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Imagining Radical Inclusivity in Work & Learning 

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Third Notice


Title: Imagining Radical Inclusivity in Work & Learning

Event date: Friday 27th May 2022

Location: Online Conference/In Person at Second Home, Clerkenwell, London, UK

Cost: £30 in person/£15 concessions/£10 online - book your place here.

Speakers: Mandy Crawford-Lee, Chief Executive, UVAC and Prof Anita Walsh, Birkbeck University of London


At the forum, we want to encourage debate and a willingness to engage in the exploration of possibilities. Think radical, outspoken and committed! Our speakers will be discussing the importance of inclusivity within degree apprenticeships and the recognition of prior learning (RPL).


We are inviting participants to give presentations of at least 15 min (5 minute Q&A) and welcome audience engagement throughout the forum for in person and online for delegates.


Please send a 300 word abstract by the extended date of the 1st of May.

To submit a 300 word abstract to present please use this link:


To book your place at the forum please use this link:



There will be the opportunity to extend these presentations into a paper (peer reviewed and dialogue and debate) for the Work Based Learning e-Journal International.


On the day there will also be discussion about writing and publishing in other related journals such as Higher Education, Skills and Work-based Learning (UVAC) and the formation of a practitioner writing group.


For any additional information about the forum or the Work & Learning Research Centre SIG/CERS at Middlesex University contact: Paula Nottingham or visit our network website which will have booking information for attending the conference coming soon.

Keynote Speakers

Mandy Crawford-Lee, Chief Executive, UVAC

I will be exploring how UVAC rejects a blinkered approach that focuses on social mobility measures in isolation. Instead, we argue that recommendations for supporting social mobility and levelling up must be determined in the context of the role and purpose of Apprenticeship in increasing productivity, supporting diversity in the workforce and enabling our public sector employers to recruit and train the nurses, police constables and social workers they need.

The role of Apprenticeship in the Levelling Up Agenda should also be supported nationally and developed locally in this context. UVAC has called on Government to adopt an ambitious approach. Instead of seeing Apprenticeship as a programme primarily for young people to enter lower level jobs, we argue that Apprenticeship should be an aspirational all age programme that supports individuals from all backgrounds to gain the high productivity craft, technical and professional jobs the economy needs.

Crucially, this means substantially more has to be done to support individuals from more disadvantaged backgrounds to access higher level Apprenticeships. Among other measures, UVAC proposes ensuring Apprenticeships at all levels form part of a skills ladder and that apprentices unambiguously gain the knowledge and skills required to progress in their careers.

Prof Anita Walsh, Birkbeck University of London

The requirements outlined for RPL, in particular in the context of apprenticeships, can lead colleagues to consider it an administrative process – a tick box exercise.

This is to overlook the role of academic judgement which takes place throughout, and which can be used to include or exclude consideration of valid learning depending on the perspective taken.






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