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From the Top
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'From the Top' is the place to find news, information and expertise from the key influencers at IEP. Entries are from members of the Board, Executive Team or Fellows.


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From the Top

Posted By Heather Ette, 22 February 2019
Updated: 22 February 2019

Seeking End Point Assessors for the Employability Practitioner Apprenticeship Standard

Founded in 1991, the JGA Group (JGA) is an Ofsted graded “Good” independent learning provider specialising in the management and delivery of apprenticeships and Adult Learning programmes, including Advanced Learning Loans and Traineeships, primarily in London and the South East, but with some national provision. 

As an existing End Point Assessment Organisation, a key member of both the Career Development Institute and Institute of Employability Professionals, and with a strong history of providing careers and employability programmes, we are well placed to become the preferred End Point Assessment Organisation (EPAO) for the brand new Level 4 Employability Practitioner Apprenticeship Standard launched last week.  

We are looking for like-minded people to join us in the exciting journey to providing comprehensive end point assessments and associated materials as well as advice and guidance to support training providers and learners throughout the life of their apprenticeship programme.  Our End Point Assessors will hold, or be working towards, an accredited Assessor Qualification and will have experience of working in the Careers/Employability sector in some capacity. We will provide accredited EPA training and, as we believe this Standard will be very popular nationally, are looking for suitable candidates from across the Country.

Interested parties should send a CV to Lisa MacCormac, Director of Quality, at 

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From the Top

Posted By Heather Ette, 19 February 2019
Updated: 22 February 2019

Employability Practitioner Apprenticeship Standard (Level 4) Approved - Ready for Delivery

The IEP are delighted to announce that following the approval of the Standard earlier this month, the Assessment Plan for the Employability Practitioner Apprenticeship Standard has now been approved for delivery by the Institute for Apprenticeships (IfA).   

IEP Chief Executive, Scott Parkin FIEP said “Through this Standard we are developing the opportunity for Employability Practitioners, from a range of settings such as Employability programmes, careers advice and guidance services, housing, probation, health, social care to apprenticeships and skills to progress their careers in their chosen field.  It will also provide many more benefits for the customers we all serve, improving outcomes for all.

Employers are recognising the importance of a well-supported, well trained and continuously engaged workforce in their ability to deliver great services, grow their business, realise diversification and achieve other strategic goals.  Likewise, Commissioners are recognising the value of workforce development plans and we expect them to recognise this Standard as best practice. 

Using the Levy Fund for frontline Practitioners delivers value for money and should be encouraged in all areas and in all organisations.  With the IfA’s recommendation that the Standard receives a funding band of £6,000 this makes it genuinely deliverable and we, at the IEP, are dedicated to continue our work, through the ETEG, with Employers, employees, strategic partners and the wider Employability profession as a whole to deliver the benefits of this Apprenticeship.  

The Institute of Employability Professionals (IEP) establishes and monitors the competencies required to work within a fast paced and constantly evolving sector. Learners starting the Employability Practitioner Standard will be encouraged to join the IEP at Associate Level, those completing the Standards will be entitled to gain full Membership (MIEP). Those that complete with ‘distinction’ will be supported to apply for Fellowship (FIEP) once they have demonstrated the required impact and influence within the sector.

Claire Illingworth MIEP ACIPD, People Development Consultant at Seetec said “For me, there are three main areas that nicely summarise what the Standard will do for our sector and why it is so important. These are delivering social value, raising the level of professionalism of our frontline Practitioners and the bringing together of the employers within our industry where we are working together towards a common cause.

The new Employability Practitioner Standard will enable Practitioners to deliver social value through the effective provision of Employability services. This can include but not be limited to more local people in work, thriving local businesses and responsible businesses that do their bit for the local community.


The new Standard not only equips individuals working within the sector with the knowledge, skills and behaviours that they need now but also for the future. With the changing landscape where public sector funding is tight and services are working together more closely to co-deliver holistic programmes that address a whole wide range of needs, not just Employability, such as health, wellbeing, welfare, housing, debt management and much more.


From the very beginning of the journey back in early 2017, when we first started to write our proposal to develop the Standard, one of the great achievements is that organisations from across the industry, large and small, private, public, charity and not for profit, have worked together to develop something that meets the needs of everyone.


Emma Barrett-Peel MIEP, Apprenticeships Specialist said “I think this new Apprenticeship Standard not only recognises, but evidences the profession and the work that is carried out by colleagues in the sector who manage diverse caseloads of customers with varying complex needs. This Standard provides the evidence that individuals have the experience and levels of attainment to undertake work in the sector at a higher level.  This will also provide the industry with a clear set of benchmarks and professionalise the great work our people do to change the lives of others.”


Gemma Bramley, Business Improvement Manager at Education Development Trust said “The new apprenticeship standard will support professionalisation of the sector and will also provide a pathway for new recruits. The level of the standard demonstrates the value and importance of employability practitioners in their aim of supporting social mobility and the UK economy.”


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From the Top

Posted By Administration, 15 February 2019

2019 ERSA Employability Awards – Nominate now for your Team of the Year

Nominations are now open for the annual ERSA Employability Awards and IEP are delighted to once again be sponsoring the Team of the Year Award alongside Jobskilla for the second year running.

The ERSA Employability Awards welcomes applications from all organisations supporting jobseekers into employment or to progress in work, including the criminal justice system, health service, housing associations, employers, local authorities, Jobcentre Plus, training providers, Information, Advice and Guidance, colleges or universities.

The Team of the Year Award seeks to recognise a team which has gone above and beyond what is required of them to ensure their organisation delivers the best possible services for jobseekers and/or those wanting to progress in work.

Teams which may be suitable for nomination are likely to:

  • Have a proven track record of delivery over a significant period of time.
  •  Through consistent delivery, created and maintained strong working relationships with employers.
  • Have influenced or inspired the approach of other teams within their organisation and/or other organisations within the sector.
  • Attract testimonials from current and previous customers (whether jobseekers or employers) who can vouch for the specific impact that the team’s efforts have made to their personal lives or operations.

The award winners will have an outstanding track record of supporting jobseekers/former jobseekers and a steadfast commitment to employment support.

NB: Feedback from previous Awards Judges about what makes a good award entry, plus traps to avoid is that judges were looking for an emphasis on a team working together to achieve delivery.  Focus was often simply on results and not how the team worked together to achieve them.

2018 Winners, Torus – Employment Team were recognised for their skill and dedication in delivering voluntary schemes which helped 500 tenants into work in 2016-2017, built a strong reputation with communities, delivery partners and employers and developed a social media presence reaching 15,000 people. The team also created bespoke training programmes for 60 tenants in transport industries. This was all achieved due to the dedication of the team, the willingness to work together and a focus of always putting the individual at the heart of everything they do.

You do not have to be a member of ERSA and there is no charge to apply. The online submission form closes at 5pm on Friday 15 March 2019.  Who are you going to nominate?

Click here for more information




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From the Top

Posted By Heather Ette, 15 February 2019

New Year, New Plans, New Possibilities

A review of the IEP Networking Event in Bolton


The IEP were delighted to join our hosts Babington for our first Networking event of 2019 which took place in Bolton in January.

With presentations from Jobskilla, Innovative Alliance and Babington, the event looked at some of the changes that will impact us all this year, from the rollout of Universal Credit to the implications of Brexit and discussed how these might effect our industry and the plans people and businesses were putting into place to address them.

Presentations were followed by a networking session, kindly sponsored by Babington, where attendees had the opportunity to discuss the afternoon’s events and issues raised with peers and colleagues.

Babington’s Employer Engagement Adviser, Garry Murray MIEP said “It was an excellent event where I gained a lot of knowledge as well as new connections”

Mike Leyland, Community and Engagement Manager at Rathbone Training said “It was a really useful event, great to get to know more about IEP and what they do as well as an excellent opportunity to network with people in the sector in an informal way. I will definitely be attending other events in the future and would recommend it to others.”

You can watch the video presentations from the event here:

Sam Siswick, CSO from Jobskilla, talks about how their Busines has developed since being formed in 2016. He discusses what the offer is to clients, employers and the provider network and how Jobskilla can help secure training and learning opportunities for those that need it most. Lastly he describes some exciting business development opportunities for the future and new services that are coming.




Nicola Wood, Operations Manager at Babington talks about the services on offer, the sectors they support and the company's growth over the past few years.




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From the Top

Posted By Heather Ette, 04 February 2019
Updated: 01 February 2019

IEP are hiring!

The IEP are delighted to announce an exciting new position within the IEP Executive and Support Team.  

The Member Services Co-Ordinator will be part of a small team of staff supporting the Board in delivering the Institute’s Vision and Strategic Plan. 

This is a pivotal role for the IEP’s development; engaging with and supporting all of our Members, Board Directors and Corporate Affiliate Partners. 

The successful candidate will be responsible for delivering high levels of customer service to IEP Members including the day to day management of the Members’ database, supporting the CEO in the effective running of the IEP Board and other related activities.

The IEP are entering an exciting period of growth and change and this role presents a fantastic opportunity for a dedicated, competent, self-starter looking for the flexibility of a part-time, busy role with the benefit of working from home. 

For full details or to apply for this job opportunity please visit the IEP Jobs Board here 

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From the Top

Posted By Heather Ette, 23 January 2019

Supporting health and wellbeing for customers and colleagues

A review of the IEP Networking Event in Birmingham


The IEP were delighted to join our hosts Shaw Trust for an afternoon of learning and networking at the recent IEP Networking Event in Birmingham. 

Sponsored by Steps to Work, IEP’s latest Networking Event addressed the issues around supporting health and wellbeing for customers and colleagues in the Employability sector and discussed ways that support organisations to continue delivering life changing Employability services.

Attendee Sak Awan, Director of Employability and Skills at S Knights Recruitment said of the event “As a Corporate Affiliate of the IEP I have always been an ambassador of furthering, professionalising and recognising the Employability & Skills Agenda.

The IEP events have always been insightful, they’ve provided a much-needed platform to network, share best practice and learn and most importantly a platform filled with likeminded, passionate individuals who represent some of the leading Employability & Skills Providers in the UK.

As a recruiter, recruiting exclusively into the Employability & Skills sector, it’s great catching up with contacts, understanding changes in the sector and being involved in some really interesting projects.

A big thank you to Shaw Trust and IEP for hosting such a great event and I look forward to the next one!”

Jenny La Rocque, National Employer Manager at Shaw Trust said “ I thought it was a great event and the venue was perfect due to its location in Birmingham City Centre. I also enjoyed the talks given by the presenters particularly around Mental Health, with the associated stats and routeways or tools available if an employer needs support.”

Watch the videos from the event:


Catronia Toms, Head of Practice, Community Mental Health, Wellbeing at Work, Shaw Trust - looks at the use of Mindfulness in the workplace and link this to the model of the 5 ways to wellbeing they use at Shaw Trust to develop participants on their journey into employment, as well as Reflective Practice used with Support Managers at Shaw Trust. These are practically embedded ways in which Shaw Trust is developing a mindful workplace





Rizwana Hussain, DWP Area Manager / Mental Health First Aid Trainer and Deborah Nickless, Employer Relationship Manager - Steps to Work explain how Steps to Work went from needing a training provider for mental health to becoming MHFA accredited and training multiple organisations, going on to secure a place on the WMCA Thrive - Wellbeing at Work Pilot




Jon Smith, Head of Operations - Shaw Trust looks at the early successes and challenges of the Work and Health Programme from the perspective of service integration and localism. Shaw Trust, the largest Work and Health Programme prime contractor, share their early experiences of delivery, how localism is working on the ground and the impact of integrating with other support services. 

They also look forward to the opportunities for further integration of services and how their ethos of working with partners can better support disabled people and the long term unemployed.


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From the Top

Posted By Administration, 09 January 2019

IEP Board Announcements

The IEP is pleased to confirm the appointment of Pat Russell MIEP and Stewart Holdsworth MIEP (Seetec) as Chair and Vice Chair of the Boad of Directors respectively. Pat brings a wealth of experience from a varied career in both the public and private sectors with the Work and Health Unit (DWP) and more recently APM before moving on to private consultancy whilst retaining her long- standing position with the Scout Movement as Chair of Trustees.

Stewart has seen an amazing but well-deserved rise since joining the Board just over a year ago and this is down to his genuine ‘can do’ attitude and his ability to build long-standing relationships through his honesty and integrity. Before Seetec Stewart spent a number of years with Serco and before that with a regional development agency.

The rest of the IEP Board welcome both Pat and Stewart to their new appointments at a time of great excitement for the sector as a whole and Members in particular when they will help steer qualification / standards and accreditation development and the launch of the new Employability Practitioner (Level 4) Standard, plus delivering on a number of international development opportunities.

The sector is really starting to thrive and the IEP will continue to support in its journey to one that is valued, appreciated and supported and where professionalism and excellence are seen as normal everyday practice.

Scott Parkin FIEP, previous IEP Executive Chairman and now Chief Executive Officer said “After 3 years as Chairman it is time for me to take on a new challenge and I look forward to working with both Pat and Stewart to deliver on our obvious opportunity potential for the IEP as its new Chief Executive. I have already witnessed their ability to deliver projects and to forge new and substantiate existing relationships and it always makes the job easier when you have such competent individuals at the helm, it helps even more if they are great people who you want to work with. The next couple of years will be defining for the IEP and the sector and I look forward to working with Pat, Stewart and the rest of the IEP Board to achieve our ambitions.”


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From the Top

Posted By Administration, 02 January 2019

Employability Practitioner Apprenticeship Standard Approved

The IEP are extremely pleased to announce that following our second submission of our EPA (End Point Assessment) Plan, the Employability Practitioner Apprenticeship Standard has now been approved with minor conditions by the Institute for Apprenticeships (IfA). This means that there are some very minor amendments that need to be made and then it will be approved for delivery.

The IfA have recommended a funding band of £6,000 which makes the Apprenticehsip genuinely deliverable. This is a real testament to the hard work that the Employability Trailblazer Employer Development Group have all put in over the past 18 months and an acknowledgement of the funding that this very important standard deserves.

The Employer Development Group will continue to meet to discuss and plan the communication and promotion of the standard to the wider sector. Please look out for further updates in EP as they become available but in the meantime if you would like further information on the Standard please contact 

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From the Top

Posted By Heather Ette, 12 December 2018

Thought Provoking Discussion at the Fellows Dinner


The  IEP held its latest Fellows' Dinner recently, returning to London after November’s inaugural dinner in Wales. 


IEP Fellows and guests were joined by sponsors Clarion Futures and host Patrick Hughes FIEP for an evening of stimulating discussion and high quality networking.  Patrick facilitated the discussion in an open debate style around the topic of “work, skills and health’ with guests giving their views on customer’s personal capabilities and barriers to finding work, challenges to progressing in-work and the growing implications of mental health, personal well-being and workforce development presenting the issues and opportunities a new and more challenging landscape for our profession. 


Richard Goodwin FIEP, Managing Director at JGA Group commented “I enjoyed it immensely, there were interesting people and I learned a lot and made new contacts”.


David Imber FIEP, Managing Director at VRC stated “Another superb evening with friends and as well as new acquaintances. And as always, a great conversation about the profession – inspiring and intriguing. Also, lovely food as ever!”


Erica Watts, Programme Manager – Operations at Clarion Futures said “It was great to have the opportunity to meet and discuss key issues with colleagues across the sector. I have come away with some really positive links to pursue…. and the food was delicious!”

There will be more Fellows Dinners and other learning and networking opportunities in 2019 so please keep going to for updates.


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From the Top

Posted By Administration, 05 December 2018

IEP Bursaries a Winner in Wales

The IEP were delighted to attend the Employability and Skills Convention organised by the Learning and Work Institute in Wales. 

IEP Executive Chairman Scott Parkin FIEP was joined by David Imber FIEP of VRC to deliver an interactive workshop on the future of the employability profession, examining how to support employability professionals and the proven skills needed to help employers and individuals, as well as asking what worthwhile staff development programmes look like and how the sector can support and inspire new entrants into the profession.

Two IEP Members were awarded bursaries from the IEP to attend the event as a way of developing their CPD and progressing the IEP’s aims of developing the skills and knowledge of our Members and helping them gain an insight into what is happening and what is new in the sector.

Speaking of the convention Petra Kennedy AIEP, Employment and Training Manager at MTIB said “Attending the Employability and Skills Convention in Cardiff was a great opportunity to hear from a wide range of speakers from the sector, as well as meeting and hearing from Welsh Government representatives. I heard of the conference via the Institute for Employability Professionals and was lucky enough to be able to attend via a bursary, one of the great benefits the IEP Membership can offer. I found the day very informative and thought provoking whilst also providing a lot of networking opportunities with old and new contacts. A number of organisations had stalls offering information about their services and it was great to see a range of these represented. The workshops I attended were delivered by excellent facilitators including Julian John from Delsion who discussed the Disability Employment Gap and what can be done to reduce this. I thoroughly enjoyed the day and have a number of leads to follow up on as a result. As a new Member of the IEP I hope to utilise the Membership further and look forward to finding out more about events, training and support they offer.”

Emma Lyle AIEP (RCDP), Careers Practitioner said “The convention was a fantastic opportunity to meet other professionals in the local area, I found it very interesting to hear about future skills needs for Wales and also the Welsh Agenda. It was an incredibly insightful event and a valuable chance to network with the professionals currently working in the region. I’ve benefited from the researched information on past, present and future labour market challenges and how to respond to the rapidly changing work environment in Wales, using tools and resources which will help jobseekers and students to ‘think forwards’ in careers. 

The learning from the event will almost certainly allow me to enable, empower and motivate my clients to future-proof careers going forward as a career’s practitioner. I recommend IEP Networking events and conventions for anybody working within or studying Careers and Employability.”

You can see Scott and David’s presentation on the IEP Youtube Channel here


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