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Work Inspiration

The programme for Work Inspiration is available for download

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Young people, apprentices and employers gathered together for the second anniversary of Work Inspiration, the campaign that transforms the quality of work experience, delivered by Business in the Community. This was both a celebration of the impact that inspiring introductions to the world of work have on the future workforce, and a call to action for more employers to deliver more high quality placements. The day was in two parts, the Big Conversation was held in the morning and then a series of ‘How to’ seminars ran in the afternoon.


Young people, apprentices, CEOs and other senior business representatives, business practitioners, and senior professionals working in the skills sector of education.  

Work Inspiration - The Big Conversation 08.00 – 12.30

The Work Inspiration campaign aims to better prepare young people for employment and bridge the transition between the classroom and the world of work by turning work experience into Work Inspiration.

The purpose of the Big Conversation was to encourage employers, apprentices and young people to discuss work experience and employability skills – the business case, the drivers for young people, the opportunities and barriers – and how to make introductions to the workplace meaningful, relevant and inspiring. For the first time, apprentices joined CEOs and young people in a Big Conversation to share their stories of progression in the workplace and the opportunities that vocational routes offer.

Work Inspiration - ‘How to’ Seminars 13.30 – 15.30

A selection of seminars by employers for employers. These seminars addressed key topics and issues related to developing current and future skills and the delivery of valuable and engaging work placements for both the employer and young person.


  • 08:00 – 09:00       Registration & refreshments
  • 09.00 – 10.30              The Big Conversation – Part One 
  • 10.30 – 11.00              Tea and coffee break
  • 11.00 – 12.30              The Big Conversation – Part Two
  • 12.30 - 13.30               Lunch


Big Conversation Speakers

  • Lucy Adams, Director BBC People, BBC
  • Sir Michael Rake, Chairman, BT

Work Inspiration - ‘How to’ Seminars 13.30 – 15.30

A selection of seminars by employers for employers. These seminars addressed key topics and issues related to developing current and future skills and the delivery of valuable and engaging work placements for both the employer and young person. 

Seminar sessions round one 13.30 – 14.20

Session 1A 13.30 – 14.20

Richard Earp, Education & Skills Manager, National Grid.

Enthusing & Engaging tomorrow’s workforce

Engaging & enthusing your future workforce is key to ensuring that you have the right skills in place to address your future needs. Addressing this with your community and education work is a way of increasing awareness and knowledge more broadly to ensure that you have the right people coming into your business in the future.

Session 1B 13.30 – 14.20

Ann Brown, UK HR Director, Capgemini UK plc

Engaging your workforce through Work Inspiration placements & apprenticeships

Companies find that their existing staff engagement and skills development benefits greatly from their involvement in Work Inspiration placements, apprenticeships and other initiatives where there is opportunity for passing on, and developing skills and awareness. How can you ensure that your existing staff are utilised in a motivating and engaging way?

Session 1C 13.30 – 14.20

Amanda Bray, HR Director, Whitbread Hotel and Restaurants

Creating a learning culture

To fully enable existing and new employees to develop and grow, an organisation should be set up to recognise, inspire and enable learning, at all levels. In strategic partnership with operations, the Whitbread HR team has transformed resourcing, learning, development and progression, unlocking talent, energy and ambition in future facing individuals. Hear how they did it.

Session 1D - 13.30 - 14.20

Bradley Lightbody, Director of Training, Collegenet

Diamond Lesson Plan: applied learning

How to deliver engaging theory lessons that draw all into active participation and promote the development of employability skills. 

Refreshment break 14.20 – 14.35

Seminar sessions round two 14.35 – 15.25

Session 2A 14.35 - 15.25

Jo Taylor, Head of Learning & 4Talent, Channel 4

Inspiring home grown talent

Investing in the skills of your organisation’s current and future workforce by engaging with local schools and communities helps to address local issues and needs, as well as inspiring the talent that your organisation needs. How do companies inspire and manage home-grown talent? How is access to your industry being broadened? A masterclass explaining 4Talent’s kick start programme, what they have learnt and achieved and why it is important.

Session 2B 14.35 – 15.25

Squadron Leader Glyn Dean, S02 Concepts, Royal Air Force (RAF) College Cranwey

Busting the Gender Stereotype: the RAF Journey

The RAF developed a five year Gender Recruitment Strategy in late 2007 to address the low % of female graduate engineers and technicians. The programme focuses ont he need for intial engagement with gilrs around the age of 13 followed by regular sustainable contact to deepen their interest in a (STEM) career within the Royal Air Force (RAF). The RAF won the opportunity.

Session 2C 14.35 – 15.25

Claire Ford, Employee Support Manager, Marks & Spencer

Breaking barriers to employment for young people

A focus on the most effective interventions that businesses can make to improve the employability prospects of disadvantaged young people. M&S will share experiences from their Marks & Start employability programme, through which they work with charity partners to provide disadvantaged people with training, work experience and support to improve their chances of finding employment. The session will include practical guidance to help companies to develop appropriate programmes and partnerships, and a Q&A session to share best practice. 

Session 2D 14.35 - 15.25

Chidi Okolo, Head of Education, WorldSkills London 2011

Learning outside the classroom : using applied learning methods to raise attainment

This seminar will provide leaders and practitioners in education with an understanding of how applied learning can lead to significant improvements in the mastery of knowledge and skills and subsequently lead to improvements in academic performance.  It will focus on the development of the WorldSkills London 2011 Education Experience and will present the practical application of applied learning in the development of an education programme for students from age 7-19. The seminar will detail the approach to resource development, the applied learning curriculum and identify assessment strategies used in context.