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Acas Wales conference 2019: the future of work


Join Acas Wales and guest speakers as we consider the economic landscape and key challenges facing organisations in 2019, focusing on the workplace productivity and employee wellbeing.

Business need

The UK workforce produces less per hour than our main economic competitors. A range of solutions have been offered by the Government and businesses but these can only yield lasting improvements if workplaces are operating at their best.

This conference will provide delegates with valuable insight into the barriers to workplace productivity and the measures organisations can take to overcome these and shape the future of work, leading to good work for all.

We are delighted to be joined by the following guests:

  • Sir Brendan Barber; Acas Chair
  • Anna Leach; Head of Economic Intelligence, Confederation of British Industry
  • David Jones; OBE Chief Executive, Coleg Cambria
  • Michaela Buchanan; MCIPD Head of HR, Social Policies and Industrial Relations UK, Airbus
  • Abigail Hirshman; Mental Health Strategic Lead, Acas
  • Martin Smith PhD; Psychotherapist in extreme difficult behaviour
  • Peter Hughes; Wales Regional Secretary, Unite the Union
  • David Jones; Senior Advisor, Acas North Wales

NB: Delegates will be required to choose 1 of 3 workshops to attend and will be contacted before the event to make their selection.

Suitable For

Director Generals, Chief Executives, Chief Operating Officers, HR Directors, business owners, TU General and Deputy Secretaries, thought leaders, economists, legal professionals, strategy leads and industry influencers.


This conference will include the following guest speaker sessions and a choice of workshops:

The future of work: the economic landscape and drivers for change – Sir Brendan Barber; Acas Chair.

Acas Chair since January 2014, Sir Brendan will be joining us to discuss the future of work and how we can shape it for better flexibility and fairness resulting in good work for all.

The key economic challenges facing Welsh organisations and how to overcome them - Anna Leach; Head of Economic Intelligence, Confederation of British Industry (CBI).

Anna oversees the CBI’s global macroeconomic forecast and highly regarded business surveys on economic conditions across the UK. Anna joins us to talk about the recovery and return of bumper growth in manufacturing production and how firms can work with the Government to nurture a pro-enterprise environment that will help UK growth shift up a gear.

Why organisational development is the strategic future of HR - David Jones; OBE Chief Executive, Coleg Cambria.

David is a member of the Welsh Government European Advisory Group, Farming Connect Advisory Board, North Wales Economic Ambition Board, North Wales Business Council and is Chair of the City & Guilds Wales Advisory Board. Chief Executive at Coleg Cambria since 2013, David will share his thoughts on why organisational development is the strategic future of HR.

Diversity and inclusion in the workplace - Michaela Buchanan; MCIPD Head of HR, Social Policies and Industrial Relations UK, Airbus

Employing a 14,000 strong workforce, across more than 25 sites, Airbus is firmly rooted in the UK and its advanced technology industrial base stretches the length and breadth of the country from Aberdeen to Portsmouth.

Michaela will be talking about the importance of diversity, inclusion and dignity in the workplace, and the positive impact it has on productivity and joint working.

The importance of positive mental health in the workplace - Abigail Hirshman; Mental Health Strategic Lead, Acas.

Before joining Acas, Abigail worked as a psychotherapist for more than 15 years. Abigail is a trained facilitator and has developed a number of training packages around stress awareness, building resilience and conflict resolution. Recently, Abigail has been key in developing the Acas framework for positive mental health at work and will be discussing the framework in detail.

Workshop 1: Managing the ‘unmanageable’ with Martin Smith PhD.

Martin is an accredited member of the British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists, the National Counselling Society and a life member of the Open University Psychological Society.

In this workshop, Martin will look at defining, understanding and coping with those employees that go way beyond the awkward and difficult. Those that do it their way and follow their rules, not yours. Those who drain time and energy from staff at all levels and ultimately damage the very core of a team or organisation.

Workshop 2: The benefits of joint working with Peter Hughes; Wales Regional Secretary, Unite the Union.

Former full time officer and Deputy Regional Secretary under Andy Richards, Peter has an extensive career with Unite the union. In this workshop, Peter will address the importance of joint working and the positive effect on organisational output, engagement and health and wellbeing.

Workshop 3: Addressing workplace productivity with David Jones; Senior Adviser, Acas Wales.

David has been a senior advisor since 2007 having previously held conciliation, mediation and training roles. David is a CIPD member and has a Masters in employment relations and law.

In this workshop, David will share practical advice on increasing productivity within your organisation and how Acas can help you.

Venue Wrexham: Hallmark Hotel   Map (opens in new window)   Date 22/01/2019    Time 10:00 - 16:00   
Price £170.00 per person    Please note our training events are VAT exempt
To book now

* Max of 4 delegates per organisation. Please call Acas on 0300 123 1150 or email if numbers exceed this or for more details about the training session.