Skills Advisory Panel
The new LEP Skills Advisory Panel (SAP) is an employer-led local partnership, established in October 2019 to strengthen the link between public and private sector employers, local authorities, colleges and universities and to pool knowledge on skills and labour market needs.
SELEP’s SAP is reflective of growth sectors and will be informed by the SELEP Skills Strategy and Evidence Base already in place. This will be added to through the production of an analytical toolkit produced with the Department for Education which is supporting the establishment of SAPs nationally. The toolkit and all related information will be available on this website.
SELEP and partners are already tackling the skills challenge in a variety of ways, most notably through a new Digital Skills Partnership, FE Bursary pilot, ESF and skills capital programmes. You can find out more about European Social Fund (ESF) opportunities here. To find out more about the tutor bursary programme, go to becomealecturer.org.
The SAP represents a major opportunity to drive forward further change and deliver results with employers at the forefront.
(Scroll down for full biographies)
South East LEP
East Sussex County Council
Airports and Tourism
LEP Board member
Sussex Chamber of Commerce
Chair of Skills East Sussex
Social Enterprise Kent
Voluntary and Community
DP World London Gateway
Vice-Chair of SAG and FE/Vice-Chair of SAP
Digital and Creative/Digital Skills Partnership
South Essex College
Chair of SAG and FE/Vice-Chair of SAP
Kent Association of Training Organisations
STEM/Digital Skills Partnership
Wire Belt Company
Chair of Kent & Medway Skills Commission/Engineering
Community Investment Advisor, Morgan Sindall | Construction
Helen has worked in the construction industry for over 10 years. Helen’s role at Morgan Sindall Construction is about delivering social value for its public-sector clients. A large proportion of this is linked to skills. Helen is a Fairness, Inclusion and Respect (FIR) Ambassador and attends various skills meetings across East Anglia. Helen is also an Enterprise Advisor currently with two schools, as well as being a STEM Ambassador.
Principal, Plumpton College | Vice Chair of SAG and FE
Jeremy has worked across the country in the Further Education and Higher Education sectors over the last 20 years, and in that time has either been involved in or witnessed world-class practice in ensuring skills development is fully aligned to local, regional and national business and economic development. He is Principal of one of only 13 specialist land-based colleges nationally, as well as sitting on the Board of Landex and the National Land-based College. Jeremy is also Chair of the Training and Education group for WineGB, the national representative body for the wine industry.
Principal and Chief Executive, South Essex College | Chair of SAG and FE
Angela has worked in further education for 37 years, having previously held lecturer, assistant principal, vice principal and acting principal roles at Liverpool Community College and Wigan and Leigh College. After setting up a new college in Hackney and spending five successful years there, Angela became principal at Sunderland College before taking up her current role at South Essex College in 2012. In 2013, Angela was awarded a CBE for services to education.
London and South East Lead, BT Group
Neil Aitken is BT Group’s regional public affairs lead for London and the South East. As part of the Nations & Regions team, Neil is responsible for maintaining key political relationships with MPs, elected mayors and local councillors, local enterprise partnerships and business organisations – with the skills agenda forming a key part of the role.
Neil is responsible for promoting BT’s Skills for Tomorrow programme in the region, which aims to reach 10m people with digital skills training by 2025, including primary schools, job seekers and small businesses.
Employability and Skills Strategy Manager, East Sussex County Council | Local Authorities
Holly has worked in the skills and employability sector for over 20 years with leadership roles in the public sector (Local Authorities, the European Commission and the Learning and Skills Council), community sector and private sector. Holly has managed skills funding programmes (overseeing European Social Funding for the Learning and Skills Council), led training organisations and provided consultancy support to universities, colleges and community organisations around their training development and delivery. In her current role, she established and now facilitates the highly effective ‘Skills East Sussex’ employment and skills board, and its six sector-focused business-led task groups.
HR Director, Stansted Airport | Airports and Tourism
Liz has worked at London Stansted Airport for over 10 years and in that time helped manage the transfer from BAA to Manchester Airport Group at a time of exceptional and sustained period of growth. Having originally started as an HR Business Partner, Liz was appointed HR Director in early 2016. Before joining MAG, Liz started her career in the health industry, specifically criminal psychology, before changing direction to work in HR roles. Liz held a number of senior people roles at Asda and, prior to that, HR roles in the rail and construction industry. Outside of work, Liz is a school governor and plays an active role in driving educational standards.
Artistic Director and Chief Executive, Metal | LEP Board Member
Colette has worked to develop Metal since the company’s inception in 2002. She works across all three Metal sites in Southend, Liverpool and Peterborough and brings extensive experience of working with artists working in a wide range of artistic disciplines. In 2016 she created Estuary – a major new arts festival along the banks of the Thames in South Essex and North Kent presenting contemporary visual art, literature, film and music. She sits on a number of Boards including The WOW Foundation; Opportunity South Essex and the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP).
Chief Executive, Sussex Chamber of Commerce
Ana’s career began in aviation in ground operations working both at Gatwick and Heathrow airports before progressing into hospitality in London at Marble Arch Marriott hotel, and subsequently working on the construction and development of the London Marriott hotel at County Hall. Managing the London Aquarium as General Manager was her first management role. Ana was Executive Vice President of an executive recruitment and human resources consultancy in the Philippines before working for the British Deputy High Commission in India in entry clearance (visas and immigration). On her return to Britain, Ana joined Fisher Clinical Services before becoming Chief Executive of the Sussex Chamber of Commerce in 2014.
Head of Human Resources, Berry Gardens | Food Production
Sam has worked at Berry Gardens Limited, the UK’s leading soft fruit provider, for over 12 years and in that time has seen the business grow significantly. Starting originally as a HR Manager, Sam was appointed Head of HR in early 2016. She was awarded the coveted award of Manager of the Year in 2019 by the Fresh Produce Consortium. Before joining Berry Gardens, Sam started her career within the accountancy and medical communications industries. During her spare time, Sam is an active Trustee for the Japanese Akita Welfare Trust.
Consultant, RDBInsight | Chair of Skills East Sussex
Diana has been engaged in the skills agenda, and specifically STEM skills, for many years and has a good understanding of both national and local issues. As Chief Executive of the Science Council, Diana led work on innovative workforce skills analysis, careers awareness and information, developed professional qualifications in science including Chartered and Registered Scientist and Registered Science Technician and introduced a programme of work on diversity in science. She chaired the BIS Science for Careers Expert Group in 2010-12.
Diana is currently an independent member of the Construction Industry Training Board and also works with Kings College London and the University of Brighton in developing ways of improving undergraduate work readiness. She was on the board of Sussex Coast College and more recently East Sussex College Group.
Director of Learning and Skills, Social Enterprise Kent | Voluntary and Community
Kirsty’s career began in health and social care. Due to a passion for training and development of staff and service users, Kirsty eventually made the decision to embark on a new career in training and development. She is now Director of Learning and Skills at Social Enterprise Kent (SEK), using her knowledge of qualifications and funding to support and develop SEK’s training centre delivering commercial training, apprenticeships, employability qualifications and training. Kirsty is a committee member of Kent Association for Training Organisations (KATO).
Regional Food & Drink Director - South & East Region, HSBC | Finance
Iain has held a wide number of management and leadership roles over 35 years in retail & corporate banking. He hopes to guide more young people into his profession by helping them understand the pathways available to them, the skills required and the highly rewarding personal development they can achieve. Iain is a voluntary member of the Retail & Commercial Banking Graduate & Intern Assessment Panel and an Enterprise Adviser for the Careers & Enterprise Company, as well as being Chair of the Finance & Professional Services Guild for Kent, Chair of the Advisory Board to Canterbury Christ Church University Business School and Member of the Business Advisory Board to Kent County Council.
DP World London Gateway | Logistics
Trevor has 20 years of experience from both private and public sector perspectives in the Essex and wider South East area. As a planning and transport consultant for the past 12 years, Trevor has worked with a number of clients and has a broad experience of issues. He previously spent eight years as a strategic planning and transportation officer at Thurrock Council, and was formerly Vice Chair of the Essex Employment and Skills Board, as well as spending two years as Chairperson of the Essex Employment and Skills Board’s logistics sector action group.
Workforce Development Strategist, EDF Energy | Nuclear Energy
Lynne started off her career in BBC sport and joined the nuclear industry to set up the British Energy supply business which went on to be market leader. Now with over 20 years experience in the nuclear industry Lynne leads on the planning and implementation of workforce strategy for nuclear new build. Having successfully achieved approval and investment for Hinkley Point C in Somerset, she is currently doing the same for Sizewell C in Suffolk and is the Lead for Bradwell B in Essex.
Managing Director, Screen South | Digital and Creative
Jo Nolan has exec-produced over 250 digital projects across Film, Arts and Heritage including award-winning features, shorts, music promos, live shows and gallery-based work. She is the Lead Producer for New Creatives South East, the recently launched BBC Arts new talent scheme. She also leads the Create Converge Skills & Talent strand, a European cross sector Immersive and Interactive project. She has successfully produced 72 shorts for C4 Random Acts and supports Screen South’s Accentuate Programme across a range of projects. Jo is a voting member of BAFTA, a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and is Chair of the Kent and Medway Skills Guild for Creative, Media and Digital.
Dr Ajay Sharman
Regional Network Lead, STEM Learning Ltd - South East | STEM/Digital Skills Partnership
Dr Ajay Sharman is the Regional Network Lead for STEM Learning Ltd across the South East. Dr Sharman was previously Technical Director at University of Kent spin-out company Viridian, before joining Reckitt Benckiser as Global Technology Manager followed by a commercial role at the University of Oxford’s Begbroke Science Park. Dr Sharman has been a Chair of Governors at Parkside Community School in Canterbury for over eight years, as well as Chair and Vice Chair of Governors at The Whitstable School. He is currently a trustee at Dartford Science & Technology College and on the pool of Governors for Kent County Council.
Non-Executive Chairman, Wire Belt Company Ltd | Chair, Kent & Medway Skills Commission
Paul completed a Higher Apprenticeship and then qualified as a Chartered Certified Accountant while working for the Lucas Group in the 1970s. He was CEO of the Wire Belt Company for almost 40 years, having established the strategy of recruiting from full time education, especially for apprenticeships. Now as Non- Executive Chairman, time has been released for other skills-related activities such as being an Apprentice Ambassador and chairing the Kent & Medway Skills Commission. Paul is also a member of the Kent & Medway Economic Partnership.