There we have it! The first conference of the year done and dusted and a fantastic way to begin our event line-up for 2017. ‘The Apprenticeship & Graduate Conversation’ marked our first specialist conference of the year and I must say I’ve never seen a room so interested and engaged with what’s being discussed. Back as Conference Chair we had our very own Natasha Preocanin who kept the day running like clockwork and, let’s face it, is far easier on the eye than Lennox so it’s always a pleasure to see her up on stage. So good was Natasha that we even had some of our newer faces questioning who Mark Lennox was as he raised his hands for questions after each presentation. This tickled me greatly.
This conference was our first ever event at The Cumberland Hotel in Marble Arch, London, and I have to say, what a treat! The venue is absolutely stunning with the conference room alone enough to instigate a cheeky insta-posting and the lunch spread was the best we’ve ever had. I’m not talking sandwiches, I’m talking a full roast dinner, curry, pizza, salad and every kind of cake imaginable. It was a real treat and certainly provided everyone with the brain food required to take in the vast amount of information we had flying around the conference room in the afternoon.
This event was a chance for 100 in-house recruiters to gather together to share knowledge and learn more about graduate and apprenticeship recruitment. We learnt about all sorts from innovative graduate assessment competitions to the apprenticeship levy and everything in-between.
Our special guest speakers shared their expertise on the following topics:
- Innovation in Internship Recruitment – Becky McVittie, Group Graduate Recruitment Manager at npower
- Graduate Recruitment Market Trends for 2017 and Beyond – Chris Rea, HE Services Manager at Prospects
- How To Operationalise Your Apprenticeship Programme – Emma O’Dell, Head of Financial Services Apprenticeships and Strategic Programmes at BPP & David Palmer, UK Research Manager at Trendence
- Launching a Diverse Early Careers Programme – Matt Jordan, Head of Talent Acquisition (UK) at Ogilvy
- Preparing for the Apprenticeship Levy – Richard Charnock, Head of the Institute of Recruitment Professionals & Qualifications
- Growing numbers in a shrinking market – Claire Ashton, Head of Attraction – Graduate Recruitment at Teach First & Richard Badley, Head of Planning at SMRS
- Attracting student talent: Taking our message to the masses – Craig Barnett, Director of Client Development & Relationships & Kate Homer, Client Partner at Hodes
Each presentation was incredibly visual and there really wasn’t a dull moment! I’ve never seen a conference audience so fixated in all honesty. Each one was completely unique and packed full of statistics, case studies and fresh ideas to help businesses appeal to the modern graduate. Our speakers did a fantastic job with each and every one of them instigating thought-provoking and highly valuable round-table discussions on their topics.