IES Annual Conference 2024: Creating a Sustainable Workforce

Thu 16 May 2024 09:30 to Thu 16 May 2024 15:00
Broadway House, Tothill Street, London, SW1H 9NQ

Hear from the UK's leading employment specialists and HR thinkers on how best to create a sustainable workforce.


HR sits at the centre of the biggest challenge currently facing the UK economy - labour and skills shortages combined with work environments that are failing to attract and retain workers.

There is likely to be growing pressure in the year ahead for organisations to do more to deliver ‘good work’, whether as a result of an upcoming UK election, acute retention and skills challenges, changing social attitudes and expectations around work, or to wider pressures such as the EU’s Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive.

The pressure for organisations to have an evidence-based story to tell about their workforce strategy, and to provide more information about material workforce risks that could affect the business or society more widely, will affect many organisations both directly and indirectly.

Faced with these challenges and forces, HR has a job on its hands. In this year’s annual conference, we will hear from a range of speakers who can inspire our thinking about how to proactively address the risks that could well undermine workforce sustainability and shape a workforce strategy that is future-proof.

Questions we will seek to address include:

  • How can HR best create a sustainable workforce?
  • How do we create work and workplaces that retain people and valued skills?
  • How can HR mitigate the risks to workforce sustainability?
  • What is the current state and prospects for the UK labour market and what does that mean for building a sustainable workforce strategy?
  • What are the implications of wider external factors eg political and regulatory, on the workforce sustainability agenda?

09.30 Coffee and registration
10.00 What is happening in the UK labour market, challenges and prospects
Tony Wilson, Director, Institute for Employment Studies
Tony Wilson, Director of IES and an expert commentator on the UK labour market, will provide an up-to-date view of the challenges the UK faces in creating a sustainable workforce, prospects for the future, and ways forward.
Q and A

10.45 Case study: Creating a sustainable workforce in the voluntary sector 
Woojdan Raza, Director of People, Culture and Inclusion, NCVO (The National Council for Voluntary Organisations)
Woojdan (Woosh-dan) leads on the people strategy across NCVO and supporting NCVO and the wider sector in advancing its aims in equity, diversity, inclusion and belonging. Woosh will outline the programme of work he is leading to develop a sustainable workforce across the voluntary sector, including advancing equity, diversity and inclusion.
Q and A

11.15 Coffee
11.30 Creating stronger, healthier workplaces powered by flexible working: why helping people have choice and control over their work is key to a sustainable workforce
Claire Campbell, CEO, Timewise
Claire has led many employer change programmes for Timewise, focused on creating fairer, healthier and more flexible workplaces. Claire will highlight why flexible working is such a key enabler for many groups to access and progress in work, the latest evidence of its impact, and share some new innovation work which is enabling greater choice for people in site based and frontline roles.
Q and A
12.00 Delivering a sustainable workforce and just transition in the Energy Sector
Sue Falch-Lovesey, UK Head of Social Value, Equinor

The energy sector faces skills and labour shortages and the challenge of enabling a just energy transition. Sue Falch-Lovesey will outline how Equinor are responding to this challenge by supporting skills and career development across the career lifespan, enabling progression for disadvantaged and under-represented groups and supporting equity, diversity and inclusion across their workforce and projects.
Q and A
12.30 Lunch
13.15 What has sustainability got to do with your workforce? A discussion on the EU Sustainability Reporting Standards and implications for Human Capital Reporting
Dr Wilson Wong, Director, Insight and Futures, WongonWork
A work futures expert and co-editor of ‘Human Capital Management Standards: A Complete Guide’, Wilson will outline the potential implications of the EU Sustainability Reporting Standards on workforce management and reporting, and to what extent these may act as a lever for improving the sustainability of the workforce and enhancing data literacy in the profession.
Q and A
13.45 What does the future look like for employee voice and relations, and how can organisations best prepare for a changed, and changing, employee voice context.
Nita Clarke OBE, Director, Involvement & Participation Association.
Both leading up to, and post-Covid, we have seen fundamental shifts in employment relations and increased employee voice. With an upcoming election and possible change of government, we may see further change in this space. Nita will outline her view on challenges and opportunities ahead.
Q and A
14:15 Panel discussion: What are the key challenges, and solutions, for creating a sustainable workforce?  
Hear from a panel of experts including Dr Duncan Brown (IES Principal Associate and expert on pay and reward), Dr Sarah Pass, (Senior Lecturer at Nottingham Business School)Kerry Smith (Chief People Officer, British Heart Foundation), and Nita Clarke, including an extended Q and A

Who should attend:
HR professionals including those with responsibility for people and workforce strategy, diversity and inclusion, health and wellbeing, workforce planning and talent management.

Event information

Nearest underground station is St James’s Park (District & Circle Line). Mainline stations at Victoria, Waterloo and Charing Cross are within walking distance or a short bus ride.

Event timings:
The event will run from 9:30am to 3pm.

Conference fees:
Tickets for this in-person event cost £150 +VAT per person. IES HR Network members will each receive two complimentary passes to attend the event.

Cancellation policy:
Cancellations made five working days or more in advance of the event will receive a 100% refund. Cancellations made within 5 working days of the event are liable to payment of the attendance fee in full. Delegate substitutions can be made at any time ahead of the event. Please contact for further information.