Into Work Convention – what did we learn? And introducing a new year round hashtag #intowork

Some things we learned from this years convention

1. That Inclusion and NIACE are going to merge
No name as yet and David Hughes of NIACE to be Director.

2. Priti Patel is an impressive women in a hurry
Impressive as a minister already, and clearly on top of her brief, Priti Patel came to the convention to talk about “my government” and how she was in a hurry to get things done.

3. That Stephen Timms has a good sense of humour
Introduced as the Acting Shadow Secretary of State, as Rachel Reeves is on maternity leave, he made clear that this was about as far away from being the actual Secretary of State as he could be while still having the words Secretary of State in his title.

4. That the government has not done all the sums it should have done
Repeatedly politicians and civil servants were unable to answer simple questions on the effects of policy on real people.

5 Unemployment statistics can go up as well as down
On day two we had the first rise in unemployment from a number of years. It is also good to know that whatever the stats Tony Wilson, Paul Bivand and Duncan Melville will be able to explain them to you and that Dr Jane Colechin will have a great question to ask. Thanks guys.

Paul Bivand and a graph!

Paul Bivand and a graph showing the chances of getting a job for the Long term unemployed have improved

6. That if we believe in progression out of poverty it is going to take us all to work together
I chaired a session with a fantastic panel,  Paul Warner of AELP, Cathy Walsh of Barking and Dagenham College, David Hughes of NIACE, and Ian Simpson of Give Us a Chance Consortium and Guinness partnership (See picture above). It became very clear that as well as asking the government to work together we needed to develop our own partnerships.

7. That is is a real privilege to sit next to the winner of the ERSA Awards’ Adviser of the Year at the Convention Dinner

Billy Hunt and Liz Sewell Convention Selfie

Billy Hunt and Liz Sewell Convention Selfie


This is the wonderful Billy Hunt of the RBLI.  I had the chance to hear Billy talk about how passionate she was about her work and to enjoy her great sense of fun. Thanks Billy, and keep up the amazing work.



8 That is was one of the best programmes we have had
Every year the team at CESI has to come up with new ideas and better speakers to keep us entertained – the view from the coffee point was that this was one of the best conventions, whether it was the fact it was London, or that we live in very interesting times I don’t know, but a big thanks to Patrick Hughes anyway.

9. That we need to keep in touch on Twitter not just at conventions but also all year round so we have a new hashtag #intowork

10. Finally thanks to everyone who sang me Happy Birthday!


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