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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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IEP Breakfast Event - Trailblazer So Far and the Challenges Ahead

Posted By Scott Parkin FIEP, IEP Chairman, 08 December 2017

The IEP Breakfast Event at the ERSA Conference 2017

Our Trailblazer So Far and how you can get involved!

by Scott Parkin FIEP, Chairman IEP

We were delighted to welcome so many of you to the IEP Breakfast Event last Thursday to hear all about the Employability Trailblazer so far and the challenges ahead in setting the standards for the Lead Employability Practitioner and Employability Practitioner Trailblazer

Serco’s Stewart Holdsworth MIEP and Monique Debono of Reed in Partnership did a fantastic job of bringing everyone up to speed with our progress so far, the opportunities and prospects the Trailblazer will bring for frontline employees and the wider skills and employability sector as a whole.

We were pleased to be able to contribute to the Autumn edition of the Skills, Employment and Health Journal to highlight the huge momentum that exists in our profession in developing the Trailblazer standards and would urge you to read our article so that you can learn more about what this means for us all and consider ways you can get involved.

If you would like to contribute, get involved or learn more about the Trailblazer please contact me at

You can read our article on page 2 of the Skills, Employment and Health Journal here

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Our Trailblazer so far and the challenges ahead

Posted By Heather Ette, 16 November 2017

IEP Breakfast Session at the ERSA Annual Conference

‘Our Trailblazer so far and the challenges ahead"

The IEP will be hosting a breakfast event before the opening of the ERSA Conference on 7th December in London to update the profession about our journey so far, the challenges ahead and the decisions we will all need to take over the coming months in the development of the standards for the Lead Employability Practitioner and Employability Practitioner Trailblazer.

Chaired by the IEP’s Scott Parkin FIEP and with contributions from speakers including Stewart Holdsworth MIEP from Serco and Monique Debono of Reed in Partnership, the breakfast event will discuss the many possibilities and opportunities the Trailblazer brings to the sector, including the engagement and involvement of other sectors where there are close links with Employability practice and what this will mean for equipping the ‘Future Adviser’ with, or confirming that they have, the knowledge, skills and behaviours to operate successfully in our profession.

This Trailblazer initiative gained real momentum upon the introduction of The Apprenticeship Levy and has provided an opportunity for us, as a sector, to consider and reflect on the challenges faced by our frontline employees, the competencies that underpin our work and our desire to develop a solution that supports career development and progression. This includes providing a tangible Routeway for new entrants to the profession with an offer of learning and development linked to progression that is compelling. The IEP is proud to have played a key role in driving forward this initiative by facilitating the ever-increasing Employer Group which now incorporates over 25 of the premier employability organisations in the UK. 

We look forward to welcoming you to our Breakfast Event to keep you informed of the progress made so far and to gain your support and engagement for this initiative moving forward.

There will be refreshments available so why not come along and find out what it’s all about and how you can get involved? 

To register for the IEP Breakfast Event click here

Please note that the IEP Breakfast Event is free to attend but you will need to register separately for the ERSA Annual Conference and are pleased to offer ERSA’s special discounted rate. You can apply for the discounted rate at the link above.

For more information about the ERSA Annual Conference click here



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Congratulations from the IEP

Posted By Heather Ette, 10 November 2017

Samantha Everard AIEP wins Lifetime Achievement Award

The IEP are thrilled to congratulate IEP Member Samantha Everard AIEP on her huge accomplishment in winning the Lifetime Achievement Award (sponsored by Luxurycare) at The Dorset Venus Awards 2017.

Dubbed by Channel 4 as The Working Women’s Oscars, The Dorset Venus Awards seek to discover and recognise the brightest female business stars in the county. With more and more women starting their own businesses and making a vital contribution to the local, regional and national economy, the Awards play an important role in recognising how they juggle and manage their commitments as working women, often combining it with parenthood.

Sam founded The Samee Charity in 2015 with two areas of focus – one was Workshops in Self-Employment (WISE Project) providing self-employment awareness through workshops for children of school age, and the second being The Samee Project, which stands for Supporting and Mentoring Enabling Entrepreneurship, which provides business start-up support for relieving the financial hardship of people disadvantaged by their socio-economic background, and guiding them into self-employment and/or employment. 

IEP Chairman Scott Parkin FIEP said “we are incredibly lucky in our profession to have such talented, committed and dedicated people who continually go the extra mile. Sam is so deserving of her Lifetime Achievement Award. In setting up the Samee Project, Sam is helping and offering opportunities to the most vulnerable people in society, from those with mental health issues, physical disabilities, in rehabilitation, to clients that are single parents, people living in poverty and those from a challenging background. She is truly inspirational and we are delighted that she has been recognised for the vital contribution she is making.”

You can find out more about The Samee Project here

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Tell us what you think!

Posted By Heather Ette, 28 October 2017

IEP Individual Membership
Tell us what you think!

The IEP is the professional membership institute for the employability sector. When you become a Member you join a network of people committed to best practice and gain opportunities to learn and share ideas with fellow employability professionals. As well as helping you with your current job it will help you build your career.

When you join the IEP, you benefit from a wide range of services specifically designed to keep you informed, enhance your skills and knowledge and involve you in helping to develop the future of the employability sector.  There are many challenges in store for the profession which means there has never been a better time to become a Member.  We have added more and more benefits to our Individual Membership Programme over the last year, as a result, it is becoming increasingly more valued by employers and recruiters.  We want to make sure that these benefits properly reflect frontline employees’ needs and so we have created a survey so you can tell us what you think, it is as simple as that and will take no more than a few minutes to complete. Remember it is your Institute!

Please help us to develop our Individual Membership Programme – take the survey here


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EP 75th Edition

Posted By Heather Ette, 28 October 2017

EP Reaches 75th edition milestone

The IEP’s newsletter EP (Employability Professional) is celebrating its 75th edition.  As the profession’s only publication dedicated to frontline employability professionals, EP is reaching approximately 5000 employability professionals across the employment related services sector each and every week.

Ayden Sims, Director of Business Development at Remploy said "Employability Professional is a fantastic tool for sharing and reading about important news and developments within the sector.  Rather than a 'general update' newsletter, it regularly contains information that is directly relevant and useful to front line advisors, such as up-coming events, advice on how to engage with specific customer groups and networking opportunities.  A highly informative read and certainly contributes to the professionalisation and enhancement of sector."

Regular EP reader, Kayleigh Pegg, Work Choice Manager, North & West London, for Seetec said “I have been receiving EP for a couple of years now and enjoy reading the articles and gaining best practice and ideas from the experts! I always keep my eye out when it comes through and share highlights or suggestions with my team on our morning meetings.

"I was able to attend a ERSA/IEP Working Towards Better Mental Health Conference in June in Birmingham through a bursary, and it was exceptionally helpful and informative. I came back buzzing and got my team motivated with updates and sharing the best practice and connections made on the day. I actually opened EP issue 73 a couple days after it arrived and a couple of my team came to me and said ‘did you read about the WHP contract winners in the EP?’ – it is a great way of keeping in the wider loop of employability.”

EP Editor, IEP’s Heather Ette said “Producing EP each week has been particularly informative for me and enabled me to understand and showcase the great work being carried out by sector providers.  It’s also the perfect platform to inform and advise IEP members of the various projects we are taking forward on their behalf and to seek advice and feedback through surveys that are helping us shape the future of the profession with initiatives such as the Employability Apprenticeship Trailblazer.  I hope our readers enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy putting it together.”



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Corporate Affiliate Partners

Posted By Heather Ette, 20 October 2017

IEP Corporate Affiliate Partners, wear your badge with pride!

Following an intensive programme of activity, in line with the IEP’s Vision, we are delighted to announce that we now have the support and backing of an incredible 33 organisations who have joined and maintained the IEP as Corporate Affiliate Partners, which is more than at any time in our history. You can see our Corporate Affiliate list here

Organisations large and small have joined the IEP for many different reasons. Some are interested in the affiliation with a recognised and trusted brand, a lot are interested in the workforce development opportunities and the ability to record CPD, others are purely interested in the marketing and growth opportunities we provide by getting people together, others have CSR at the heart of why they get involved, some see benefit in being aligned to specific projects and others want to be at the forefront of the development of the profession and standards as a whole for the benefit of all.

Whatever the reason for joining, all of the organisations share a common aim to support our vital work, to develop great services for customers through those professionals that support them.

The benefits of being a Corporate Affiliate Partner are now very clear with our offering to this ever-growing group of ‘likeminded’ people being central to their workforce development plans, their internal communication strategies and providing an opportunity to market their services to a wider audience.

Corporate Affiliate Partners receive a range of benefits including:

  • Invitations to 6 Corporate Affiliate Partner meetings per year
  • 4 (editorial type) news stories in Employability Professional plus a Corporate Affiliate Partner launch article
  • Access to project based delivery like our public / private / third sector pilot in the North West, the Trailblazer, or IEP based activity for Estonia and / or Saudi Arabia
  • The use of the IEP Corporate Affiliate Partner branding badge on promotional material and media channels and the opportunity to promote and highlight  services through the IEP website
  • Discounts for conferences and other events But the most important thing that the IEP offers is the ability to be involved in the conversation, being at the heart of industry and those sector developments and being in the room with potential customers on a regular basis, becoming a trusted member of a unique ‘club’ focussed on those people that actually deliver services.

Our current Corporate Affiliate Partners are:

·       APM UK

·       Bootstrap Enterprises

·       Carley Consult

·       Cognisoft

·       EMSI

·       Futureworks

·       G4S

·       ICONI

·       Ingeus

·       Intraining

·       Jobskilla

·       Kennedy Scott

·       Learning into Employment Academy (LiEA)

·       London Borough of Tower Hamlets ‘Work Path’

·       Maximus People Services

·       Papworth Trust

·       Parkhouse Bell

·       Pluss

·       Rathbone

·       Red Cape Partners

·       Rehab Jobfit

·       Remploy

·       Royal British Legion Industries (RBLI)

·       S. Knights Recruitment

·       Seetec

·       Serco

·       Shaw Trust

·       The Salvation Army Employment Plus

·       Tomorrows People

·       Volition at Manchester Cathedral

·       WISE Ability

·       Working Chance

·       Working Links

Our Strategic Partners include:

·       Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP)

·       Employment Related Services Association (ERSA)

·       Give Us a Chance Consortium (GUAC)

·       Learning and Work Institute (L&WI)

·       Vocational Rehabilitation Association (VRA)

·       Careers England

·       Council for Work and Health

We expect that all Corporate Affiliate Partners will want to use our new badge on websites, promotional material, learning materials and other media messaging. The IEP is more than happy for this to happen and only asks that through this it is referenced as a partner. Have fun with this and by all means ‘paint the town blue!’

For a full list of the benefits Corporate Affiliate Partners receive from the IEP please see here or please contact us at for more information.



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Fellows Dinner Review

Posted By Heather Ette, 20 October 2017

Food For Thought at the Fellows Dinner

The IEP held its fourth Fellows' Dinner recently, returning to London after previous Dinners in Manchester and Birmingham. The host, Patrick Hughes FIEP said “A diverse group of IEP Fellows met in central London for an enjoyable and thought-provoking evening of debate about our sector and where it is headed. The discussion was open, constructive and very positive. And we already have feedback on how useful the evening was.

These Fellows' events are an ideal way to develop your thinking and grow your contacts list. We are rolling out a programme of these Fellows' dinners so do come to the next one in Manchester on 17 November if you can. If you can't look out for others early in 2018. Furthermore, if you are thinking about being a Fellow why not come to one of these dinners and meet a few of them. You would be very welcome.”

Liz Sewell FIEP said “A lovely Fellows Dinner was held at the Benjamin Arms at St Pancras. With Chatham House Rules and the opportunity to discuss both the facts and the gossip Fellow’s dinners are providing a pleasant way, outside formal conferences and seminars, to discuss what is really happening in the sector. The evenings discussion took place over free-flowing wine and a delicious meal and focused on the role of smaller organisations in the dynamic. It included a fascinating contribution from Kevin Browne FIEP on his organisation’s work in Saudi Arabia. Richard Brooks FIEP and myself were able to give perspective about being smaller subcontractors on major projects and Teresa Scott FIEP, recipient of the ERSA lifetime achievement award, gave real insight on how contracts can be delivered in innovative ways by smaller Primes."

Kevin Browne FIEP said “I attended my first Fellows Dinner at the St John Betjeman in the St Pancras International Station last week. Having spent a lot of time working in the Middle East and Europe over the last 5 years, and having not met a number of the Fellows attending, I wasn't sure how the evening might pan out. 

What I can say, is I needn't have worried as the evening was full of open, honest, stimulating and thought provoking conversation. The passion for the sector was clear to see, regardless of the challenges being faced, and everyone was prepared to share their thoughts and ideas (regardless of the competitive nature of the industry). What was great to see and hear was the desire to come together to find holistic solutions that could benefit all providers whether they be large or small. And our able chair was very good at bringing us all back to earth with the key question "How?" to ensure we kept our focus on deliverable solutions.

Equally the group was honest about some of the areas where they and the industry need to do better, recognising that professionalism and talent retention and development were key agendas. This is something the IEP is very focused on, but needs all of its members and providers to rise to the challenge of moving the service offer to the next level to continue to demonstrate its true added value to government, business and clients.

I can honestly say I learned a lot, and left with lots of ideas about how I could improve the services I was delivering and where I could add value to the sector in my role as a Fellow. I think the dinners are a great way of harnessing good ideas and challenging the status quo in a non-threatening, relaxed but focused way. I look forward to meeting others from the sector at future dinners.  The food was pretty good too.”

The next Fellows Dinner, kindly supported by The Growth Company will be held on 16th November at The Restaurant Bar and Grill in Manchester. To book your ticket and find out more click here



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IEP AGM 2017 Speaker's Presentations

Posted By Heather Ette, 09 October 2017

The presentations from our guest speakers at the IEP AGM on 5th October 2017 can be viewed here

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Posted By Heather Ette, 09 October 2017

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IEP AGM 2017

Posted By Heather Ette, 09 October 2017

IEP AGM – What Attendees Thought

"This was my first AGM as a new member and now Fellow of the Institute. It was an excellent meeting and the range of speakers were highly relevant, interesting and certainly held my attention throughout. It was also great to network with colleagues old and new and share thoughts on the many challenges and opportunities around currently. As AGM's go this was one of the best I have attended with the formal AGM stuff woven around the different speaking slots. In short I think this is a must attend event for all members and recommend it as a sound investment of your time."

Andy Milton FIEP, MD, Pro Tempore Ltd


"Best IEP AGM. I know because I have been to them all and organised two! Well done."

Liz Sewell FIEP, MD, Belina Consulting Ltd


"I thought the AGM was great this year with some very informative speakers.  I found the information provided by Mike Hawking from the Joseph Roundtree Foundation very insightful, providing a good context around the potential challenges facing our sector and our front-line staff.  It was useful to capture the IEPs progress over the previous 12 months and I found the way it was presented clear and concise.  It was evident  from the progress report that the IEP continues to be ambitious and positive in its priorities.  The highlight for me, as I’m sure it was for many, was hearing from Tony Collin’s about his experiences and the work he is now doing with Remploy as an advocate.  A truly inspiring story."

Zoe Bradwick MIEP, Performance Manager, Working Links


"This year's AGM was a celebration of some fantastic progress over a year in which we saw more people join as members and more organisations become Corporate Affiliates.  We had some fascinating guest speakers at the AGM including Mike Hawking from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation whose presentation on the current labour market and the spectre of poverty that still blights too many lives reminded us just how important the work is that people in our profession do."

Pat Russell MIEP, Director of Integrated Health, APM UK


"I found the IEP Annual General  Meeting really informative, it was great to get an update on current labour market conditions and especially the introduction of the Step handbook, which we are keen to learn more about to see if it is something we can adapt into our organisation."

Christine Robinson, MD, Opportunity Access

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