Telephone 01332 343000

Get ready for the Levy

Thursday 31st March 2016 at East Midlands Conference Centre, Nottingham

Get ready for the Levy

This event was for ALL Public Sector Departments and Local Authorities to come and hear more about The Levy and Public Sector Targets and begin to engage / plan for how your organisation can get the most value for money and return on investment from both new Government Policies.

The levy is being introduced to fund a step change in apprenticeship numbers and quality – delivering on the commitment that there will be 3 million apprenticeship starts by 2020. The levy will put apprenticeship funding on a sustainable footing and improve the technical and professional skills of the workforce.

The event discussed the following plus much more:

  • Which Departments will Public Sector Apprenticeship targets effect
  • When do the Targets come into effect? What are the Interim Targets likely to be
  • How can we get involved in the consultation
  • Scope of employees/ contractors/ sub-contractors who contribute to the Targets. What about our apprentices who are part of ATA's & GTA's
  • How will we be measured/ reporting lines?
  • What is the apprenticeships levy and when will it come into effect?
  • Why has the rate been set at 0.5% of an employer's pay bill? What counts as an employers pay bill? Will levy paying employers have to put in their own money as well as the levy to pay for training?
  • What happens to the money once it is paid under the levy? What choice will employers have about what they spend their money on?
  • What are the arrangements for employers who are not in scope of the Levy?
  • Can employers spend their funding on training in their supply chain?
  • How will a "good" employer get out more than they put in?
  • What do you mean by top ups and how will they work?
  • What if an apprenticeship doesn't exist in a sector? What happens in this situation?
  • How do I employ an apprentice?
  • What is the Institute for Apprenticeships?
  • How can I get in touch to express my views on this?

Presentation Downloads

Conference Welcome
Anthony Knowles, Head of Employer and Delivery Services,
North East National Apprenticeship Service

2020 Vision, Employer Levy, Public sector targets
Gemma Peck, Director of Apprenticeships Funding
Department for Business, Innovation and Skills

The Digital apprenticeship service
Val Chiesa, Head of Sector Engagement
Skills Funding Agency

Find an apprenticeship - UCAS undergraduate partnership
Caroline Mason, Consumer Services Partnership Manager
Skills Funding Agency

Public sector employer & apprentice best practice presentation
Richard Dibben, Apprentice Manager & Edward Bleech, Technical Engineer and Apprentice Ambassador
FCO Services

Post Event Questions

Apprenticeship Funding QA external 21-04-16 FINAL

If you have any queries please contact us via the event hotline on 01332 224501


Thursday 31st March 2016

All speakers and timings are subject to change.

10:00Registration/ Networking
10:30Conference Welcome- Anthony Knowles- Head of Employer and Delivery Services, North East, National Apprenticeship Service
10:452020 Vision, Employer Levy, Public Sector targets including Q & A- Gemma Peck- Director of Apprenticeships Funding, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
11:45Refreshment Break and Networking
11:55The Digital Apprenticeship service including Q & A- Val Chiesa- Head of Sector Engagement, Skills Funding Agency
12:20Find an apprenticeship - UCAS undergraduate partnership including Q & A- Caroline Mason- Consumer Services Partnership Manager, Skills Funding Agency
13:30Public sector employer & apprentice best practice presentation- Richard Dibben- Apprentice Manager, FCO Services and Edward Bleech- Technical Engineer and Apprentice Ambassador, FCO Services
13:45Next Steps- Anthony Knowles- Head of Employer and Delivery Services, North East, National Apprenticeship Service
14:00Break Out Sessions with Refreshments

Speakers and Facilitators


Val Chiesa

Keynote Speaker
Val joined the LSC in 2002 after working in education overseas and in the UK FE sector. Val has worked at local, regional and national levels in a range of policy, development and assurance roles, including: the development of the Offender Learning and Skills Service (OLASS); WorldSkills 2011, during which she was seconded to AoC; and then as part of the national programme team in NAS. For the last two years, as Head of Sector Engagement, Val has overseen the print and online offer for the Funding and Programmes directorate and has developed a number of policy groups involving providers and employers which support and advise the SFA.

Anthony Knowles

Keynote Speaker
Anthony Knowles, Head of Employer and Delivery Services, (North East), Skills Funding Agency / National Apprenticeship Service

Having worked in and around Apprenticeships for twenty years Anthony is passionate about the positive economic and social transformation that they deliver. His role is about leading a team focussed on Apprenticeship growth and working in partnership with LEPs in the North East and North Yorkshire on skills as part of the Northern Senior Management Team. Success in the role is defined by continually engaging more employers and young people to grow the number and range of high quality Apprenticeships on offer and maximising the impact of Government skills investment at a local level.

Caroline Mason

Keynote Speaker
Caroline Mason Partnership Manager, National Apprenticeship Service/Skills Funding Agency

Caroline joined the Learning And Skills Council in 2007, and worked in the West Midlands focussing on apprenticeships before joining the National Apprenticeship Service when it formed in 2009. She worked in the West Midlands focussing on learner engagement and leading on the development of the National Apprenticeship Services ‘Apprenticeship vacancies’ system. Since 2012 she has taken on a national role promoting apprenticeships with key partners and stakeholders in order to assist and achieve the governments targets for the apprenticeship programme.

Richard Dibben

Keynote Speaker
Richard Dibben – FCO Services Apprenticeship Manager.

I left school at 16 to join the Foreign & Commonwealth Office as a Trainee Telecommunications Technical Officer, the forerunner of our present day apprentice scheme. Having completed my apprenticeship in 1989 I took up a permanent role in the organisation. Since then I have worked in a number of different areas of the business from sections maintaining HF radio systems to the installation of data cabling infrastructure. In 2013 I took up my current role managing FCO Services’ Technical apprenticeship scheme. During this period FCO Services’ apprenticeship scheme has been highly commended in the 2014 National Apprenticeship awards and individual apprentices have won a number of engineering competitions. For the future we are building on our successful Engineering, IT and Project Management apprenticeships to offer schemes in other areas of the business.

Edward Bleech

Keynote Speaker
Edward Bleech – FCO Services Technical Engineer

I joined FCO services in 2012 on the Technical Apprenticeship programme, successfully completing the programme and taking up a full time position in September 2015. The programme gave me experience in all technical areas of the organisation, travelling to 14 countries to undertake work during my apprenticeship. I was supported throughout my apprenticeship developing skills further in the areas that interested me. I went above and beyond what was expected of me during the apprenticeship delivering several new ideas, innovations and improvements bringing in savings far exceeding the cost of my apprenticeship.

Now in a full time position, I continue to enjoy being an Apprentice Ambassador talking with individuals and employers on the merits and rewards of a successful Apprenticeship programme.

Gemma Peck

Keynote Speaker
Gemma is a Deputy Director in the Government’s Apprenticeship Unit, where she has responsibility for apprenticeship funding reform. She took up post in February 2016, having spent the previous two and a half years heading up the Enterprise Strategy Division in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS). There she had responsibility for advising ministers on supporting a strong and vibrant SME sector in the UK.

Prior to this, Gemma led for BIS on corporate governance and company law issues, including implementing legislative reforms to the governance of directors’ remuneration in listed companies. Gemma also spent several years working on higher education policy. During this time she coordinated the Government’s high profile reforms of the way higher education is funded, conducted a major review of postgraduate education in the UK, and spent time managing the Government’s relationship with the Student Loans Company.

Outside of work, Gemma is a keen rower, cyclist and marathon runner, and is very slowly renovating the home she shares with her husband in West London.


East Midlands Conference Centre

University Park, Beeston Ln, Nottingham, NG7 2RJ •  Website

Additional Information

Click here to download further information.

PDFGet ready for the Levy Agenda