Oliver Cardinali, Head of Future Skills, Industrial Strategy

Oliver leads on skills for the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, specifically how we should meet our future skills needs as part of the UK Government’s Industrial Strategy. He was previously the Policy Adviser on Social Mobility to the Secretary of State for Education, Justine Greening, having asked to join the Department from the social mobility charity the Sutton Trust by Justine herself. At the Department for Education Oliver set up and oversaw the Opportunity Areas programme to support disadvantaged places with low social mobility and wrote the Social Mobility Action Plan. As well as the Sutton Trust, Oliver has worked for the Education Endowment Foundation – the ‘what works’ centre for education – and led the education team at a private consultancy. He ran the All Party Group on Social Mobility, writing a report on access into professional jobs, and has conducted research for the Social Mobility Commission.

Chinara Rustamova, Senior Policy Adviser, Education and Skills, FSB

Chinara Rustamova is responsible for leading on the FSB’s education and skills research and policy and is the author of the report, Fit for the Future: Making the Apprenticeship System Work for Small Businesses. She is on a range of government boards such as the DfE’s Apprenticeship Stakeholder Board, Technical Education Stakeholder Advisory Group, Non-Levy Employer Group and IfATE  Small Business Forum to represent the skills needs and interests of small businesses. Prior to this role, Chinara worked on education and skills policy at the British Academy focusing on the academia.

Twitter: @rustamovac

Rob Nitsch, CBE Chief Operating Officer Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education

Rob Nitsch was appointed as the Institute’s first Chief Operating Officer in June 2018. The Institute’s mission is to improve access to high-quality apprenticeships and technical education, in order to transform the skills landscape.Reporting to the Chief Executive, Rob is accountable for the operation of the Institute’s technical education and apprenticeship teams, including the development and assessment of apprenticeship standards, funding recommendations and the Institute’s responsibilities for Technical Education.

Rob trained as a professional engineer in the Army.During his military career, he also held operational and strategy appointments in training & education, logistics, corporate affairs and HR.Prior to joining the Institute he was the Army’s Personnel Director and a member of the Army Board.His responsibilities encompassed career education, individual development and the Army’s extensive apprenticeship programme. Rob has achieved Fellowship of the CIPD and the IMechE, and Companionship of the CMI.

Twitter: @IFAteched

Jean Cockerill, People Director, GTR

Jean Cockerill is a highly experienced People Director with expertise in Employee Relations, Business Partnering and Change Management in both the public and private sectors.

Jean built her career in major organisations such as Nissan, GSK and Virgin Atlantic, before joining Transport for London (TfL) where she was Director of HR Business Partnering and Employee Relations.  At TfL, Jean successfully negotiated long-term pay deals with multiple unions, delivered far-reaching organisational change and resolved complex high-profile industrial disputes.

Jean joined GTR as People Director in July 2019.

Richard Rowley, Managing Director, Census Life (part of Census Group)

Richard Rowley is the Managing Director at Census Life and is responsible for all criminal justice work the social enterprise undertakes.

Richard has over 20 years’ experience of working with voluntary, public and private sector organisations in the criminal justice arena and still retains the same desire to support people to become the very best they can be.

Richard is a also very proud to be a Trustee for POPS (Partners of Prisoners and Families Support Group) in Manchester.

On the off-chance he is away from work, you’ll find Richard watching football, cooking and spending time with his family – not necessarily in that order!

Twitter: @RichARowley | @CensusLife

Mark Dawe, Chief Executive, AELP

Mark was appointed as the Chief Executive of AELP over 3 years ago.  He is on the Board of WorldSkills UK as well as a range of government boards such as the ESFA Advisory Board, IfA Quality Alliance and the DfE’s Apprenticeship Stakeholder Board.

Most recently, Mark Dawe was the Chief Executive of OCR, the exam board, for 5 years. He has been a governor of primary schools, secondary and a further education college. Mark has a wealth of experience across a broad spectrum in the education field. Prior to his role at OCR, Mark was Principal of Oaklands FE College (and AELP Board Director) having been Deputy Director, FE Strategy at the Department of Education and Skills and before that as Deputy Director, Adult Basic Skills Strategy Unit after joining the department in 2003. 

Having read Economics at Cambridge University before qualifying as a chartered accountant at KPMG, Mark joined Canterbury College, becoming Head of Corporate Services in 1994. In 2000, he helped set up eGS, an e-procurement provider to the public sector. He gets his grit and resilience from supporting Plymouth Argyle and Boreham Wood, cycling and four school and university aged children.

Twitter: @AELPUK

Sally Andreou, Skills Hub Manager, OxLEP

Sally joined OxLEP in October 2018 and has over 10 years of intensive experience in the strategic leadership and management of innovative educational social mobility programmes, combined with a proven track record of bidding and managing public, private and international funding. Programmes led and managed include: Business in the Community’s (BITC) ‘Business Class’ across Oxfordshire and Reading and ‘Head of Operations’ for the Prince’s Trust ‘Mosaic’ mentoring scheme across six regions of the UK. Sally has also been responsible for creating the governance structure and fundraising strategy of two new charitable foundations: The Commonwealth War Graves Foundation (CWGF) and 5Rights Foundation.

Sally’s responsibilities including overseeing five Skills programmes including CEC and ESF funded projects. She is currently focussed on developing the Skills ambitions (i.e. Social Contract) to support OxLEP’s Local Industrial Strategy, which in turn, will lead the creation of Oxfordshire’s Skills Priority Statement in Spring 2020.