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AIM Conference and Awards 2024




We are privileged to welcome and host a range of national, influential leaders from across the sector; key decision makers and business leaders who share their thoughts on empowering futures. Join our speakers as they reveal their personal journeys and experiences in these thought provoking sessions. 

The day's events will be hosted by BBC News Midlands Correspondent Navtej Johal.

Navtej is BBC national news’ correspondent for the Midlands. He is regularly seen on television on the News at Six and Ten, and heard on Radio 4 and 5Live. An award-winning journalist, he has reported on the biggest stories in the region in recent years, including the Nottingham attacks and the ‘bankruptcy’ of Birmingham City Council.

Previously, he was a Senior Reporter and Presenter for BBC East Midlands Today. Navtej has interviewed Prime Ministers, reported from outside the White House, and broken several exclusive stories. His first job after university was working as a film journalist where he interviewed some of Hollywood’s most famous names, such as George Clooney and Dame Judi Dench. However, his first job was considerably less glamorous: selling socks and pants on his dad’s market stall in East London.



Meet our speakers

Shaid Mahmood
Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Equality, Diversity and Inclusion)

Shaid is passionate about the capacity for education and learning to transform lives and to provide for social mobility. Following senior roles in manufacturing and research and development within business and industry, Shaid has held the post of the Chief Officer for Transformation and Change and Chief Officer for Communities in Local Government. He is currently the Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) at Durham University.

In addition to experience in working with a wide range of systems leaders and partners, he contributes to several non-executive roles. He is Chair of the National Association of Colleges and has 25 years of experience on the boards of FE Colleges serving 9 years as the Chair of the Luminate Education. He is also a trustee of the Leeds United Foundation.

Shaid was awarded the ‘UK’s Most Inspiring Person of the Year’ in the National Centre for Diversity’s annual awards. In 2023, Shaid has been made an MBE in the annual New Year Honours List for services to education.



Laura Savage
Director of Partner and Social Value Services

Laura has over 25 years of experience in Education, Skills, Employer Engagement, Recruitment, Employability, and Training activity. Currently serving as Director for Partner and Social Value Services at PeoplePlus within the Staffline Group, Laura began her career at Warwickshire College Group, gaining foundational expertise in education and employer engagement.

In recent years, Laura has specialised in supporting organisations with the 'social' aspect of Environmental Social Governance (ESG). At PeoplePlus, she collaborates with major organisations like Tesco, G4S, NHS Employers, IKEA, Mitie, Premier Foods, BMW and Sodexo, contributing to initiatives that integrate social responsibility and community impact into operations.

Laura’s team is the initiator of the Social Recruitment Advocacy Group, comprising of 000’s of employers and partners collectively championing Social Recruitment. The group has been instrumental in advancing Social Recruitment concepts across industries including being the driving force behind the concept and launch of the Social Recruitment Covenant launching in 2024.