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News Desk: Event Reports

Thank you for your support! IEP Breakfast Showcase – Building Better Supply Chains

09 December 2015   (1 Comments)
Posted by: Heather Ette
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IEP Breakfast Showcase was sponsored by:


IEP was delighted to welcome a full house at the IEP Breakfast Showcase sponsored by SERCO Welfare services at the ERSA Conference on 8th December. It was a great event with a fantastic turnout, especially considering the early start.

The level of interest received from organisations looking to support IEP was overwhelming. Whether it was getting involved with the new corporate affiliate scheme, submitting articles for Employability Professional or suggesting ideas for the Knowledge Bank, the IEP stall was constantly busy and it was fantastic to meet so many old and new faces and discuss ways we can work together to really ensure IEP are meeting the needs of the sector.

The showcase was chaired by Richard Brooks FIEP - RBLI and ERSA Supply Chain Chair with speakers including Liz Sewell - IEP Director, Aaron Henrickson - Business Director, SERCO Welfare Services, Ruth Regan - Merlin Lead Assessor and Contract Manager and Scott Parkin, IEP Chair.

Aaron Henrickson of SERCO explained that the employability sector is moving into a new world of health and employability and that the industry would need to focus on maximising opportunities for people with barriers to employment.  IEP’s role in this new world would be to help “tool up the workforce” for such a different environment, understand what this means for practitioners and increase the capability and capacity of staff by providing them with support such as access to the right information, advice and training.

Aaron heralded the talent, wealth and depth of knowledge held by staff in the sector and said that formalising that knowledge into a credential is extremely important. Credentials help with the professionalization of the sector which is a crucial and key role of the IEP. He felt that prime providers needed to think carefully about how they upskill and improve the CPD of their staff and that IEP is best placed to deliver this with their partners.

Ruth Regan explained that the Merlin Standard was designed to support organisations develop, recognise and promote sustainable excellence and positive partnership working within supply chains. The standard is built upon four fundamental integrated principles:

1)    Supply Chain Design

2)    Commitment

3)    Conduct

4)    Review

The principles have been designed to explore key areas of the relationship between an organisation and its Supply Chain Partners. The principles also provide feedback on the role of the procurement process, and how supply chain behaviour is affected by the behaviour of the procurer. The principles are established to validate positive behaviour of an organisation and its partners in supporting healthy and high performing supply chains.

Scott Parkin and Liz Sewell reinforced the message of IEP’s new direction of Focus on the Frontline.  Liz pointed out that the sector is in a very different place than it was a year ago. Practitioners will be working with many more people with the most complex needs, organisations will need to deliver results with less money.  It’s a new challenge for the sector as a whole and a new challenge for IEP to develop and deliver more than ever before.  Liz explained that Focus on the Frontline will mean that IEP will be opening up far more than we have before, we will be providing more of what practitioners need in order to do their jobs better and to equip them with the tools and knowledge they will need to move into the health and work environment.

IEP will add value to supply chains through the following means:

  • Improving adviser knowledge and skills
  • Recognised mechanism for evidencing CPD
  • Contributions from a virtual editorial board from a broad range of backgrounds and experience to ensure we deliver the right material at the right time in the form of fortnightly e-bulletin Employability Professional
  • Knowledge Bank – first port of call for people who want information on the sector
  • Induction Programmes – basic information for new starters in the sector to get to grips with key information
  • Monthly CPD opportunities
  • Webinars on a range of issues including mental health, employer engagement, putting ability first and behavioural insights
  • IEP Training Conference with ERSA – Leading from the front: Health, Disability and Employment Support – 17th March

Liz finished by explaining that organisations can help share the message that IEP means business and asked if they would:

1)    help build the IEP knowledge bank by submitting information on specialist areas

2)    ask interviewees and new starters in their organisations if they are members of IEP

3)    ask people in their supply chain if they are Affiliates of IEP


Lastly but not least, a special thank you to ERSA for their support of this event and many congratulations on such a successful ERSA Conference.



Scott Parkin says...
Posted 11 December 2015
What an excellent conference and a great opportunity for IEP to discuss its exciting plans for the future on top of what the current offer is. I got to meet many many like minded people at the conference and for my first as Chair enjoyed it immensely. Thanks to all at the IEP for being so supportive and for all at ERSA for arranging such a great event.