B-Skill 2018 Staff Conference

Another great day the B-Skill Annual Conference…

It seems as soon as we hit the second half of the year, time starts to speed up. From the beginning of the academic calendar to the clocks turning back, the release of the infamous John Lewis Christmas advert to (most importantly) the B-Skill Annual Conference. Last week, we welcomed the B-Skill Community from far and wide to join together for a day of networking, industry updates and hot topics.
Julian Jones, Sales Director, started the day with an informative presentation on Customers and Employers in the Levy World. That was until ‘Kitchens, Windows, Cars and the ‘F’ Word’ appeared on the screen! Yes, that’s right… Julian managed to capture the audience by connecting every day sales to Apprenticeship Standards and shed a whole new light on the ‘F’ word.

(The ‘F’ word being FREE… Yes, we know what you were thinking!)


When you work in a constantly evolving industry, it can be hard to keep on top of the changes and the challenges they bring. Paul Wileman, Managing Director, shared his knowledge and expertise with the room to address the most recent changes the industry faces and forecast what’s to come.

B-Skill highly values every individual that contributes to the quality and success of the business, including our Delivery Partners who we were thrilled to welcome on the day. To show our gratitude for the continuous hard-work and support of our partners, we make the incredibly difficult decision to award one with ‘Partner of the Year’. The decision is never easy, however B-Skill were delighted to award Hartwell and Picassos as ‘Partner of the Year’ for 2017/18. Emma Ward, Picassos, kindly accepted our invitation to present on the day (despite not knowing of their award!). Emma’s presentation was engaging and told the wonderful story of how Picassos and Hartwell evolved as training providers, showed off their fantastic facilities and all of the great work they do for their learners. B-Skill would like to thank them, once again, for their support.
The conference also gives us the opportunity to say thanks to all members of staff for their hard-work and dedication over the last 12 months. This year, Jayne Atkinson was given the additional praise of being awarded ‘Employee of the Year’. Jayne is a B-Skill Learning & Development Coach, as well as taking on the additional responsibility of Health & Safety Officer in the last year. Jayne has embraced her additional responsibilities and receives positive feedback from learners, employers and colleagues for both her roles.
Emma Storey also received a special congratulations on the day! Emma joined B-Skill as HR Apprentice ten years ago, progressing through the ranks over time with her vibrant and enthusiastic personality, now working as HR & Business Support Manager. Emma is a brilliant success story for Apprenticeships and we’re incredibly proud of her journey with B-Skill.

As we all know, there’s not much time that goes by when Ofsted doesn’t get mentioned in this industry so we were delighted to welcome Carole Loader from Mesma to shed some light on training ‘Through an Ofsted Lens’. Mesma are specialists in quality assurance and Carole engaged the room, triggering thoughtful discussions and provided useful information for everyone to take home.

B-Skill’s quality team followed with a workshop to get everybody thinking about how their role contributes to creating a quality journey for the learner. As we approach 2019, the workshop was formed around the upcoming Chinese Zodiac ‘Year of the Pig’ which is believed to represent consideration, responsibility, independence and optimism. This was used as a base to think about how our approach into the New Year will fulfil these ways to achieve a year of success for all. 

To bring the day to a close, we welcomed Doug Hill from MIND to present in what is usually acknowledged for being the ‘graveyard slot’. Well if that was the case, it certainly isn’t any more. Mental health is becoming more and more poignant in the discussion of well-being (and rightly so). Doug managed to translate a very serious and personal subject into something less intimidating, something less isolating whilst provoking some laughter in between.

Paul Wileman closed the day with a thank you to all staff and partners for their hard work during the year. B-Skill have received very high levels of employer and learner satisfaction given in client feedback. Outstanding customer satisfaction will remain a strategic goal for B-Skill, alongside compliance and the quality of delivery, and everybody in room is to thank for their effort to achieve that.
  • B-Skill Head Office
  • Suite A15, Milburn House
  • Dean Street
  • Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, NE1 1LE
  •  B-Skill Training Centre
  • Second Floor, The Investment Centre
  • 375 Stanley Road
  • Bootle, L20 3EF