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.
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    Naomi Phillips

    Deputy chief executive and director of policy and research

    Naomi Phillips

    Deputy chief executive and director of policy and research

    Naomi is Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Policy and Research and Learning and Work Institute. She joined the team in January 2022 from the British Red Cross, where she was Director of Policy and Advocacy.
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    Sam Avanzo Windett

    Deputy Director

    Sam Avanzo 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.
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    Naomi Clayton

    Deputy Director

    Naomi Clayton

    Deputy Director

    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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    Paul Cleminson

    Director of Finance and Operations

    Paul Cleminson

    Director of Finance and Operations

    Paul Cleminson is Director of Finance and Operations. Paul qualified as a Chartered Management Accountant in 1996 and has spent the majority of his career in a number of commercial sectors before moving into a large Housing Association in 2014 and joined L&W during 2022. Paul’s career has largely focussed on Operational Finance roles and has also taken in periods of management of non-financial and front line staff
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    Helen Gray

    Chief Economist

    Helen Gray

    Chief Economist

    Helen joined L&W as Chief Economist in July 2022. Over the past 20 years she has worked on a diverse range of projects in the field of employment and skills, applying experimental and quasi-experimental evaluation techniques to estimate the causal impact of policy changes. Helen has worked with a wide variety of administrative and survey datasets and has particular expertise in the use of linked government administrative data, spanning education, skills, benefits receipt, employment and offending. Prior to joining L&W Helen was Principal Research Economist at the Institute for Employment Studies for five years, having previously worked at the National Institute of Economic and Social Research, the Policy Studies Institute, the Centre for Economic Performance and the University of Surrey.
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    Emily Jones

    Deputy Director

    Emily Jones

    Deputy Director

    Emily Jones is Deputy Director at L&W, with responsibility for our research programme and leading our communications and influencing work. Emily has over 14 years’ experience in research to inform lifelong learning and skills policy and leads our flagship project, New Futures, and our annual Adult Participation in Learning Survey. Emily has progressed through a number of roles at L&W and has delivered research in apprenticeships and technical education, essential and life skills, and offender learning.
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    Joshua Miles

    Director for Wales

    Joshua Miles

    Director for Wales

    Joshua is Director for Wales at Learning and Work Institute (L&W), leading on our activity in Wales and working closely with Welsh Government and other Welsh partners. Prior to joining L&W, he was the Director for Confederation of Passenger Transport Cymru. Joshua was previously the Head of Policy for the Federation of Small Businesses Wales and has been a member of several Welsh Government advisory bodies such as Transport for Wales’ Advisory Panel, the Valleys Taskforce and the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales’ Research and Innovation Committee. He has also been a board member for Traveline Cymru. He holds a master’s degree in public policy from Cardiff University and studied at the Institut d’Etudes Politiques in Bordeaux as part of his undergraduate study.

Research and Development Team

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    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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    Mags Bexon

    Research Manager

    Mags Bexon

    Research Manager

    Mags joined L&W in November 2021 as a researcher. She is an experienced qualitative researcher with a particular interest in how young people can be best supported, both in education and when they enter the labour market. Prior to joining L&W, Mags was a postgraduate researcher, looking at how NEET young people use ICT to help them plan for the future and has also worked in research teams at education government bodies. Since joining L&W Mags has worked on a range of research and evaluation projects, focussing on understanding the impact of the pandemic on young people, and the engagement of adults in further education and training.
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    Jack Bradstreet

    Researcher

    Jack Bradstreet

    Researcher

    Jack joined L&W as a researcher in November 2022. He works on research and evaluation projects across the organisation’s key policy areas, particularly around adult basic skills and ESOL provision. Prior to joining L&W, Jack worked as a social researcher in the civil service and completed an MA in Migration and Global Development, focusing on refugee and asylum claimant welfare.
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    Hannah Carmichael

    New Futures Programme Manager

    Hannah Carmichael

    New Futures Programme Manager

    Hannah Carmichael is Programme Manager for L&W’s flagship project, New Futures, which aims to reskill people around the UK who are changing careers as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. A serial career changer herself, prior to joining L&W Hannah was at the Financial Times in Hong Kong and London, running an executive education programme for board directors in Asia. Before this she worked across the Tri-borough London councils as a Commissioner in Adult Social Care, public health and housing.
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    Corin Egglestone

    Deputy Head of Research

    Corin Egglestone

    Deputy Head of Research

    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.
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    Jess Elmore

    Deputy Head of Research

    Jess Elmore

    Deputy Head of Research

    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.
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    Hazel Klenk

    Research Manager (Maternity Leave)

    Hazel Klenk

    Research Manager (Maternity Leave)

    Hazel joined L&W having completed an MA in International Development and Education. As a Research Manager, 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, 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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    Zarin Mahmud

    Researcher

    Zarin Mahmud

    Researcher

    Zarin joined L&W as a Researcher in November 2023. She works on research and evaluation projects across the organisation’s key policy areas. Prior to joining L&W, Zarin worked at Centre for London, where she published research focused on urban policy.
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    Lorenzo Manetti

    Researcher

    Lorenzo Manetti

    Researcher

    Lorenzo joined L&W as an Economic Researcher in October 2023. He works on quantitative research and evaluation projects across the organization’s key policy areas. Prior to joining L&W, Lorenzo worked at the National Centre for Social Research as a Data Manager and completed an MSc in Development Economics with a dissertation on the economic returns of education.
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    Catherine Marren

    Interim Research Manager

    Catherine Marren

    Interim Research Manager

    Catherine joined L&W as a researcher in November 2022. She works on research and evaluation projects across the organisation’s key policy areas. Prior to joining L&W, Catherine worked on various research projects focused on improving the lives of women and girls across the UK.
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    Beccy Packer

    Research Manager (Maternity Leave)

    Beccy Packer

    Research Manager (Maternity Leave)

    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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    Sarah Perry

    Project Officer

    Sarah Perry

    Project Officer

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    Bradley Phipps

    Researcher

    Bradley Phipps

    Researcher

    Bradley joined L&W in November 2023. He is working on research and evaluation projects, including skills and employment in the transition to a net zero economy. Prior to joining L&W, Bradley completed his PhD in History and then worked in Higher Education in the field of education strategy, where he focused on delivering a research-inspired strategy.
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    Danny Price

    Researcher

    Danny Price

    Researcher

    Danny joined L&W in October 2023. He is a mixed method researcher who works on a range of projects across the organisation’s key policy areas. Prior to joining L&W, Danny worked at Kantar Public for 2 and a half years as a member of their evaluation team.
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    Jill Rutter

    Head of Programme and Policy

    Jill Rutter

    Head of Programme and Policy

    Jill Rutter joined L&W in 2022 as Head of Programme and Policy. She leads the organisation’s programme of research into work and on social security. Her role is also to make sure that L&W’s research reaches and informs policymakers. Jill has previously worked for the immigration and integration thinktank British Future where she remains an associate fellow. Jill has also worked at the Institute for Public Policy Research, the Refugee Council, the Family and Childcare Trust, as a university lecturer and for the funder Spirit of 2012. She is an internationally known expert on the integration of migrants and refugees, with her publications including Moving Up and Getting On (Open University Press, 2015) and The Final Report of the National Conversation on Immigration (British Future and Hope not hate, 2018).
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    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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    Sara Treneman

    Researcher

    Sara Treneman

    Researcher

    Sara joined L&W in August 2023 as a Researcher. She is a mixed-methods researcher and will be working across a diverse range of research and evaluation projects. Prior to joining L&W, Sara completed an internship in RAND Europe's Home Affairs and Social Policy team and worked in academic publishing at SAGE. She holds an MSc in Social Policy and Social Research from UCL, where her dissertation focused on student mental health and wellbeing services in London.
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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.
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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.

Policy and Communications Team

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    Helen Grant

    Communications and Campaigns Manager

    Helen Grant

    Communications and Campaigns Manager

    Helen joined Learning and Work Institute (L&W) in February 2023. She manages the delivery of L&W’s high-impact communications, campaigns and events, and also supports the organisation’s parliamentary work. Helen has held a variety of marketing, outreach and engagement roles with education non-profits. Prior to joining L&W, she coordinated focus groups for a qualitative research company.
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    Lucy Vigar

    Communications and Campaigns Coordinator

    Lucy Vigar

    Communications and Campaigns Coordinator

    Lucy Vigar joined Learning and Work Institute in June 2023 as a Communications Intern, supporting L&W’s communications, campaigns and events, including the Festival of Learning. Her previous experience includes roles in study support and communications within the non-profit sector.

Internal Services

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    Nerissa Allen

    Business Support Officer

    Nerissa Allen

    Business Support Officer

    Nerissa is the Business Support Officer for our London Office.  In addition to office management, she provides administrative support to a number of internal functions and processes.  Following a successful apprenticeship placement over 15 years ago, Nerissa went on to gain a wealth of public and charity sector experience and has supported numerous senior leaders, management teams and project groups.  Nerissa loves learning and is particularly passionate about those from disadvantaged backgrounds being given the opportunity and encouragement to develop and flourish.
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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.
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    Mohammad Norat

    Business Support Apprentice

    Mohammad Norat

    Business Support Apprentice

    Coming straight out of college, Mohammad has joined L&W as a Business Support Apprentice working towards a Level 3 apprenticeship qualification. He works collaboratively across different departments alongside the business support officer, supporting the business and helps with managing operations in the research and development function.

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    Amy Solanki

    HR Advisor

    Amy Solanki

    HR Advisor

    Amy joined Learning and Work Institute in May 2023 as the HR Advisor. She is currently working on several employee engagement projects internally to enhance the organisation's current offer. Before joining L&W, Amy worked in a variety of management and HR roles over the course of a 14-year career at John Lewis.

L&W Cymru

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    Joshua Miles

    Director for Wales

    Joshua Miles

    Director for Wales

    Joshua is Director for Wales at Learning and Work Institute (L&W), leading on our activity in Wales and working closely with Welsh Government and other Welsh partners. Prior to joining L&W, he was the Director for Confederation of Passenger Transport Cymru. Joshua was previously the Head of Policy for the Federation of Small Businesses Wales and has been a member of several Welsh Government advisory bodies such as Transport for Wales’ Advisory Panel, the Valleys Taskforce and the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales’ Research and Innovation Committee. He has also been a board member for Traveline Cymru. He holds a master’s degree in public policy from Cardiff University and studied at the Institut d’Etudes Politiques in Bordeaux as part of his undergraduate study.
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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.
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    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.
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    Nisha Patel

    Campaigns, Marketing and Communications Officer

    Nisha Patel

    Campaigns, Marketing and Communications Officer

    Nisha is the campaigns, marketing and communications officer 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.