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News Desk: IEP News

The benefits of bursaries

23 July 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Heather Ette
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The Benefits of Bursaries

IEP Members, Dawn Croft AIEP, Dahlia Parkinson MIEP, Caroline deCarpentier MIEP, Sarah Okungu MIEP and Sharen Mathers MIEP were in London earlier this month for the Employment & Skills Convention 2019.  They were each awarded bursaries from the IEP and organisers Learning and Work Institute. 

Speaking of the convention and the benefits of receiving the bursary Caroline said “I was overjoyed to be awarded the Bursary to attend the Employment & Skills Convention on 10th July as without it I wouldn't have been able to attend due to the cost.  I found the event very informative covering the challenges and plans for the future. The different breakout sessions available gave an opportunity to choose which topic was most relevant to my role and get feedback from other delegates in the same field.

I hope that the Bursary contest continues and covers Employability Events in London so I can continue my professional development”

Dawn said “I was really excited and somewhat nervous when I was awarded the bursary to attend the convention. I had never attended anything like this before and didn’t know what to expect but I applied as the topics that were going to be discussed were extremely relevant to my job role at Autism Plus.

“It was a really insightful day and I made a wide range of new connections within the industry, even finding a fellow winner of the bursary that was also from Sheffield where my team is based. The talks and breakout sessions were relevant and I am now able to share the information I have learnt within my team. It was an amazing experience getting to mix with a wide range of like-minded professionals from across different sectors and sharing some of my own knowledge which has also made me feel more confident in my own job role. The information I have gained will certainly have a positive impact on our customers and I hope I will be able to attend more conventions in the future.”

Dahlia saidI was genuinely grateful for the opportunity that the IEP gave me to attend the E&S convention.  The bursary was especially helpful for me, since the charity that I represent has limited funds for training and CPD.   This convention was interesting for gaining insight into the thinking of people with influence, who are considering the challenges that employability professionals face within an economy that is close to experiencing full employment and one whose ability to be competitive, relies on having an ever more fluid and flexible workforce.    So it was interesting to hear some ideas for solutions to the big “catch 22” questions that people who are trying to progress their lives in this climate come up against.  As a practitioner – I often wonder if people at decision making level are even aware of their challenges.  Therefore it was refreshing to hear new thinking on issues like, the inadequate access to training at Level 3 and above; breaking barriers to progression routes; helping people move into work from homelessness and how to enable people to more easily change career in an inflexible employment landscape. It was also helpful for me to discover new sources of local labour market information and other useful resources that will help my clients in their decision making.  I especially appreciated hearing across the day, solid endorsement of the intensive support approach that I favour in empowering clients to overcome their barriers to work.The convention also provided an enjoyable opportunity to network with people who are passionate about enabling people to overcome the barriers that prevent them from fulfilling their career potential.   Another benefit of attending the convention for those like myself, who work at a more operational level is that it enables us to see how the work we do not only changes the lives of the individuals that we support but also how our work plays a part in impacting the economy as a whole.  So, thanks once again for enabling me to participate." 


The theme of this year’s Convention was ‘Beyond Brexit: A future that works for all’ and it provided a thought provoking day which addressed many big questions. In the morning delegates heard from Angela Rayner MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Education on Labour's plans for a National Education Service, and expert panels on how we can achieve full employment, and where next for employment and skills devolution.

The afternoon included an address from Baroness Buscombe, Under Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, and 10 workshops giving delegates a chance to engage with fellow experts, or learn about a new area of the skills and employment policy.

The day ended with Top of the Policies, with delegates picking NEF's proposal for a 
4 Day Week. You can watch six experts describe their take on the sector's challenges and what can be done to turn them around in this YouTube playlist.