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IEP Elections Candidate's Biographies 2017
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Institute of Employability Professionals Elections 2017

Deadline for voting closes at NOON on Friday 22nd 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 four [4] vacancies on the board and we have fourteen [14] candidates for you to choose from. You can vote for up to four [4] candidates in this election.


Please read the Candidate’s Biographies and Election Statements below and use the link here, or at the end, to register your vote.


Candidate’s Biographies and Election Statements




Zoe Bradwick MIEP

Working Links



I am currently a Performance Manager for Working Links and am responsible for delivering the Work Programme to customers across several offices in Wales.  I manage a diverse team with multiple skills and responsibilities, including front-line Consultants, Tutors, Business Support and Employer Service Consultants.  Alongside operational delivery, I support with stakeholder engagement across Wales and contract implementation.

I have worked for Working Links for 7 years, starting as a frontline Consultant on the Flexible New Deal Contract.  I then became a Performance Manager, delivering the Work Programme in Cardiff 4 years ago.  Prior to joining Working Links, I worked for Job Centre Plus and have been in the welfare to work sector for 9 years in total.  Working Links operates within a number of areas including welfare to work, justice services, skills and young people’s services, both in Great Britain and internationally and currently delivers multiple contracts across the UK and Ireland, along with our delivery of rehabilitation and offender management. I have stayed with Working Links for a number of years as I continue to believe in their commitment to support as many people as possible to gain the skills and opportunities needed to maximise their potential and improve their future.


Election Statement

Having worked in the welfare to work sector for 9 years, I believe I have an extensive understanding of the skills and experience needed to achieve the best possible outcome for the customers we deliver to.  Equally important is my personal progression within this sector. Having started as a front-line Consultant, I have experienced the challenges and motivations faced by the people the IEP sets out to invest in. 

I understand both the personal and professional qualities that we need in this sector and I believe I also have a good understanding of what is required to enhance those existing skills and aid progression.  More than anything else, I have a real motivation to help the people who work in this sector to achieve the most they can and that includes offering the right tools and support.  I believe the IEP has a unique opportunity to provide this and have been genuinely encouraged by what they are already doing.  I believe that the people who work in our sector deliver a crucial service and want to utilise my experience to enhance the support and recognition they need to specialise and diversify in an ever changing environment with ever changing demands.




Kevin Browne FIEP

Optimize Now Ltd



I am the MD of Optimize Now, a business that brings together six specialist consultancies in different countries delivering a range of positive outcomes for organisations, underpinned by the same ethos and goals. Our mission is to build capability and capacity in organisations to make a real dierence to themselves, their families and communities.

What we offer is based on proven methodologies across multiple sectors and in different countries. Working with our customers we deliver results within three key disciplines:

•  Capacity Building: leadership development, skills transfer, coaching, employee engagement.

•  Business Development: market analysis, new market entry, product launch, building sales pipelines, enhancing customer relationships.

•  Business Transformation: vision and strategy development, performance turnaround, organisational change. 

With a broad range of strategic leadership and operational delivery experience the business partners bring specialist knowledge and skills in a wide range of areas, such as, public sector transformation, design/delivery of employability, apprenticeship and work based learning programmes, career management and advanced leadership coaching.

Each partner has led successful businesses at executive level and taken this experience to develop a rich expertise within their own business. We know how to motivate and develop high performing teams, develop innovative and culturally transferable solutions and maximise return on investment.

But most importantly, we care about maximising the potential of people. This has been my career, as I have worked in the Employability, Skills, and HR industry for over 30 years, in both government and private sector. My experience covers a range of operational and strategic roles, from a front-line adviser through to a CEO building new employability businesses in different countries. I am passionate about working in organisations committed to making a difference to people lives, as well as investing in the skills and capabilities of their staff to deliver outstanding customer services to their clients.


Election Statement

I have worked in the Employability, Skills, and HR industry for over 30 years, in both government and private sector in a range of operational and strategic roles.  As I work on a global stage, I will bring these broader insights and experiences to the board to help shape and deliver the overall strategy. I believe these experiences will bring 4 key strengths to the board:

1.  A passion for the industry: developing leadership capability to the next level.

2.  Thought leadership: the latest global knowledge and experiences to facilitate innovation and best practice from an extensive network.

3. Board level experience: not only developing strategies but making them a reality in different countries.

4. Establishing IEP in other countries: during my recent trip to Saudi Arabia I raised this with the Job Creation Commission.

I am passionate about leadership and believe that this is fundamental to building successful organisations and delivering quality services. Strategically, this must be a priority for the IEP if it is to maximise its impact in developing leadership skills of the industry to the next level and developing the next group of industry leaders.

In all roles, I have been required to engage with government, employers, partners, communities and clients to enable change. These skills are essential in connecting, challenging, developing and innovating within the IEP organisation.

I am familiar with many of the IEP organisations and their leaders and I am a passionate advocate of what the employability services industry can deliver. Every conversation is an opportunity to promote the industry, and I truly believe the passion and intellect I bring to these conversations will make a difference to the services that are delivered.

I am also committed to sharing and transferring the extensive learning and experience I have gathered.





Laura Busfield MIEP




Renaisi is a social enterprise whose mission is to help people and places to thrive.  Our vision is the creation of strong, cohesive communities, in which individuals are able to flourish economically and socially.  We strive to achieve our vision by: Supporting people who are long-term unemployed on their journey to work via our employment provision. Helping families who speak English as a second language to become more resilient and integrated into their communities through our bilingual advisory service. Enabling local communities to determine and address their own needs, and access opportunities for improving their neighbourhoods through the National Big Local programme and helping organisations to create better outcomes for their users and increase their social impact via our impact and evaluation department.

I have been Renaisi’s Director of Employment Services since 2016 having previously held the positions of Head of Employment and Training Programmes and Programme Manager. I am responsible for all aspects of the design, implementation, delivery and performance of Renaisi’s employment and training provision. 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.


Election Statement

I bring a wealth of operational delivery experience from a wide range of employability and skills contracts.  I have a proven track record of joining up effective strategic thinking with operational processes and staff development to maintain continuous high levels of performance in all areas.  I have a genuine passion and commitment to the development of front line staff within this industry and strongly believe that if you equip people with the right knowledge and tools then the most effective employability programmes are designed from the ground upwards.  Having developed my career within the 3rd 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 bring experience of joining up research, impact and evaluation, and front line delivery to influence future programme design. I believe I can make a positive contribution to the sector as an IEP board member, in particular by championing greater collaboration within the industry between the third sector, prime contractors and front line delivery staff.




Julie Eastwood AIEP

Kennedy Scott



Kennedy Scott was founded by Teresa Scott in 1989, to support people to achieve their potential and progress in their careers and lives. This mission remains central to the organisation and everyone who works for us. We are specialists in supporting those with the most complex barriers (specialist in multiple disability) to find great jobs, and build successful sustainable careers. KS are currently one of only four National Prime providers delivering Specialist Employability support, (top of National SES League table), a comprehensive service for voluntary customers with multiple barriers and health challenges, using an innovative Circle of Support model.

My current role as Regional Manager (part of the Senior Management team) with a portfolio of 4 contracts; Work Programme, BBO SELEP, Reed Mentoring and SES, also includes mentoring new managers and supporting staff development across the company to achieve increased performance. I am regularly tasked with training, supporting and mentoring underperforming contracts, and underperforming managers.

Previously I was promoted to Senior Business Manager, for excellent performance and embedding a network of community associates including MPs, local and national Employers. I won the ERSA Award for Employability Learner of 2015, for my own CPD, having worked through various levels to level 4 Business Development, whilst coping with my own health challenges.  I am currently working through level 5.My previous role as Senior Business Manager – Work Programme, included managing and supporting high volume, high performing Work Programme delivery, supporting staff across multiple centres to achieve a high quality of service. Prior to this, as National Account Manager, I created the KS National Employers Network, managing National Employer accounts including ASDA and AF Blakemore. 

In 2010, I joined KS as an Employment consultant with direct delivery of FND, giving me valuable first-hand experience of the Employment consultant’s role and the challenges they face.  


Election Statement

I appreciate that the IEP board comprises a diverse group that serve the best interest of the IEP members. My interest in joining the board is aligned with my commitment to upholding and delivering the values and ethos of the IEP through my work with the client, client journey, front-line delivery staff, and also the wider industry.  I believe that the knowledge gained working and progressing from an employment adviser, through the ranks to the senior management team and the resilience shown whilst battling my own personal illness, is evidence of this and that I will be a positive and tenacious member of the IEP board. 

On a monthly basis I sit on the KS senior management team, acting as a conduit between the executive team and the delivery staff in our local centres. My participation and influence is crucial to the business development, HR, Quality and moreover the ultimate service delivery. My invaluable insight into the customer ensures that the service offer, not only for current contracts but also for the strategic development of new contracts, is at the heart of all that we do at KS to ensure the best support for the customer and also for our delivery teams who do an amazing job every day.My knowledge and experience is not limited to welfare to work and my passion to develop this has been instrumental in working in collaboration with universities, training providers and a menu of stakeholders.

As a senior manager, delivering training and support to other staff and managers throughout my career with KS, I feel I have a lot of valuable professional development experience to bring to the IEP board. I would apply the same commitment and tenacity to supporting the IEP to build its offer and grow its networks over coming years.




Samantha Everard AIEP




I founded The Samee Charity in 2015 with two areas of focus – one was Workshops in Self-Employment (WISE Project) providing self-employment awareness through workshops for children of school age, and the second being The Samee Project, which stands for Supporting and Mentoring Enabling Entrepreneurship, which provides business start-up support for relieving the financial hardship of people disadvantaged by their socio-economic background, and guiding them into self-employment and/or employment.  

The Samee Project client group are the most vulnerable in society ranging from those challenged with mental health issues, physical disabilities, in rehabilitation, to clients that are single parents, people living in poverty or those from a challenging background. There are no barriers to the clients we serve and we are willing to meet, work with and assist anyone that needs our support.As The Samee Charity and our client base have grown, we have discovered that there are many barriers to people considering self-employment or re-entering the workplace and that every case is different. We have learned from this the “plan, do, review” approach to our development, and continue to improve our ways of working, communicating and supporting our clients to ensure success of Samee and that our service adequately meets each client's individual needs.

As a result of our continued research, we are in the process of launching a Dorset based specialist pilot project specifically aimed at providing tailored business start-up support for disabled clients called The Disabled Entrepreneurs Business Start-up Service (DEBSS). As part of The Samee Charity, the DEBSS pilot will bring focus to this area of gap in provision.


Election Statement

As CEO of The Samee Charity, and Lead Adviser on all 3 projects, I have a range of skills and expertise that I feel would assist the Institute of Employability Professionals.

I am a Business and Progression Mentor, with over 10 years’ experience, working with disadvantaged and disabled mentees and clients, this coupled with a specialist knowledge of self-employment, start-up processes and resources from direct experience of running my own businesses has supported others to start up. 

I am creative, honest, a methodical thinker and, most importantly, I am passionate about supporting others with their confidence and growth. The Samee Charity has supported over 300 people in the last two years, with 58% of them being disabled, as well as created a bespoke and safe environment for each client to achieve their realistic action points. We have had many success stories and the advocacy work we have done has created sustainable job opportunities as well as self-employment.  In fact, some of our advisors and volunteers are disabled.

My husband and I have a partially sighted and autistic child which means I have a full understanding about how disability and disadvantage is seen through education and employment, and I also volunteer for National Disability Charities, working directly with the most vulnerable people in society. 

The outreach work is far more important to me than wearing the CEO hat – in fact, I don’t often tell people what I do!  It surprises them when I appear to do a talk, or wear a suit at a networking event!

The Samee Charity is all about supporting vulnerable people and I feel that I can bring a lot of first-hand experience to the Board and hopefully make a difference.





Stewart Holdsworth MIEP




I am a Senior Performance Manager for Serco with primary responsibility for delivering the Work Programme contract in South Yorkshire.  This involves managing our Sheffield Employability Team and a range of regional supply-chain partners, engaging with key stakeholders, developing new business opportunities and managing our relationship with DWP.

I have worked in the employability sector for over 6 years, starting out as an Adviser at Ingeus and progressing through a number of different roles along the way; gaining experience of working in both direct delivery and managing-agent environments. My past professional experience also includes developing people and delivering a range of services in higher-education, enterprise, skills and economic regeneration for public and third sector organisations.

In my spare time I am also a Trustee and Director of a local charity - Yes2Ventures, who specialise in developing social firms to provide opportunities for those who are socially disadvantaged through disability, poverty and unemployment.

I currently have the privilege of being Serco’s IEP representative which has given me the opportunity to engage with the IEP and its Corporate Affiliate Partners for the last two years.

In this role I have championed IEPs cause; promoting the benefits of membership and growing its profile as far as possible. I take great pride in achieving this through the facilitation of regional networking events for members and associated partners and collaborating with the IEP to develop its first ‘Affiliate’s Supply Chain offer’; which extended access to IEP’s Continuous Professional Development (CPD) resources to every member of staff within Serco’s supply chains across the country, setting a blueprint for other organisations to follow. In January 2017, I had the pleasure of becoming the Chair of the IEP’s Corporate Affiliate Partner group.


Election Statement

Enthusiasm, hard-work and a dedication to our profession all come as standard.

In addition I will seek to provide valuable contributions to the board, honed from a rich mix of professional experiences that I’ve gained from working a variety of roles and levels, both within and outside of the employability sector. These roles have involved working for a number of different organisations including small charities and third sector organisations, to Universities and FTSE 250 companies.

Importantly, I will bring to the board my personal experiences and insights of working on the frontline; firstly as an adviser and then subsequently progressing through different roles in the sector, including more latterly senior management, as a result of my own commitment to professional development. Furthermore, I am able to bring insights from both direct delivery and manging-agent environments and from developing CPD strategies for direct reports and wider supply chains.

Through my engagement with the IEP’s Corporate Affiliates and more recently the chairing of that group I have developed a good understanding of the interdependencies between the Board and the Corporate Affiliate Partners and the Board’s current key areas of strategic focus. I would therefore expect to be in a good position to ‘hit the ground running’ and make effective contributions from day one.

Ultimately, I am passionate about what the IEP stands for and improving the professional development of the work force in this sector. I am passionate about supporting those in this sector who literally change lives every day; to be the best that they can be, so we can all provide the best support possible to those who need it most – our customers.





David Imber FIEP

Vocational Rehabilitation Consultants Ltd.



I am a Professional Member of the Vocational Rehabilitation Association and a Fellow of the Institute of Employability Professionals. I have over 30 years’ experience creating, leading and evaluating programmes in the private, charitable and public sectors, starting with the Youth Opportunities and Community Programmes, and then many of their successors. I have worked at Director level in the insurance-rehabilitation field and have led numerous large scale international projects carrying our research and development in disadvantage and employment.

My company is a small consultancy, not connected to any one provider. We provide evidence-based quality audits and design of programmes, training and qualifications for employment advisors, and research and skill-development projects. I created the company to contribute to improving the quality of programmes, and to research and develop skills used in front-line services. Our products have been adopted as ‘official’ policy in some European countries, and we will continue to support the IEP by offering them for use in the UK. The publication ‘Employment advice: what works for disadvantaged people’ won the Vocational Rehabilitation Association’s 2015 award for Research and Education. Our latest products include a comprehensive curriculum and guide to skills for helping disadvantages jobseekers, which will be made available free of charge via the IEP Knowledge Bank and supported by us, and we are working on a similar guide to supporting migrants and refugees into employment.


Election Statement

I would like to contribute to the IEP Board and the growth of the IEP because it is the only organisation that stands apart from the delivery of service and away from the undue political influence, to consider the quality, skills and support offered to job seekers and employers, and to provide programme staff with the professionalisation and support they need.

My main concerns on the Board will be

-   to join other Board Members in supporting a creative, outward looking and stable professional organisation.

-   to give weight to evidence, ethics and innovation so that we move towards a recognised high professional status for employment advisors everywhere.

-   to ensure a proper balance in our work for the interests of client-jobseekers, front line staff, management and programmes.

-   to encourage the new apprenticeship and other routes to skill and professionalisation.

These points imply a critical evaluation of what we do and what we support; we also need the diversity offered by contributions from all stakeholders, not just to respond to the current landscape of provision, but also to be independently professional in a world that changes all too frequently. In due course, we can become a profession as well as – respected and well trained as the legal or medical professions; it will be a long journey but one worth taking.





Rebecca Keating MIEP

The Salvation Army Employment Plus



I started with my organisation and the industry on the front line, delivering job search training in Sydney Australia and have worked my way up to Director of Employment Plus UK. There are not many roles in employability I have not been employed in. I have managed contract operations, employer engagement, quality improvement and compliance.  In my role as Director I use my hands on experience to influence the strategic planning of the employability projects The Salvation Army run. I hold a Level 4 Certificate in Employment Services and am a qualified assessor of the Employability Services Sector Certificate.


Election Statement

I have been a member of the Institute of Employability Professionals from the moment it was launched and have been actively involved with their professional development projects, including the current Apprenticeship Trailblazer. I care deeply about the employees who work within the sector and believe that they should be invested in and professionalised. I plan to advocate strongly within the industry for this agenda to be invested in. My experience will allow me to support IEP with this agenda and promote membership, so that people can access this professional support network.

I am passionate about the work I do and believe that helping a person into employment can truly transform their lives and allow them to live life in all of its fullness. This passion runs through everything I do, and I believe that that if the professionals within the employability sector are supported and invested in, they are the people that can and do achieve the best results for those seeking employment.





Andy Milton MIEP

Pro Tempore Ltd


I am currently MD of my own business working with organisations across the employment support sector. I spent 18 years with JCP in a wide range of roles including front line delivery, staff training, JCP Manager, Regional Programmes Manager and District Manager. In Jan 2000 I joined Working Links as one of their founding Directors spending 5 years leading operations. During that time we found work for 45000 long term unemployed people in some of the most challenged communities an achievement I remain proud of to this day. We also made a PPP fly from day one bringing to employment support programme delivery the best of what the public and private sectors offer.

After an enjoyable spell as Operations Director with Sencia I joined RBLI as Director of Business Development and later became Director of Service Delivery. Here I led delivery of a range of employment support programmes focussed on those with disabilities and health conditions including Pathways to Work, Workstep, Workprep and NDDP. Since setting up my own consultancy and interim company I have been fortunate to undertake a wide range of exciting and rewarding assignments in the UK and KSA. In KSA I developed and implemented from scratch a first ever national employment support programme for people with disabilities which now achieves employment outcomes across the country. In the UK I have worked with third and private sector organisations on operational improvement, strategy development and on supporting the successful bidding for employment support contracts.

Over the last 30 years I have been involved in delivery of all the major publicly funded employment support contracts from Restart, New Deal, Employment Zones, Pathways to Work through to Work Programme and Work Choice. I am keen to use all this experience to actively support the IEP and its members.  


Election Statement

First and foremost, in addition to over 30 years employment support experience I bring a strong and genuine passion for our sector, the work we do and the difference we make to individuals and their communities across the country. This passion drives a desire to ensure we constantly learn, innovate, improve and develop how we deliver employment support to continue to meet changing labour market needs and challenges. It also drives me in ensuring we deliver high quality employment programmes that achieve both strong results and lasting positive impact to all the communities and individuals needing our support.

As a leader and manager my approach is action orientated, energetic, results focussed and inclusive and this supports decision making and achievement of aims and objectives. I have considerable experience of strategy development and of translating this into effective plans and actions including leading exec teams through strategy reviews. I have led and managed large delivery teams in the public, private and third sectors giving me rounded insights drawn from these different perspectives. My experience as part of a successful PPP executive team will help in understanding how public and private sector values and strengths can be most effectively blended and harnessed. I have built a wide professional network and will bring this to supporting the development of IEP and in promoting the work it does. As a National Leader of Governance I also have significant experience of ensuring boards are functioning as effectively as possible and I will be able to utilise this to help support the board and its work.

So in summary I offer a combination of substantial experience and passion for the work we do and I would feel privileged to be given the opportunity to bring this to bear as a board member for IEP.




Anthony O’Connor MIEP

Volition Community



I am Director of Fundraising and Development at Manchester Cathedral. I am also the Director and Trustee of Volition Community and Director of Manchester Cathedral Ventures Limited. Having spent 18 years in the Civil Service, I took a secondment to the Church of England in 2001 based at Sheffield Cathedral. Having raised £6.4m I left Sheffield in September 2008 to take up my current position at Manchester Cathedral. I established the Manchester Cathedral Development Project in 2010 to take forward the cathedral’s capital and social programme of investment. This multi-million fundraising campaign which has raised over 11m to date has opened up the Cathedral to a wide variety of activity, including concerts and dinners. I met my partner Terry in 1993, next year we celebrate 25 years together, living in the Peak District our interests involve travelling, food, pets, home and garden. We enjoy culture, music and the diversity which brings us all together as human beings.


Election Statement

Since joining the Civil Service in my early 20’s, I have built up an immense store of expertise and knowledge with issues around employability and long-term unemployment, both from a government and charitable perspective.  Over the past 30 years I have gained a great understanding on the effects of long-term unemployment, as a result, I established a volunteer programme in 2012 which is called Volition Community.

To date this programme has helped over 700 long-term unemployed people with 50% securing employment. My contribution to the Board would be to bring this knowledge, expertise and understanding from these two aspects to the Board, helping to provide a strategic direction for the IEP moving forward. This also includes delivery expertise, fundraising, stakeholder / employer relationships and partnerships, localised labour market knowledge and actual employer accounts.




David Royle MIEP

Blue Octopus



Up until recently I spent almost 8 years at Standguide Ltd. My last role as Performance and Quality Director consisted of managing all current contracts across Greater Manchester, Cheshire & Warrington, Central England, Lancashire and South & West Yorkshire. These contracts included; The Work Programme (People Plus, 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.

Key achievements included;

•   Supported with the expansion of Standguide’s contract portfolio from 6 contracts in June 2016 to 20+ contracts at present.

•   Implemented and managed Standguide’s Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS) vision which has driven Standguide to becoming the No.1 provider of DPS provision nationally.

•   Successfully implemented and managed Standguide’s own internal Self-Employment provision which has led to increased financial rewards and Standguide securing contracted Self-Employment provision through the SFA and DWP.

As a member of Standguide's SMT I was also heavily involved in driving forward Standguide's strategic aims and objectives, including;

•   Financial monitoring and planning.

•   Quality Cycle; including Self-Assessment Report, Observations, EDIM’s.

•   Sales and Marketing strategy.

•   Business development opportunities.

•   HR and Recruitment.

•   Reviewing and amending company Policies and Procedures.

•   Supporting with the analysis and implementation of the annual Company Business Plan.

I have now moved into the recruitment arena with an organisation called Blue Octopus. Within my new role I hope to continue to support the Employability and Skills sector with the recruitment of highly skilled and competent staff.


Election Statement

I feel that I can offer a huge amount to the Employability and Skills sector if I was successfully placed on the IEP board. As an experienced Employability and Skills professional, I have a proven track record of delivering results. I have a wealth of operational experience, at varying levels, covering a wide array of Employability and Skills contracts, and more importantly I have ensured both staff and contract performance on these contracts.

I have a sound understanding of performance, operational and financial trigger points having successfully managed a wide range of complex Employability and Skills contracts. I have strong operational experience, sound commercial awareness and an entrepreneurial approach and have experience of managing employees and branches across multiple geographical regions. Additionally, I have a solid knowledge of HR and have managed all aspects of performance management and other complex issues such as TUPE.

I also possess a natural ability to build relationships at all levels and feel that this would help promote both the excellent work that IEP does each and every day for the sector; which in turn would drive and increase IEP memberships.

Furthermore, becoming an IEP board member would allow me to continue to support the sector which I am extremely passionate about. The challenge of my new role was hugely driven by my determination to overcome the perception of the sector by non-sector employees, along with improving the image of the sector and trying to attract ‘fresh blood’ into the sector as I have personal experience of how difficult recruiting for the sector has become.

Finally, I wish to thank in advance any IEP member who votes for me and sees me as a suitable IEP board member.





Teresa Scott FIEP

Kennedy Scott



For the last 28 years I have been the CEO of Kennedy Scott, which I founded to support people to achieve their potential and progress in their careers and lives and this remains central to the organisation today.  Launched at the outset of outsourced Employment services in the UK, KS has evolved and grown generically under my leadership, developing an excellent reputation for rising to the many challenges posed by government policy over the years.  The company is now one of the country’s leading authorities on supporting disabled people into sustainable careers, as evidenced by our place at the top of the National SES League Table and as finalists for Disability Provider of 2017 - ERSA awards.  I like to think my passion and drive for excellence and innovation through teamwork, whilst keeping the customer at the heart of all we do has helped achieve our excellent reputation.  Kennedy Scott has been a corporate affiliate IEP sponsor for many years supporting the Board and Corporate Affiliates with financial and individual resource. I believe that this investment has made a difference.

My recent relevant experience covers Vice Chair and Chair of the ERSA Media, Policy and Communications forum, involved in developing a media engagement strategy for ERSA, its membership & the wider Welfare to Work industry and projecting a positive image in the media. I am also a Board Advisory Member of Spiral, a Social Enterprise offering support to disaffected 14-16 years in London to prevent them becoming NEETS.My present experience as a local councillor has given me good insight into the opportunities afforded by localisation and the workings of local government. 

I have also facilitated the promotion of the IEP throughout our company events, hosting regional and local forums for the IEP to promote their work around the country.


Election Statement

An enthusiastic Ambassador for the IEP, and wider sector, I contribute to Ministerial roundtables/events, speaking engagements and conferences generally promoting positive, PR around the sector and for the IEP.  My commitment to professional development within W2W is evidenced throughout Kennedy Scott who, as one of the founding organisations for Apprenticeships within this sector, provides internal route ways for Apprentices.

Heading up an organisation which relies on the quality and training of dedicated and talented people, I am committed to supporting individuals to progress through IEP and Industry standard qualifications. The values, mission and ethos of KS mirror those of the IEP and I am particularly keen to support individuals who have had to overcome adversity, ill health or disability to achieve their potential. Having supported a key team member with management training during illness, I am proud to say that this individual is now an outstanding ambassador for KS, the IEP and the wider Employability industry. I was particularly proud when she won an ERSA award in 2015. I am passionate about supporting such individuals and will support the IEP in developing strategies to explore ways in which the IEP and the wider industry could achieve this through the promotion of flexi-working, support for study time, CPD opportunities, reasonable adaptations in the work place, internships, progression planning and advice and guidance for organisations working with people with disabilities.

I will drive the development of excellent opportunities for collaboration between the IEP and organisations such as The Institute for Collaborative Working, the Board of which is chaired by KS Chairman Lord David Evans.

I envisage that my enthusiasm will extend to the exploration of other opportunities including the development of a wider reaching strategy, which has the possibility of extending internationally, an important consideration in the era of a global marketplace.  



Ayden Sims MIEP

MAXIMUS People Services/Remploy



I am the UK Director of Business Development (BD) for MAXIMUS Human Services, which covers the organisations MAXIMUS People Services (MPS) and Remploy.  Having initially joined Remploy, I became part of the wider MAXIMUS organisation when Remploy exited Government ownership in 2015, at which point I assumed the role of BD Director across the two organisational entities, sitting in the Senior Leadership Teams for both businesses.  Remploy deliver services primarily targeted at disabled people across the whole of the UK, aimed at supporting them into sustainable employment.  MPS focus on more mainstream employment support services, assisting long term unemployed people with complex barriers into work.

I am responsible for developing and leading the growth strategy related to all welfare and disability services for MAXIMUS in the UK, and lead a national BD team focussed on driving that agenda across England, Scotland and Wales for all employment, welfare and skills services.  This involves developing relationships with key stakeholders, identifying potential opportunities and responding to tenders.

I have been at Remploy for over ten years, having held a variety of positions prior to my current post held for the last 3 years.  I initially joined as a frontline Employment Advisor in our Birmingham office where I worked directly with unemployed disabled people to support them into employment.  From there I held a post working with local employers to identify suitable opportunities for disabled people, before moving into a strategic partnership role, developing senior level relationships with national employers benefitting the business across the country.  This role then expanded into developing relationships with key national military charities, to enhance the support Remploy was able to provide to wounded, injured and sick veterans.

Prior to joining Remploy, I was a Pilot in the RAF, leaving on medical grounds in 2007 following 4 years’ service.


Election Statement

Having spent over a decade in the welfare/employability sector, fulfilling a variety of positions from front line to senior leadership, I feel I will bring a breadth of knowledge and experience to the IEP. As the individual leading the growth of a national business in the UK, I have a keen interest and knowledge in the developing marketplace, and feel I can bring this expertise to help shape the future direction of the IEP.

The devolution agenda is one of the most disruptive developments in the welfare sector since the outsourced market for these services was created.  Moving away from centrally procured services to locally procured provision will create a more diverse network of commissioners and providers, with a greater requirement than ever before to ensure services are locally aligned.  Moreover, the nature of provision can be expected to be equally disrupted, with local areas clustering together previously disparate pools of funding, to procure services that combine health, skills and employment outcomes in a way not previously seen.  As a result of this developing market, the needs of employees will also need to change, including their skills, training and personal attributes, which is clearly an area the IEP is closely aligned to.  I feel my involvement in these developments will enable the IEP to make more informed strategic decisions on its direction of travel.

Finally, as a senior figure within the sector, I often attend and speak at events, as well as engage with peers at a senior level, so have the platform to share the value of the IEP and the benefits it brings.  I am an outgoing, approachable individual with an innate ability to develop relationships and feel these traits will bring a positive dynamic to the board and create a strong platform for growth.




Rhys Toone FIEP




I have been working for the Pluss Organisation CIC for the past 5 years and have been the Head of Employment Operations for the past 2 years.My principal responsibilities are to lead and manage the company's employment and training operations and support the delivery of the company’s corporate business plan.

The organisations programmes for which I am responsible are funded from a variety of sources including Department of Works and Pensions (DWP), local authorities, Big Lottery and NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups. I am responsible for an internal workforce of over 150 and in excess of 250 people across the wider supply chain.

Pluss is an award-winning Social Enterprise that supports thousands of people with disabilities and other disadvantages move towards and into employment each year.

Our employment operations help jobseekers who need the most specialist support to find work and achieve a career. Our enterprise operations run alongside to create direct employment opportunities in a wide range of businesses and job roles.I

have worked in the employability industry for over 10 years, starting as a front line Employment Advisor working on the Employment Zone contract.

Over the past 10 years I have worked in a number of roles which have given me a broad knowledge of the industry we work in and of the individuals which we are here to help and support.

For the past 2 years I have represented Pluss on the IEP Corporate Affiliate group, embedding the principles of the IEP across my organisation. I have also a founding member of the Employability Apprenticeship Trailblazer group, which with support from the IEP, we are looking to design and implement an industry wide apprenticeship standard.

I am proud to be a Fellow of the IEP and I am always keen to support its aims at any opportunity.


Election Statement

Like the IEP, I feel passionate about driving the changes that will ensure the continued development of the employability profession.

I’m also passionate about ensuring that we are seen as an industry of choice which develops its staff to have long and productive careers. Our industry is diverse and vibrant and it’s important that everyone is helped to share in that as we grow.

I believe that my wide ranging experience in the industry allows me to provide the IEP Board with a valuable insight in to how people can progress and the opportunities it presents. I also believe that my experience in working with a wide range of funders, including those funding specialist health and disability support which will be key to the industry during the next iteration of contracts, will allow me to support the IEP to create development opportunities for the advisors of the future.

I am clear that the IEP, and the Board, must lead, and be seen to lead, on preparing staff to meet the future challenges the industry will face and meeting the needs of the Government’s wider employability agenda. To meet these needs, all of us who work in the industry will need to change what we do and how we do it to satisfy these shifting demands. For the change to be real, how we recruit and support our staff will become even more crucial. I believe that as part of the IEP Board I can help drive this agenda forward and I will be a valuable ambassador for the values and goals it has set out, and will serve to promote the industry as a great place to work with no one left behind.