Services for Young People Hertfordshire Services for Young People

Inclusion and skills conference paves the path to success for young people

22 June 2023

Nearly 100 colleagues and partners, including County Councillors from across Hertfordshire were updated and inspired at the Services for Young People’s annual virtual conference on 21 June 2023.

SfYP IAG WRL conference banner with SfYP and HCC logos,  classroom image and date and them of conference.

Services for Young People (SfYP) recently organised an Information, Advice and Guidance (IAG) and Work-related Learning (WRL) Conference focused on supporting young people.

The conference welcomed many expert speakers who provided valuable information, advice, and guidance to practitioners. There was an emphasis on raising aspirations and building confidence among vulnerable young people to overcome obstacles and reach their full potential. Careers leaders, senior IAG leaders and SfYP staff were among those who attended.

The theme for this year’s event was ‘Inclusion and skills’ and the conference began with a welcome from Peter Hosier, Head of SfYP. Hero Slinn, Director of Inclusion and Skills at Hertfordshire County Council opened the conference explaining the inclusion and skills agenda in Hertfordshire, in line with the council’s strategic priorities to improve outcomes for children, young people and families. Hero explained how SfYP supports young people to succeed by providing tailored support to young people at an early stage to address any challenges they may be experiencing, enhancing their opportunities, and minimising the need for more costly intensive services. Hero went on to share how schools and colleges can help support the countywide inclusion and skills agenda.

Keynote speaker, John Ambrose, Director of Complete Careers LLP shared key updates to statutory guidance, discussed the impact of careers programmes on young learners, and offered practical support to schools and colleges to enhance and quality assure their careers guidance services.

To support schools in complying with the new Provider Access Legislation (PAL), the conference included a panel of training provider representatives. They each spoke about the services on offer and shared tips on successful practice.

 Screenshot of training provider panel- gallery of 6 professionals

Training provider panel from left to right:

Jo Crosby - SfYP Senior IAG WRL Development Worker, Chris Mitchell - Elstree Screen Arts Academy, Tammy Whiteman -  Apprenticeship Support and Knowledge (ASK), Rhys Wynne - Oaklands College, Julia Sanderson - Elstree Screen Arts Academy, Kate Carter -  iSales Academy

Break out rooms featured interactive discussions on effective engagement with local providers, and participants had the opportunity to share best practices and insights on compliance with the new legislation and improving engagement with young people.

SfYP is available to further support schools to help understand and meet the new Provider Access Legislation (PAL) through its careers curriculum support.

Young people with learning difficulties and disabilities were given a special spotlight during the conference. The SfYP Learning Difficulties and/or Disabilities (LDD) Team showcased their best practices, highlighting the successful 2B programme, which supports vulnerable young people during important transitions.

The afternoon included talks from SfYP staff and our partners about widening participation in higher education and advice about applications from the University of Hertfordshire and UCAS, sustainable green careers from WWF, the power of personal and social development programmes for young people and the Duke of Edinburgh's Award. The conference concluded with information about the new Future Prospects campaign led by the Public Health team.

Slides from the conference can be found on our ‘Info for Careers Leaders’ page.

The conference received high praise for its emphasis on inclusivity and skills development, demonstrating the commitment to supporting and empowering the personal and professional growth of young people.

Some feedback from attendees:

“Thank you for a really great day, very informative.”

“Lots to think about and follow up.”

“I am looking forward to engaging some of our staff with the resources provided today to deliver to students.”

“Congratulations to SfYP on the conference; really interesting topics and speakers.”


An SfYP Senior IAG WRL Development Worker said:

“Our Inclusion and Skills conference gave attendees the perfect opportunity to be updated, inspired, and well informed. It provided useful information to ensure that the careers and work-related programmes in schools and colleges are inclusive and provide the best possible outcomes for students. Sharing best practice in break out rooms was an essential part of the programme; it enabled schools to network and learn from each other. Thanks to all the presenters for your valuable input, and those who attended.”


To learn more about the independent and impartial advice, and preventive youth work services that we offer to schools and colleges in Hertfordshire, please visit the ‘Buy our services’ section of the SfYP website.