IEP Members, Stephanie Palmer-Odeh MIEP, an Employment Consultant with Seetec in Ipswich and Sam Everard AIEP, CEO of the Samee Project in Bournemouth, were in Birmingham last week for Work In Progress 2017. They were both awarded bursaries from the IEP and organisers Carley Consult. Stephanie and Sam are pictured above with Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson and IEP Chairman Scott Parkin FIEP.
Speaking of the conference Stephanie said "I made the application for the bursary soon after returning to work from maternity leave as at that time there were a lot of changes that I needed to get my head around. I always check on the IEP website and their update emails to find out about the changes and developments in the industry as a whole to inform me of what may be going on within the sector and if there are any helpful hints I could use with my clients. The whole reason I applied was because I wanted to know more and improve within my role, in exchange for 250 words about what difference it would make to my role seemed like a fair exchange as I write more than 250 words in an hour some days and also ‘whats the worse that could happen?’. Sometimes we need to take the advice we give to our clients about being optimistic and putting your best foot forward.
The conference really has contributed toward my professional development. I feel I have a head start on the Work and Health Programme and the Apprenticeship Levy. I have made links with some organisations across the UK doing some really great things in employability and engagement, and at the very least it has shown my organisation that I do care about my role and doing the best I can. I felt inspired by the Headline speaker Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson's keys to overcoming adversity and achieving all that she has both in her Paralympic and Political endeavours. Thinking about some of the situations our clients with complex needs go through to push on and achieve, I plan on using her as an example in the meetings moving forward.
It really was a great event! Wonderful setting, good food, the Talking Tables became a space that you could share ideas and think about ways of working differently to improve outcomes and routes to success for ourselves and clients. It was reassuring that organisations that are transitioning from Work Programme to Work and Health programme are looking at the strengths of advisors and improving their skills to equip them for the challenges ahead. Massive thanks to Carley Consult for putting on the event and offering the bursary, it did achieve the objective of getting staff in the industry that wouldn't usually have the opportunity to attend such events the chance and I am so grateful for the opportunity. This time it was me, next time it could be you!"
Sam was similarly impressed with the event and the benefits of attending. She said "I went up to the event with an open mind about what i would learn and take from it and I was not disappointed. To be sat in a room with so many professionals was an amazing opportunity for me and one that I would love to repeat. As well as learning from the speakers and the hosts of the Talking Tables, I found the networking with industry specialists was one of the highlights of the day.
The event has definitely helped the Samee Project on its journey as I am already implementing ideas and tips that I gained on the day ... things like Scott's Talking Table on the 'Advisor of the Future', and Spiral Skills' Joel Balkwill's talk around NEETS and engaging with youth.
I am really pleased that I took the time to apply for the bursary as the knowledge and contacts I have made will help us deliver a better service to our clients and I also have people that I can discuss ideas with in the future".