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.
  • 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

    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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    Sam Windett

    Deputy Director (maternity leave)

    Sam Windett

    Deputy Director (maternity leave)

    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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    Emily Jones

    Deputy Director (maternity cover)

    Emily Jones

    Deputy Director (maternity cover)

    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.
  • Helen Gray

    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.

Research and Development Team

  • 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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    Mags Bexon

    Researcher

    Mags Bexon

    Researcher

    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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    Tom Bradley

    Researcher

    Tom Bradley

    Researcher

    Tom joined Learning and Work Institute (L&W) as a Social Researcher in November 2021. Prior to this, Tom has worked in frontline support roles, gaining extensive experience in supporting young people across London. Since joining L&W, he has been involved in multiple projects focused on education, employment and skills outcomes for young people.
  • 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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    Lucy Chrispin

    Researcher

    Lucy Chrispin

    Researcher

    Lucy joined L&W as a researcher in July 2022. She is currently working on several research and evaluation projects, with a particular focus on employment and education. Prior to joining L&W, Lucy completed a PhD in English Language and Communication with a mixed-method approach.
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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.
  • 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.
  • Sophie Hall

    Sophie Hall

    Research Manager

    Sophie Hall

    Research Manager

    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.
  • Hazel Klenk

    Hazel Klenk

    Researcher

    Hazel Klenk

    Researcher

    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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    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.
  • Beccy Packer

    Beccy Packer

    Research Manager

    Beccy Packer

    Research Manager

    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.
  • Sarah Perry

    Sarah Perry

    Project Officer

    Sarah Perry

    Project Officer

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    Jill Rutter

    Head of Programme and Policy

    Jill Rutter

    Head of Programme and Policy

  • 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.
  • 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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    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.
  • 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.
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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

  • Roisin Sheehy

    Roisin Sheehy

    Senior External Affairs Officer

    Roisin Sheehy

    Senior External Affairs Officer

    Since joining L&W in 2018, Roisin has worked across all areas of the policy and communications team, including digital communications, press and media and campaigns. 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. At present, Roisin leads on the activity of our Festival of Learning campaign and Better Work Network.

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.
  • 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.
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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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    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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    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.

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.
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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.
  • 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.