Our people

Senior Management Team

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    Stephen Evans

    Chief Executive

    Stephen Evans

    Chief Executive

    Stephen has been chief executive since 2016, having spent two years previously as deputy chief executive. He joined from Working Links, where he led on policy, strategy and business development. Prior to this, he worked for the London Development Agency as director of employment and skills, commissioning programmes and leading the work of the London Skills and Employment Board; was chief economist at the Social Market Foundation; and spent six years as senior policy advisor in HM Treasury working on policy for skills, productivity and child poverty.
  • Fiona Aldridge

    Dr Fiona Aldridge

    Director for Policy and Research

    Dr Fiona Aldridge

    Director for Policy and Research

    Fiona is director for policy and research at Learning and Work Institute, responsible for leading L&W’s programme of research and development, and ensuring that our work influences policy and practice by providing a credible and influential voice on learning, skills and employment. Fiona has more than 20 years’ experience in the adult learning and skills sector, and currently works across a range of policy areas including apprenticeships and T Levels, with a particular focus on building the capacity of local areas, providers and employers to lead and respond to changes in post-16 education and skills.
  • Dave Hagendyk

    Dave Hagendyk

    Director for Wales

    Dave Hagendyk

    Director for Wales

    Dave is director for Wales at Learning and Work Institute. Dave is responsible for leading the work of the organisation in Wales and for promoting to government and service providers the value of adult learning and the need for investment and policies to raise productivity, improve progression from low pay and reduce inequality. He has worked in leadership, campaigning and policy development roles in Wales for the last eighteen years. Prior to joining Learning and Work Cymru he worked for nearly seven years as the General Secretary of Welsh Labour. Prior to this he worked as the Political Liaison Officer for the University and College Union Cymru, as the Head of Policy for Welsh Labour, and as a researcher for Huw Lewis AM and Lynne Neagle AM.
  • Naomi Clayton

    Naomi Clayton

    Deputy Director for Research and Development

    Naomi Clayton

    Deputy Director for Research and Development

    Naomi Clayton is deputy director for research and development. Naomi has more than 14 years’ experience in policy and research with specialisms in employment, skills and labour market disadvantage issues. Prior to joining L&W, Naomi was deputy director at the What Works Centre for Local Economic Growth, and policy and research manager at Centre for Cities where she was responsible for developing and overseeing programmes to support effective policy and practice. She has worked with partners across the UK to support them to use of evidence and demonstrate impact through the implementation of skills strategies, youth employment support and in-work progression pilots, and the development of local industrial strategies.
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    Sam Windett

    Deputy Director

    Sam Windett

    Deputy Director

    As Deputy Director, Sam focuses on making an impact on policy and practice through L&W’s research into learning, skills and employment. Previously, Sam was Director of Policy for Impetus, specialising in education and employment support for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, Sam co-founded the Youth Employment Group, bringing together key leaders and experts around the youth employment sector to help drive the UK’s response. Previously, Sam was Head of Policy at ERSA, the representative body for the employment support sector, and led the public affairs teams for employment and skills providers in the private and charity sectors. Sam is a GoLab Fellow of Practice 2021 and a Mental Health First Aider.
  • Rob Gill

    Rob Gill

    Director of Finance and Operations

    Rob Gill

    Director of Finance and Operations

    Rob joined L&W in 2014 and greatly enjoys the work. In particular building an internal services team of highly capable individuals who continuously improve L&Ws  IT, HR, Finance, Governance and Accommodation.  Rob initially qualified as a chartered accountant with EY, followed by a couple of years restructuring work then a number of years in industry.
  • Duncan Melville

    Duncan Melville

    Chief Economist

    Duncan Melville

    Chief Economist

    Duncan is an economist with more than 30 years’ experience in the private and public sectors in the UK and New Zealand. Duncan leads on L&W’s economic analysis. He was previously deputy chief economist of GLA Economics and head of the macroeconomic analysis unit at HM Treasury. He has a BA in Economics from the University of Cambridge and an MSc in Economics from the London School of Economics.

Research and Development Team

  • Alex Stevenson

    Alex Stevenson

    Head of Essential and Life Skills

    Alex Stevenson

    Head of Essential and Life Skills

    Alex Stevenson is Head of Essential and Life Skills at L&W, leading the organisation’s programmes of research and development in adult basic skills, English for Speakers of Other Languages and community learning. At L&W, he has delivered numerous projects to support policy development and effective practice in adult basic skills for clients such as the Department for Education, the Greater London Authority and the Education and Training Foundation. Before joining L&W, Alex taught, managed and developed adult basic skills and ESOL provision for over 13 years, variously working in FE colleges, a local authority adult education service and for an independent training provider. He is currently an executive board member at the European Association for the Education of Adults and is an Executive Committee member at the European Basic Skills Network.
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    Emily Jones

    Head of Research

    Emily Jones

    Head of Research

    Emily Jones is head of research at L&W, responsible for leading research and development projects to ensure they make a positive difference to policy and practice. With over 10 years’ experience in designing and delivering research to inform lifelong learning and skills policy, Emily leads our apprenticeships and technical education programme. Emily also leads our research on adult participation in learning and the National Skills Fund.
  • Nicola Aylward

    Nicola Aylward

    Head of Learning for Young People

    Nicola Aylward

    Head of Learning for Young People

    Nicola leads L&W's programme of research and development work around young people's access to learning and employment. With over 20 years experience in the sector, Nicola is responsible for a range of projects around pre-apprenticeships and improving outcomes for the most disadvantaged young people. Prior to joining the organisation Nicola worked at the National Youth Agency, where she lead the Young Adult Learners Partnership.
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    Corin Egglestone

    Research Manager

    Corin Egglestone

    Research Manager

    Corin is research manager in L&W's new What Works Unit, involving the support and promotion of evidence use and generation across the employment and skills sector. He joined L&W as a researcher following completion of a PhD in Consumer Health Informatics. During his time at L&W, Corin has worked on a wide range of quantitative and qualitative research projects; for example, he led our recent evaluation of Welsh Government's Traineeships programme and was the lead analyst for our evaluation of the YIACS model of financial support for young people. Whilst at L&W, Corin has also led the design and analysis of our annual Adult Participation in Learning Survey.
  • Connor Stevens

    Connor Stevens

    Research Manager

    Connor Stevens

    Research Manager

    Connor is a research manager at Learning and Work Institute. Connor plays a leading role in L&W’s work on low pay and progression. He currently manages the Better Work Network – a policy and practice-based network which brings together over 300 individuals and organisations dedicated to tackling low pay and expanding the evidence base around in-work progression. He has also worked on the design, development and evaluation of several in-work progression initiatives, including Trust for London’s Step Up, West London Alliance’s Skills Escalator and ESF-funded London-wide In-Work Progression programme – the UK’s largest trial of progression-focused support for low paid workers.
  • Daniela Cabral

    Daniela Cabral

    Research Manager

    Daniela Cabral

    Research Manager

    Daniela has extensive experience of designing and leading evaluation and research projects in local government to inform strategic planning, service design and policy development. She has led on the evaluation of community cohesion and employment support programmes and has carried out research on access to English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) provision. She has a background in human rights, with a particular interest in migrants’ rights, and has held policy roles in the UK and Mexico. At L&W, she has worked on the evaluation of employment support programmes aimed at young people and on research regarding job quality and demand for technical training.
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    Jackie Woodhouse

    Research Manager

    Jackie Woodhouse

    Research Manager

    Jackie is a research manager at L&W. She is currently managing an evaluation for The Prince’s Trust of their Future Workforce Fund Programme which aims to support young people into training and employment and a National Lottery funded project which aims to improve support for young adult carers in Further Education. At L&W Jackie has led on research and development projects across a range of policy areas including offender learning, adult basis skills, English For Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and work to support care leavers and young adult carers to access opportunities in education, training and work. Prior to joining L&W, Jackie worked in a variety of research roles across the public and voluntary sectors.
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    Jess Elmore

    Research Manager

    Jess Elmore

    Research Manager

    Jess joined L&W as a researcher, with a particular specialism in qualitative, inclusive and creative research. Jess is currently managing traineeship development projects for the Department for Education and an evaluation of the Royal Society of Art's Cities of Learning pilot as well as contributing to a large scale evaluation of health led trials. Prior to joining L&W, she worked in education, community development and academic research. She completed a PhD in 2017 which explored information sharing and integration in the ESOL classroom.
  • Yasmin White

    Yasmin White

    Research Manager

    Yasmin White

    Research Manager

    Yasmin is a research manager at Learning and Work Institute. She has extensive experience designing, managing and conducting large scale research projects. Yasmin has a background in in-work progression, social security, and support for vulnerable groups practice and policy. Most recently, she has managed projects for the Department for Education on the National Skills Fund, as well as research into the apprentice National Minimum Wage and the impact this has on apprenticeships take up among care leavers. Prior to L&W, Yasmin worked for Ipsos MORI, managing research into support for Universal Credit claimants and an evaluation of the National Careers Service.
  • Abbie Lagou

    Abbie Lagou

    Researcher

    Abbie Lagou

    Researcher

    Abbie is a social researcher at L&W. She has worked on a wide range of research and evaluation projects, including a focus on apprenticeships and supporting the development of the National Skills Fund. Abbie is currently working on a National Lottery funded project that aims to improve the support for young adult carers in further education, and an evaluation of the Future Workforce Fund, which is a programme by The Prince’s Trust that aims to support young people into training and employment.
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    Asli Atay

    Researcher

    Asli Atay

    Researcher

    Asli is a social researcher at Learning and Work Institute. As a researcher, Asli works on a wide range of research and evaluation projects across L&W’s policy areas including English for Speakers of Other Languages, employment of people with disability employment and support for people with health conditions. Prior to joining L&W, Asli worked as a researcher at Demos and another think tank based in Istanbul, Turkey. She also has experience working with refugees and asylum seekers at a humanitarian aid organisation. She is interested in labour market integration, migration and gender equality. Asli holds an MPhil in Political and Economic Sociology from the University of Cambridge
  • Beccy Packer

    Beccy Packer

    Researcher

    Beccy Packer

    Researcher

    Beccy Packer is a qualitative researcher and has worked on a range of National Retraining Scheme and apprenticeships projects since joining L&W. Prior to joining L&W, she worked in a careers education and employability role in HE. Beccy is a qualified careers adviser and holds an MA in Careers Education and Coaching.
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    Ekaterina Aleynikova

    Researcher

    Ekaterina Aleynikova

    Researcher

    Ekaterina is a Researcher at L&W. Ekaterina works on a range of in research and evaluation projects around essential skills and English for Speakers of Other Languages learning provision, Community Learning, learning for health and wellbeing and youth employment. Prior to joining L&W, Ekaterina worked at Chatham House on a range of research projects on social trends, gender and equality in Russia. Ekaterina holds an MPhil in Education, Globalisation and International Development from the University of Cambridge.
  • Harry Fox

    Harry Fox

    Researcher

    Harry Fox

    Researcher

    Harry joined L&W as a Researcher in April 2021 and has worked on a range of qualitative research projects, particularly around apprenticeships and the National Skills Fund. He is currently working on a project on behalf of the Department for Education exploring how providers have adapted delivery of apprenticeships to a remote or online setting. Prior to joining L&W, Harry spent 3 years working at BMG Research where he worked on a wide range of projects around employment, education, and skills, including an evaluation of the Central London Works work and health programme and various projects around skills, progression and social mobility within the construction industry.
  • Hazel Klenk

    Hazel Klenk

    Researcher (Maternity Leave)

    Hazel Klenk

    Researcher (Maternity Leave)

    Hazel joined L&W having completed an MA in International Development and Education. As a researcher, Hazel works on and manages a wide range of research, evaluation and development projects across L&W´s policy areas including lifelong learning, adult basic skills, English for Speakers of Other Languages, offender learning, in work progression and employment support for vulnerable groups. Prior to joining L&W Hazel worked as a language teacher in different contexts including Mexico, Bangladesh and France. She is particularly interested in the role learning plays in refugee and migrant social integration and wellbeing.
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    Jubair Ahmed

    Economic Researcher

    Jubair Ahmed

    Economic Researcher

    Jubair joined L&W as an economic researcher. His work centres around analysis for our What Works Unit and on issues of further education and full employment. He previously worked at the Resolution Foundation, focusing on household debt and labour market analysis. Jubair holds an MSc in Development Economics from the School of Oriental and African studies.
  • Sophie Hall

    Sophie Hall

    Researcher

    Sophie Hall

    Researcher

    Sophie joined L&W as a Social Researcher in December 2020. She has a background in education, human rights and public sector research. Since joining L&W, Sophie has worked on a range of research and evaluation projects, with a particular focus on young people’s programmes and the National Skills Fund. Sophie holds an MA in Human Rights and International Relations and a BA in Primary Education. Prior to becoming a researcher, Sophie spent a year working as a Grade 1 teacher in Slovakia.
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    Lovedeep Vaid

    Senior Labour Market Statistician

    Lovedeep Vaid

    Senior Labour Market Statistician

    Lovedeep joined L&W as a senior labour market statistician. Before joining L&W, he worked as a senior statistical analyst at the Greater London Authority and the Statistics Commission. At L&W Lovedeep leads on cost benefit analysis and impact of employment programmes and the analysis of labour market statistics. He has modelled and designed employment programmes for the Welsh, Scottish and Irish Governments and uses analytical software to present data online such as the results of the Education Participation Survey. He also provides annual support for LEPs and their data needs, specifically the analysis of Apprenticeship and learner data.
  • Paul Bivand

    Paul Bivand

    Associate Director Statistics and Analysis

    Paul Bivand

    Associate Director Statistics and Analysis

    Paul is a labour market statistician with more than 40 years experience covering employment, skills, pay determination and related issues. He worked at L&W's predecessors the Centre for Economic & Social Inclusion and the Unemployment Unit, and previously at the Royal College of Nursing, the Local Government Employers' Association, Essex University's Institute for Micro-social Change, Incomes Data Services, among others. Paul produces data visualisations of labour market changes each month in L&W's labour market statistics briefing, other data disualisations in relation to specific projects and also specialises in impact assessments. He has a MBA from Liverpool University and a MA (Cantab) in Geography from the University of Cambridge.
  • Sarah Perry

    Sarah Perry

    Project Officer

    Sarah Perry

    Project Officer

Policy and Communications Team

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    Helena Wysocki

    Senior External Affairs Officer

    Helena Wysocki

    Senior External Affairs Officer

    Helena joined Learning and Work Institute in 2021 and focusses on our policy, communications and media work to increase the impact and reach of our research. She is interested in how different organisations and actors can work together to improve access to adult learning and good work, particularly for groups who are too often excluded. Before joining the team, she worked at Prisoners' Education Trust.
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    Roisin Sheehy

    Senior External Affairs Officer

    Roisin Sheehy

    Senior External Affairs Officer

    Roisin works within the policy and communications team, leading on our campaign communications and press and media activity.  Roisin works with colleagues across our policy areas to develop ways to engage our various audiences and maximise the reach and impact of our work. Roisin also leads on the activity of our Festival of Learning campaign and Better Work Network.
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    Celestine Harris

    Project Support Officer

    Celestine Harris

    Project Support Officer

    Celestine provides administrative support for the Festival of Learning campaign. Celestine has previously supported the International work of the organisation and then later became one of the senior conference officers.

Internal Services

  • Gerri McAughtry

    Gerri McAughtry

    Head of Human Resources

    Gerri McAughtry

    Head of Human Resources

    Gerri is a Chartered Member of the CIPD (MCIPD) with over 20 years HR experience and an MSc in HR Management from the London School of Economics. She has worked across several sectors including Higher Education, Law, Property Surveying and Financial Services. Gerri heads up the HR function at L&W developing the HR Strategy and leading all aspects of operational HR. Gerri was instrumental in securing L&W's "Silver" Investors in People Accreditation in 2017 and 2020.
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    Kamal Kotecha

    Head of IT

    Kamal Kotecha

    Head of IT

    Kamal has over 25 years experience in the IT Industry, having managed Servers, HP SANs, Infrastructure, VOIP, Firewalls, Networks, and end point devices. At L&W Kamal manages the provision of IT support and training across our three offices. Kamal has deveoped L&Ws IT policies and disaster recovery plans. Kamal has developed Secure Systems as Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) and ensures that L&W is is certified at appropriate levels (e.g. Cyber Essentials).
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    Tim Mitchell

    Assistant Accountant

    Tim Mitchell

    Assistant Accountant

    A member of the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT),Tim Joined L&W after nine years working in the private pensions industry, while studying to become a member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA). Tim is involved in the day-to-day financial processes as well as running the payroll function.
  • Mason Heard

    Mason Heard

    Finance Apprentice

    Mason Heard

    Finance Apprentice

    Mason is the youngest member of staff at L&W. He joined as a finance apprentice and is currently undertaking the Level 2 AAT qualification, with the intent to progress through the levels to become fully qualified. At L&W he contributes to general finance functions and is a great example of lifelong adult learning.

L&W Cymru

  • Dave Hagendyk

    Dave Hagendyk

    Director for Wales

    Dave Hagendyk

    Director for Wales

    Dave is director for Wales at Learning and Work Institute. Dave is responsible for leading the work of the organisation in Wales and for promoting to government and service providers the value of adult learning and the need for investment and policies to raise productivity, improve progression from low pay and reduce inequality. He has worked in leadership, campaigning and policy development roles in Wales for the last eighteen years. Prior to joining Learning and Work Cymru he worked for nearly seven years as the General Secretary of Welsh Labour. Prior to this he worked as the Political Liaison Officer for the University and College Union Cymru, as the Head of Policy for Welsh Labour, and as a researcher for Huw Lewis AM and Lynne Neagle AM.
  • Calvin Lees

    Calvin Lees

    Project Officer

    Calvin Lees

    Project Officer

    Calvin joined L&W from Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council where he was Principle Officer for Adult Education. Calvin has 15 years project management experience with ESF and ERDF European projects, and was a member of the Learning partnership board, Older learner network board and had experience of project development across 14-19 and post 16 education, employment and skills sectors. Calvin is currently responsible for project development and delivery across Wales including current work on the Personal Learning Accounts Pilot, F.E Skills Development Fund and the evaluation of 'Working Wales' for the Welsh Government. He is also leading on a Welsh Erasmus+ KA1 Mobility project to share best practice on Adult Learning campaigns and Learner Ambassadors across Europe.
  • Nisha Patel

    Nisha Patel

    Campaigns, Marketing and Communications Support Assistant

    Nisha Patel

    Campaigns, Marketing and Communications Support Assistant

    Nisha is the campaigns, marketing and communications support assistant at L&W Cymru and works within the policy and communications team. Nisha’s role involves supporting the planning and delivery of the Inspire! Awards and Adult Learners’ Week in Wales. Nisha manages and maintains all digital communication platforms such as the website, social media and email marketing; and develops ways to creatively showcase our work to maximise the reach and impact of our work.Nisha also supports the coordination of L&W Cymru events.
  • Kay Smith

    Kay Smith

    Head of Campaigns, Policy and Development

    Kay Smith

    Head of Campaigns, Policy and Development

    Kay is head of campaigns, policy and development for L&W in Wales. Kay has expertise in working with broadcasters on social action campaigns and working with stakeholders and partners across Wales, she leads on promotional activity for the Adult Learners' Week festival and the Inspire! Awards to raise awareness and widen access to lifelong learning. Alongside this other development and policy work includes Family Learning, ESOL, Essential Skills and Community Learning.
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    Wendy Ellaway-Lock

    Office Manager and Events Co-ordinator

    Wendy Ellaway-Lock

    Office Manager and Events Co-ordinator

    Wendy supports project logistics planning and budget management, as well as being responsible for office systems, accommodation strategies, buildings and maintenance and health and safety regulations.Wendy is responsible for the co-ordination and distribution of papers for the Wales Strategy Group and wider networks and plays a key role in the co-ordination and evaluation of all external events including conferences and training programmes.