intequal
  • Brenda McLeish, Learning Curve Group
  • Philip Le Feuvre, NCFE

AELP Spring Conference 2021 takes place online and we will be using the breaks to run service promotions and during lunch, there is a further roundtable discussion with apprentices from BAME communities.

The practical and theoretical elements of work based learning mean that providers are eager to resume face-to-face learning as soon as possible and I can’t wait to go and see some of the excellent work they do.  But I would like to think that the AELP Spring Conference will help set delegates up to hit the ground running.  We look forward to meeting you online!