A security pass is required at all times to attend events in either of the secure Conference venues, Manchester Central or The Midland Hotel.


16.00 DevoConnect

Midland Hotel : Fairclough

Are Cities Leaving Our Towns Behind?

Bringing together senior figures for a substantive discussion on the growing problem of geographic inequality between our towns and cities


The Government has indicated that one of its key priorities will be addressing the growing divide between our towns and cities. But what will it mean in practice to shift our focus from the city to places in general? How might we imagine growth models which focus on the needs of people outside cities? These questions are especially important after the Brexit vote, which drew many London-based observers’ attention to smaller towns and rural areas. What next for the highly centralised UK?


14.00 NHS Confederation

Hilton Manchester Deansgate : Meeting Rooms 2, 3 & 4

Can the Conservative Party deliver a solution to the social care crisis?

Politicians and leaders from the NHS and social care sector share their thoughts on the prospect of a solution to the social care crisis


The Prime Minister has promised to fix the social care crisis but after the failure of successive governments can the Conservative Party deliver a solution to the groundhog day issue of British politics? The panel, chaired by Niall Dickson, Chief Executive of the NHS Confederation which leads the Health for Care campaign, brings together leading voices from across the system to explore what’s required to turn warm words into a settlement that will last for generations.

18.00 Onward

Radisson Blu Edwardian, Peter Street Free Trade Hall, Manchester M2 5GP : Onward, Room 11

Responsible capitalism: How to connect companies, customers and workers in the modern economy?

A panel event on ensuring companies take seriously their broader social responsibilities, sponsored by Capita


This event will consider how to make responsible capitalism the default rather than the exception in British industry, through both government intervention and demonstrating the value to companies of taking social obligations seriously. Sponsored by Capita

20.00 AQA, Teach First and the Education Policy Institute

Manchester Central : Central 8

Education Reception

To request a ticket, please get in touch on amy.faux@epi.org.uk.


This third annual Conservative ‘Education Reception’ will bring together senior figures across the education sector to discuss the transformational effects education has on the life chances of young people. The reception will also highlight the need to reduce educational inequality in England’s schools, in order to achieve high quality education outcomes for all children and young people, regardless of background. By invitation only. To request a ticket, please get in touch on amy.faux@epi.or


10.00 Policy@Manchester

Friends' Meeting House : F13

Getting Gender on the Agenda: How is Devolution Turbo-Charging Gender Equality?

How can we increase diversity within devolved policymaking decisions and get gender on the agenda?


Devolution opens opportunities for metro mayors and combined authorities to achieve economic and social improvements for their communities and to address gender inequalities. How can we increase diversity within devolved policymaking decisions and get gender on the agenda?

12.30 Learn By Design and CWO

Manchester Central : Youth Zone

Wise Up: Women in STEM and The Economy

Panel Debate. Invited speakers Vicky Ford MP Science & Technology Committee & Nusrat Ghani MP Minister for Transport. Host By Design, CWO with Fujitsu


Can we afford to leave 50% of our potential workforce, under-represented and under-supported in STEM careers? When 50% representation in GCSE Physics drops to only 16% representation for Engineering and Technology first degree entrants, we need to redouble in our efforts to fill and prevent the on-going skills gap. Speakers: Geoff Parsons, By Design Group; Saba Shaukat, CWO; Prof Judith Driscoll, Cambridge University; Sarah Weir OBE, Design Council. Incl. afternoon exhibit on Women in STEM

16.00 Pearson

Manchester Central : PLMR Business Hub

A long-term vision for apprenticeships

Ensuring apprenticeships meet the needs of UKPLC


Our economy is undergoing extraordinary change. To meet this challenge the UK needs a skills system that supports UK competitiveness by providing individuals with the skills they need to flourish. The Independent Apprenticeship Policy Group, commissioned by Pearson, has been brought together to develop a long-term vision for apprenticeships. In this panel debate key policy makers explore the work of the group and consider how to ensure apprenticeships meet the needs of UKPLC.

18.00 APPG on Apprenticeships

Manchester Central : Exchange 10

Ask the Apprentice: the apprentice panel

Chair: Gillian Keegan MP, Co-Chair, APPG on Apprenticeships and Guest Speaker: Rt Hon Robert Halfon MP, Chair of the Education Select Committee


We are delighted to welcome apprentices from Battersea Power Station, Amazon and the University of Salford

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Important Notes
* All conference events, speakers, dates, times, and locations are subject to change.
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