Institute of Employability Professionals Elections 2018
Deadline for voting closes at NOON on Friday 21st September
The Institute of Employability Professionals (IEP) is first and foremost a membership organisation. Its Members and Fellows can participate in a number of ways but it's especially important to get involved in deciding who runs the IEP on a day to day basis, and sets its strategy. As you will probably know, that's the IEP Board. You can read more about the make-up of the current Board here. Every year a number of Directors complete their term of office and stand down and IEP Members have the chance to stand for election as a Board Member; and to vote in the election as well.
This year there are five  vacancies on the board and we have seven  candidates for you to choose from. You can vote for up to five candidates in this election.
Please read the Candidate’s Profiles and Election Statements below and use the link here to register your vote.
Candidate’s Profiles and Election Statements
Greg Bate MIEP, Seetec
Established over 30 years ago to provide training to local unemployed people, Seetec has grown to become one of the UK’s leading providers of services to the public and private sector. Originally founded as a registered charity, and employee-owned, Seetec has a strong commitment to delivering social value. Part of my role at Seetec involves identifying opportunities where we can add value to local communities and we have just been awarded a Bronze 2018 GM Social Value Award in recognition of the time dedicated towards a great cause.
Seetec provide opportunities and support to people from all walks of life empowering them to shape their own future. These opportunities are created through strong partnership work within local communities. My role at Seetec is Senior Operational Partnership Manager. Within my role at Seetec I sit on the work and skills partnership networks/meetings for all 10 of GM local authorities. I am also an active member of the GM Chamber of Commerce, the GM Youth Network, GM APPG, GM Post 16 CEIAG network, GM EAP Provider network and the Economic Scrutiny Committee. Benefiting from these strong relationships with this wide network of partners, Seetec can help maximise people’s work opportunities and help them secure sustained employment.
Seetec have done a lot of work with the IEP and we are currently working in partnership with the IEP on the new Employability Practitioner Apprenticeship Trailblazer.
With over 10 years sector experience, and prior to that 7 years of recruitment experience, I can bring a wealth of employability skills and knowledge to the IEP Board. Having worked my way up through Seetec, I have done most jobs within the employability sector and therefore I will be able to relate to everyone and see things from lots of different perspectives which will enable me to provide well rounded and balanced advice and guidance on all types of employability queries. My current role at Seetec is to develop partnerships across the North West so I will be able to provide the IEP with additional exposure across Greater Manchester and the North West providing a range of different opportunities to the Board.
I am also Board Member of BW3, which is a social enterprise network of over 200 local businesses that volunteer time and resources to support economic and social regeneration in South Manchester by working in partnership with schools, colleges, community organisations and other businesses. So, I have previous experience of being a Board Member and can bring this experience to the IEP Board.
I also chair the quarterly ERSA GM Employment support network meeting and can therefore provide vital links between the IEP and ERSA.
I recently hosted the Manchester Council Central Employment Support Forum, which is a Manchester City Council led network meeting. And I am currently working with the IEP Board to arrange a Greater Manchester IEP networking event, which I will host in Manchester.
I have vast experience of chairing quarterly meetings, signing off minutes and monitoring the delivery of action points.
I would be honoured to become a Board Member of the IEP.
Gemma Bramley MIEP, Education Development Trust
I am employed by Education Development Trust as a Business Improvement Manager overseeing CPD, training, marketing, communication, PR and social media activity. As a member of the Careers and Employability Leadership Team I contribute to the business improvement strategy, evaluate, monitor and report on performance against key performance indicators and standards of quality across each element of the careers and employability portfolio.
We have first-rate credentials in providing services that bridge the gap between education, training and employment. We have been a leading careers service provider in the UK for over 20 years and have a successful track record of managing programmes delivering careers, employment and skills support. We are prime contractors for the National Careers Service in two regions of England, in our most recent Ofsted inspected we were graded outstanding.
I have extensive experience of post-16 education and work-based learning programmes, supporting learners and organisations in a delivery and managerial capacity to achieve sustainable employment opportunities. For nine years I worked for a local training provider in Sunderland supporting the delivery of Apprenticeship, Entry to Employment and Foundation Learning programmes for young people and adults to aid their progression in education, training and employment. As the Head of Centre, I was the nominee for Ofsted and managed quality and compliance for all aspects of delivery, this included creating the annual SAR and QIP.
In 2013 I joined Sunderland Foundation of Light as a Head of Curriculum for World of Work. I managed a range of programmes, aiming to increase employability skills, including study programmes, Durham Works, adult skills-based courses in partnership with JCPs and Premier League Works. During my time with the Foundation I represented provider networks working with local authorities to reduce the number of NEET young people and increase engagement in employability provision for adults.
I am passionate about creating opportunities for people to achieve their full potential and believe good career information, advice and guidance should be at the heart of education, training and employability programmes. Participating in the employee group for the Employability Practitioner Standard has created the opportunity for like-minded organisations across employability and careers to work together. I would like to continue to promote the work of the IEP through the work of Education Development Trust.
Laura Busfield MIEP, Renaisi
Renaisi is a social enterprise committed to sparking change in society so that more people without access to opportunity can live the lives that they choose. What makes us unique is the fact that we combine two things in one business: we deliver employment support, advice, connection and engagement services to individuals to help them overcome barriers to progression, and we help social organisations, charities and institutions to deliver greater impact through our consultancy services. We then generate new insights and learning from across our work with a range of people and organisations to think differently about how to support places well.
I have been Renaisi’s Services Director since 2016 having previously held the positions of Head of Employment and Training Programmes and Programme Manager. I am responsible for the strategic direction of our services including design and development, implementation, delivery and performance of our programmes. I have extensive experience in delivering front line employability programmes, having worked on a variety of contracts funded by DWP, ESF, SFA and The Big Lottery, including; The Work Programme, ESF Troubled Families, SFA Adult Skills and SSU, ESF Older Workers and more recently the design and implementation of project RISE, a service designed specifically to support Refugees and Asylum seekers across ten boroughs in North and East London. I have led Renaisi’s employment provision through a significant period of growth, from delivery across three boroughs, to now delivering a range of specially designed programmes to a wide variety of unemployed participants in over fifteen London boroughs. Prior to my time at Renaisi I have worked as a Team Leader and Employment Adviser for Reed in Partnership.
Having held a number of different roles in the employability sector over the last 10 years, I’m very much aware of the impact that the changes to the sector in recent years has had on front line delivery teams. As a Director I still take a very hands-on approach within Renaisi which I think is important to understand the current issues, not only affecting the individuals that we support and how we continually adapt our service to the needs of complex caseloads, but also understanding the challenging environment that our delivery teams are working in to support those individuals.
Having developed my career within the third sector, I have first-hand experience of successfully overcoming some of the challenges faced from both a social and commercial perspective, to be able to perform at the highest level. I’m a big believer in working collaboratively, capacity building and shared learning which is why I think that the work that the IEP continue to do is so important in achieving greater collaboration both within sector and cross sector, which ultimately enables organisations to deliver a good quality holistic service, that achieves the best possible outcomes for the individuals that we support.
I bring a genuine desire to see individuals overcome barriers to progression and am passionate about making sure that organisations and front-line teams within organisations have the right tools, knowledge and opportunities to succeed. This all starts with the recognition of front line advisers and the continuous personal development of our teams. With this in mind, I believe I would be a great fit for the IEP.
Una Davis MIEP, Papworth Trust
I have worked in the Employability sector for 24 years managing many and various DWP contracts over this period mostly across the East of England. I am currently the Senior Business Manager at Papworth Trust and have been in this role for 8 years. I am responsible for a team of 30 overseeing and directing the performance delivery of 5 employment contracts across East Midlands and East of England. Whilst at Papworth Trust I have been involved in developing employability within the Trust and have had the opportunity to be involved from the bid stage to implementation of contracts. I have also and had the opportunity to develop a number of in house pilots to support disabled customers to progress into employment.
Papworth Trust is a charity with over 100 years of history, delivering 4 key services; Housing, Care, Day services and Employment. The mission to support disabled people to have equality, choice and independence is as strong today as it was when the charity was founded.
During my professional career I have progressed from front line Adviser roles to spending the last 18 years in a management capacity delivering and performance managing contracts. I have had teams of various sizes working for me whom I have supported, developed and achieved excellent outcomes with. I am passionate about the work that we do and I enjoy keeping a hands-on approach working with customers and staff.
I am passionate in supporting and developing my team members to flourish within the industry and through regular 1to1’s and group workshops, I share ‘best practice’ introduce new ideas and listen to my team in regards to what is important to them. I have keenly supported the IEP over many years and encouraged all team members to take up Membership and to be involved and to use the resources available. I currently represent Papworth Trust at the Corporate Affiliate Partners meeting.
As a ‘hands-on’ Manager I am aware of the challenges facing front line staff. Having worked in the employability sector for 24 years, in both the private and Charity sector, I have an extensive understanding of the skills and experience needed to achieve the best possible outcomes for the customers we deliver to. Both past and present programmes such as Work Choice and the Work and Health programme have given me the understanding of both the personal and professional qualities that we need to deliver the best outcomes. I also recognise what is required to enhance existing skills and promote progression.
I am motivated to help the people who work in our industry to achieve the most they can and I believe IEP can support this through offering the right tools and support including professional development and qualifications.
I am committed to sharing and developing the wealth of learning I have gathered through my operational experience firstly as an Adviser and then subsequently as a Manager which would enable me to make a positive contribution to the IEP board. As an active Member of the Corporate Affiliate Partners meeting I have a good understanding of the Board’s current key areas of strategic focus and the good work done so far which I feel I can further contribute to.
In closing my passion, enthusiasm and knowledge will provide the Board with a Member who is committed to the aims of the IEP and who can contribute to improving the professional development of the work force in this sector.
Andrew Gunter-Smith FIEP FIoD CertEd
My career has involved working for several Organisations at Senior/Director Level in the Training, Skills, Employability and Careers sector. I am taking up a new Director post on October 1st which brings together my experience and broad skill set acquired over the last 10 years working in Skills, Training, Welfare to Work, Careers and Employability. My new post will involve working with Organisations to build and develop initiatives and support mechanisms which best serve current and future need of a challenging sector.
Prior to my career in this sector I built several successful businesses from concept to sale in retail, service and wholesale within the event management sector. I did this in my twenties to early thirties and post-sale established my current career path with my first role as a Self-Employment Adviser. I progressed into contract management, business development and onto senior posts thereafter.
I have worked across multiple complex sectors in operational, strategic and business/contract development roles. This has afforded me the opportunity to understand the complexities and difficulties which we all strive to overcome to deliver profitable, meaningful and socially beneficial contracts. The transition from working for larger organisations to smaller niche business has also provided insightful and developed new skill sets.
I consider my career to be built on a foundation of commercial and entrepreneurial skills coupled with a social conscience through roles which helped me understand the difficulties we face as a sector and individual businesses. I have served as a Non-Executive Director on the Board of a small training organisation and supported their transition when subsumed by a larger business. I have worked in London, the South West and Nationally in giving me insight to the geographical differences facing the same business/sector.
My career has afforded me many great opportunities to develop a broad range of professional and personal skills having worked in strategic, operational and delivery roles to support the work and contracts we all strive to deliver to the best of our ability. My personal approach has always been to place the customer at the heart of the business while also trying to make a positive social impact.
My skill set ranges from a good working knowledge of contract implementation through to financial planning and managing diverse and geographically challenged teams. I have (in my humble opinion) a well-balanced approach to business development, relationship building and understanding the needs of those with whom I work. These skills along with a good solid understanding of the sector we work in, will, I believe provide support and a positive contribution to the ongoing development and direction of the IEP which aims to support us all.
The first half of my career involved building and developing two businesses, which has provided an education and understanding of the complexities of ‘simply surviving’ while building a solid foundation for growth. I aim to provide positive support, thoughts and ideas – possibly challenge and develop new ways of thinking, when appropriate. Ultimately, I wish to make a positive contribution and input as one part of the IEP Board, whose focus is to secure the future of the Member organisations and sector. I will bring together all my working, practical and strategic knowledge to achieve this in the way which best serves the IEP.
Thank you for reading this far. Should I be elected to the Board of the IEP I will undertake my duties with the due diligence and professionalism expected and would hope to make a difference.
David Royle FIEP, Reed in Partnership
I am currently an Operations Manager for Reed in Partnership and my role consists of managing all aspects of performance, both statistical and financial, quality and compliance for the Work and Health Programme across West Yorkshire, specifically Bradford, Huddersfield, Leeds and Wakefield. I am also the Self-Employment lead for Reed in Partnership's internal Direct Delivery which covers 11 offices in the North East CPA.
I am also on the Board, as a Non-Executive Director, for two Innovation Centres which are subsidiaries of an anti-poverty social enterprise.
Prior to joining Reed in Partnership in December 2017 I was the Performance and Quality Director at Standguide Ltd and my role consisted of managing performance and quality of all Standguide's current contracts across Greater Manchester, Cheshire, Central England, South and West Yorkshire. These contracts include; The Work Programme (PeoplePlus, Seetec & Serco), DWP ESF contracts (Pluss & REED), SFA Enterprise, SSW, SSR, SSU & IAG NEET contracts (Calderdale College, Learn Direct, Skills Training UK & Serco), DWP's NEA contract, AEB contract (Learn Direct), JCP's FSF provision (JSA, ESA, ESOL & Digital Upskilling), JCP's Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS) provision and Standguide's internal Self-Employment provision.
As a member of Standguide's Senior Management Team I was also heavily involved in driving forward Standguide's strategic aims and objectives, including;
• Sales and Marketing strategy
• HR and Recruitment
• Supporting with the analysis and implementation of the annual Company Business Plan
Having been a member of the IEP for a number of years I was very proud to recently become a Fellow. I know first-hand what a fantastic organisation the IEP is, but more importantly I know that there is more that can be done to promote and showcase the excellent support the IEP can offer those who work in the Employability and Skills arena.
I have worked in the sector for almost 10 years, successfully managing all manner of Employability and Skills programmes and therefore have a proactive, yet realistic view of the challenges that the sector currently faces, and more importantly will face.
Being a Board Member of the IEP will allow me to work with other passionate and like-minded individuals and organisations to discuss key Employability and Skills topics, thus allowing the IEP to shape the future for the better.
I’m a very keen networker and would relish the opportunity to build stronger IEP communities and networks, again highlighting the excellent work and support that the IEP offers. The IEP has been of invaluable support to me during my career to date and becoming a Member of the Board would allow me to begin to give something back to those who want to forge a successful career within the Employability and Skills sector.
Thanks in advance for voting for me, your support is greatly appreciated.
Jon Smith MIEP, Shaw Trust Group
I have worked in the employment related services sector for over 13 years, firstly holding a number of front-line roles including adviser, recruitment officer, key worker, tutor and training officer. Over the last decade I have held senior management positions in three organisations, both private and third sector, leading large teams to deliver over 50 different contracts across the welfare to work, education and skills and justice sectors.
I started at Shaw Trust in 2013 and have spent the last five years leading Work Programme, Work Choice and offender management contracts across the UK. Shaw Trust is a national charity, helping to transform the lives of one million young people and adults each year by 2022. Our 3500 staff and 1400 volunteers work across the UK and internationally, supporting people to develop their potential and live independently.
Our specialist services help people gain an education, develop their career, improve their health and wellbeing or rebuild their lives. Shaw Trust Group is now one of the largest charities in the UK. Comprising Shaw Trust, Prospects, Ixion and Shaw Education Trust.
In my current role as Head of Operations, I am responsible for all Work and Health Programme delivery across Central England, Home Counties and West London, as well as a number of employment pilots and projects. I lead a team of around 300 staff and a diverse supply chain of over 30 partners.
I am passionate about people development, social inclusion and equality and diversity.
I have a wealth of experience supporting large teams to deliver outstanding results. I am a values driven individual who focuses on developing others to realise their full potential, whilst striving for continuous quality improvement. I am proficient at leading organisational change, whilst building relationships with key stakeholders and being able to engage, negotiate with and influence people at all levels.
I am able to plan and execute projects to meet agreed objectives, to facilitate collaborative working and to challenge where necessary in order to deliver transformative change.
I am passionate about helping others and delivering social impact and I have a number of commercial and political contacts that could add value to the work of the Institute.
I have a good sense of humour and enjoy working as part of a team and I understand the challenges currently facing the employability services sector, although firmly believe that I can support the Board to find innovative solutions to overcome these.