Paul de Pellette

Chief Executive Officer, Triage
Chair of ERSA Board

Paul has spent most of his career in the employability sector including 13 years with Ingeus, eventually leading its employability business across England, Scotland and Northern Ireland, before joining Triage in 2019.

He says: “Employment support providers play a pivotal role in helping people at a time of need and ERSA represents everything that’s great about the sector – the sheer diversity of organisations and the collective knowledge they’ve gained. My experience means that I can see things from the perspective of most of our members and represent their views, the challenges they face and the solutions they bring.”

Kirsty Hunn

Kirsty Hunn 

Director of Strategy and Development, The BUSY Group UK

Vice Chair ERSA Board

In more than 21 years working in the employment services sector, Kirsty, who began as a frontline advisor, has held senior management positions with major providers, latterly as part of the inaugural Executive Team at The BUSY Group UK. She describes her work as her passion: changing lives, improving health outcomes, and strengthening communities.

She says: “As an ERSA board director, I have the opportunity to ensure our collective voice drives necessary change. Standing with ERSA and its members, we’re not just advocating equity; we’re fighting for a future where the power of human capital is valued at every level. This role is more than a position to me; it’s a chance to lead, inspire, and make a tangible difference in the sector that has been my life’s work.”

Richard Clifton 

Managing Director – Employability, Shaw Trust

Former ERSA Chair, specialisms include VCSE, Disability Employment and Social Value. 

Richard has worked in the employment services and skills sector since 1993, delivering every major government contract from New Deal to Work and Health Programme. He started his career supporting and advising jobseekers.

He says: “I believe access to good work should be available to everyone. Being part of the sector that makes that happen is important to me and personally rewarding. ERSA gives a collective voice to drive change, innovation and success, which leads to more people accessing work. I bring a unique view from a charity that operates as a prime contractor for national and local government.”

Thomas Harley

Thomas Harley

Founder & CEO, Get Set UK

Thomas’s career began in New Zealand, working in employment services across both the public and private sectors before relocating and establishing Get Set UK. The company provides employment, skills, and health services to tens of thousands of people every year.

He said: “I hope to bring my 20 years’ experience of the sector, along with my business development and operational management expertise, to bear in furthering our sector’s objectives in a practical and sustainable manner.”

Ian Ross

Ian Ross

CEO, Whitehead-Ross Education

Ian founded Whitehead-Ross Education in 2012, which now employs 126 staff across South Wales and Southern England. A Swansea University graduate in Economics and qualified teacher, Ian has worked as a lobbyist and public affairs professional, FE Lecturer, and civil servant. He is a magistrate at Swansea Magistrates Court and South East Regional Chair for the Federation of Small Businesses.

Ian says: “As a sector, we need to be proactive in influencing change. I regularly meet with Government officials to highlight issues that need addressing. I want us to showcase the outstanding work our sector delivers and evidence why it is so crucial for proper investment in employability services.”

saf ali

Safaraz Ali (Saf)

CEO of Pathway Group and Founder of Multicultural Alliance & Awards, Festival of Apprenticeships

Since founding Pathway Group 22 years ago Saf has championed social mobility. He founded the Multicultural Apprenticeship Alliance & Awards to recognise the under-representation of BAME communities in apprenticeships.

He says: “ERSA is the voice of the sector – campaigning and influencing strategic policy to support jobseekers and low earners. In addition, its role is to drive best practice and be a support network for providers. I bring strategic insight and an operational perspective with the experience of setting up and growing a social enterprise business that has more than 130 employees, delivering in the skills and employability sectors.”


Caroline Fox

CEO, Twin Group

Caroline’s and Twin’s history in the sector began supporting UK assimilation for asylum seekers and groups like ex-offenders and families with multiple challenges. Twin has now moved into major employability programmes such as the Restart Scheme.

She says: “The sector fulfils a genuine societal need so, for me, it’s a source of personal fulfilment and business opportunity. Its work is important politically, socially and economically yet, like other areas of public expenditure, must compete for political attention and budget. ERSA gives the sector a collective voice to Government policy makers about its needs and its value.”

Colin Geering

Colin Geering    

Group Director of Business Development, The LTE Group

Colin’s career spans employment-related services. For the last decade he has worked in business development in large public, private, and third sector organisations, focusing on employment, education, skills, justice, and youth.

He says: “By championing our sector, ERSA helps create a more inclusive and prosperous society. It engages policymakers and stakeholders to make the economic case for the difference our services make, fosters a collaborative environment among members and is a hub for updates on policy, funding and research. To this I bring a practical view of what works in the complex world of employability.”


Julie Graham

CEO Employment Services, Ingeus

Julie has worked in employment services for more than 20 years as well as the disability sector and as Director of Corporate Services in a large community organisation.

She says: “I’m a passionate advocate of employment for all and believe in contributing actively to our sector through board directorship, so I can be a voice for our members and ensure the organisation meets their needs. ERSA is important in making our sector sustainable and professional and, through my experience including the Work and Health Programme, JETS and the Restart Scheme, I believe I can make a positive contribution.”

Oliver Jacobs headshot

Oli Jacobs

CEO, Twining Enterprise, specialising in mental health and employment, in particular IPS delivery, on the ERSA Board.

Oli began his career as a stockbroker before moving to change-making work for organisations including TimeBank, Save the Children International, the United Nations and the Cabinet Office. He has written on innovative approaches to individual, team, organisational and community development through Action Inquiry.

He says: “I believe everyone should be able to enjoy the benefits that work provides, but also access support in times of difficulty without disruption. I want everyone, whatever their circumstances, to be fully accepted members of their community and ERSA works towards achieving this.”

Naomi Ilagoswa

Naomi Ilagoswa

Head of Strategic Partnerships & External Projects, The Growth Company

Naomi has worked in the sector for nearly 15 years and is responsible for the integration and stakeholder engagement for employment, health and justice programmes in the North of England as well as managing bespoke projects such as the United for Ukraine campaign.

She says: “I’m passionate about creating equitable opportunities for those who are under-represented in the labour market, and I believe ERSA is important as the voice of our sector, lobbying and creating change. I bring passion and knowledge to the Board, being able to speak as a subcontractor and a prime provider of services.”

James Clark-Allan ERSA Head shot

James Clark-Allan

Strategy and Solutions Director, PeoplePlus UK

James has worked in senior business development and operational roles in the welfare to work sector, including employability, skills, justice and youth, for organisations including Capita, Ingeus and G4S.

He says: “The programmes I have worked on have helped improve the lives of some of the most disadvantaged people in society by gaining sustainable work, increasing their self-worth and confidence and, in many cases, lifting them and their families out of abject poverty. I bring an innovative outlook to ERSA, drawing on skills from ten years in banking and 19 years in our sector.”

Ayd Sims - Headshot

Ayden Sims

CEO, Angus Knight UK – national employment programmes and prime provider delivery support

Ayd is responsible for Jobs 22, Learn Plus Us, Intuitive Thinking Skills and Healthfind. They collectively deliver employment, skills, health, and behaviour change services and are part of the global Angus Knight Group. Having been medically discharged from the Royal Air Force, Ayd’s nearly 20 year employability career began as a front-line Employment Advisor before progressing to senior Board roles.

He says: “I have a passion for the work we do and the impact we have as a sector, having seen at first-hand its positive effect on people’s lives. At this pivotal point in the UK’s political journey, it is critical that ERSA continues to champion this work and influence policy to ensure we have the best opportunity to deliver lasting change into the future.”


Samantha Saunders

Managing Director, G4S Employment Support Services

Samantha has a long history of supporting vulnerable people in society through her 20 years working in local government, then the employability sector. With first-hand knowledge of prime provider delivery, she is also a passionate advocate for smaller specialist organisations contributing to national programmes.

She says: “ERSA is the only voice for the employability sector which has a positive and direct link to commissioners, and is in the room when key decisions are being discussed. This is important for those member organisations, especially smaller and supply chain providers, who don’t have that relationship with commissioners. My experience ensures I am not only there to represent Primes, but also smaller organisations who would be unable to deliver in any significant volume without the model.”