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Recruitment Conference - day 1 afternoon


ISE Annual Student Recruitment Conference & ISE Awards 2019

8-9 July | Hilton Manchester Deansgate

For more information and to register for this event go to our registration site > 


Day 1: 8 July 2019

The conference will begin at 11am with a of keynote and other plenary sessions. Following lunch, we will then be focusing on the afternoon theme of Employability skills for the new generation of work.  


We are delighted to be partnering with Changeboard to co-create an afternoon of Future Talent Live keynotes, a panel discussion and work-streams addressing the theme of employability.

In addition to our main conference delegates, we will be welcoming c.100 career leaders and leaders in education from secondary schools and colleges across the North of England for this part of our conference, to share in the conversation with employers and universities about the skills needed by the next generation as they enter the workplace.  

We aim to showcase a range of insights and perspectives from thought leaders, and inspiring speakers from business, society, sports, broadcasting, vocational and higher education.
Changeboard’s Future Talent mission is to provide leaders in education with the inspiration and insights that they need to connect the world of education to the world of work, driving greater opportunity for our country’s young people.


Agenda in brief

  • 13:30 – 13:40    Stephen Isherwood, ISE Chief Executive to welcome Jim Carrick-Birtwell CEO & Founder, Changeboard who will then introduce the afternoon
  • 13:40 – 14:10     Tom Ravenscroft, CEO Enabling Enterprise – Employability skills
  • 14:10 – 14:40     Hashi Mohamed, Barrister – Social mobility
  • 14:40 – 15:30     Panel discussion: importance of employability skills, chaired by Kirstie Donnelly, MBE, Managing Director, City & Guilds Group
  • 15:30 – 16:00     Refreshments and exhibition
  • 16:00 – 17:00     Break out work-streams                                                 
  • 17:00 – 18:00     Paul Gurney – BecomingX founder & CEO introducing Mark Beaumont, World Record holding adventurer and TV broadcaster
  • 18:30 – 20:00      Drinks reception


Speaker profiles

Jim Carrick-Birtwell, CEO & Founder, Changeboard

Jim co-founded Changeboard in October 2004 and has been CEO since its inception.

He was also concurrently the CEO of Plotr CIC from 2012 to 2016, a Government backed careers inspiration platform for 11-24 year olds, and he is a passionate supporter of education to employment initiatives. He has previously owned and run recruitment businesses specialising in professional services, and started his career at the accountancy firm Arthur Andersen.

Jim read English Literature at Oxford University, and maintains a strong interest in the theatre and performing arts from his student days. He lives in London with his wife, Rachel, and two children.


Tom Ravenscroft - Founder & CEO, The Skills Builder Partnership

Tom began his career as a business and enterprise teacher in Hackney, East London, after graduating from the University of Oxford. He set up Enabling Enterprise to ensure all students had the opportunity to build essential skills, such as teamwork, leadership, presenting, and creativity. Now in its tenth year, Enabling Enterprise is working with more than 105,000 students across the country. This is made possible through the support of 130 top employers, from NHS hospitals to airports to businesses including PwC and UBS.

The Skills Builder Partnership provides a shared language and common outcomes around essential skills. Supported by educators (including the National Education Union) and employers (including the CBI), it has been adopted by some 350 schools and 130 employers. It is being used by more than 30 skills-building organisations.

Tom was the 2009 UK Entrepreneurship Teacher of the Year. He has also served as a non-executive director of Teach First and was recognised as a leading UK social entrepreneurs by being elected an Ashoka Fellow in 2017. Tom is a regular speaker at education and social entrepreneurship conferences. His first book, The Missing Piece, was published in October 2017.

Session overview: When asked by the Sutton Trust, 97% of teachers said life or employability skills were at least as important as academic grades for future success. Unsurprisingly, 94% of employers agreed. The challenge is how to pin down those skills into something tangible, teachable and consistent – and how to fit them into a packed curriculum.

This session will introduce the Skills Builder Framework, which does just that, taking eight essential skills and turning them into teachable, learnable chunks for 3- to 18-year olds. Tom will focus on how it can support a transformational approach to building essential skills for every child and young person.

The Framework has been used with more than 200,000 learners, independently reviewed twice and has been awarded the UK Social Enterprise Award for Impact. It is being used by Enabling Enterprise, Business in the Community, the National Literacy Trust and more than 25 others. It is included in the evaluation of outcome measures by the Careers and Enterprise Company.


Hashi Mohamed, Barrister, No5 Chambers, London

Hashi Mohamed is a Barrister at No5 Chambers and a broadcaster at the BBC. In 2010, he joined The Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn and completed his pupillage at 39 Essex Street Chambers in 2012. At No5 Chambers, Hashi practices in public law and commercial litigation; his main area of focus is planning & environmental law.

He presents documentaries on BBC Radio 4, most recently on access to the top professions, child refugees making perilous journeys in the Mediterranean and terrorism and how nations react. Hashi writes regularly in various newspaper publications, including The Times, The Guardian and Prospect Magazine.

Session overview: Social mobility: Re-imagining your future workforce

Hashi came to the UK as a young, unaccompanied child refugee, at the age of nine. His father had died and his mother – who had given birth to 12 children and was never formally educated – remained in Kenya. Twenty years later he became a barrister and a broadcaster. What happened in between?

Hashi will be discussing the topic of social mobility from a unique vantage point. He will undertake a wide-ranging analysis looking at how much of a difference the circumstances in which someone is born actually makes, to the kind of environment they have grown up in and to the kind of education that they receive. And, of course, what potential employers can do to play their role in impacting the lives of those in the most pressing need, regardless of their starting circumstances, to ensure that they are able to go as far as their talent and effort is able to take them. He will explore:

  • What is the role of human resources in this context?
  • How do they play a role in the lives of children early on?
  • How can you contribute to the life-long learning that’s necessary for today’s and the future’s diverse work environment?
  •  How can we re-imagine the world of work not just in terms of how to make it more representative, but also making it flexible, innovative and visionary enough to encompass the widest spectrum of society?


Kirstie Donnelly, MBE, Managing Director, City & Guilds Group

Kirstie Donnelly is Group Managing Director at City & Guilds Group, responsible for City & Guilds, ILM and DigitalMe brands operating globally. She joined City & Guilds Group in 2011 and has worked at the forefront of skills and education for 30 years. Throughout her career Kirstie has spearheaded the development of award winning products and services and is a passionate advocate of the role of digital in transforming how people live, learn and work. Her commitment to this area was recognised when she was awarded an MBE in the Queens Honours for e-learning services in 2011.


Paul Gurney, CEO & Founder BecomingX

Paul works with some of the world’s most inspiring and iconic people – Presidents, Nobel Peace Prize winners, Olympic champions, internationally acclaimed entertainers, CEOs, record breaking adventurers etc. – to understand what it really takes to reach the pinnacle of human performance. Why do some people and teams become world leading where others fail? Is it simply motivation? Heavyweight boxing legend Wladimir Klitschko doesn’t think so. Is it hard work and dedication? Hockey gold medallist Maddie Hinch says this is far too simple. Is it resilience or ’grit’? Sir Ranulph Fiennes thinks not. Self-confidence then? Bear Grylls says ‘no’ to that as well. What it takes to succeed at the highest levels is rarely understood, but it is identifiable, codifiable and teachable.

Paul helps people to understand what it takes to succeed and works with individuals, teams and organisations to systematically enhance their performance. Paul set up and runs BecomingX, a social enterprise he co-owns with Bear Grylls. BecomingX is dedicated to creating a world where everyone can realise their potential, no matter what their starting point. Aiming to reach 100m around the world with cinema quality films that provide the insights and lessons from the world’s most inspiring people, BecomingX attempts to change the way we think about our potential and how we can all improve our performance.


Paul has spent 15 years working with the world’s leading companies as a strategy consultant.

Developing his skills as a Director in the consulting giant Accenture, Paul has worked with over 50 global corporates. Using his deep experience of human performance and his business background, he works with individuals, teams and organisations to translate the secrets of success into high performance practices for all of us.


Mark Beaumont, World Record holding adventurer and TV broadcaster

Mark Beaumont has become a household name through his documentaries about ultra-endurance and adventure. Having smashed the circumnavigation cycling World Record twice in his career, he now holds this 18,000 mile title in a time of 78 days and 14 hours, averaging 240 miles a day.  His epic documentaries have taken viewers to over 100 countries, into the Arctic, the high mountains and around the Commonwealth, also surviving capsize in the mid-Atlantic.



For more information and to register for this event go to our registration site > 


Details for sessions on day 2 to be announced shortly. It will finish with the Gala Dinner and ISE Awards. 


Please note that the content, timings and speakers are subject to change.