The Staff Team

James Tarn

Administration Assistant

James joined ERSA in July 2021. After being made redundant due to COVID, James struggled to find another job. Through the government's Kickstart scheme, he was referred to Transform Lives Company and put himself forward for the job at ERSA. His previous experience, having worked in the shipping industry and on the 2021 census, gives him a solid foundation of administration and IT skills to draw on.

Elizabeth Taylor

Chief Executive

Elizabeth is an award winning social entrepreneur and strategic leader with previous experience of membership organisations. 

Elizabeth is rooted in the employment support sector with a provider background, she secured her first job as an advisor in 1983 (aged 23). She soon became involved in national and international policy work. She spoke at the World Conference for Youth on Employment Strategies on Vancouver Island in 1986 and has continued to contribute, network and share.

From 1989 to 2019 she managed the delivery of employment support , enterprise support (including social enterprise) and training programmes, delivered with 23 different funding streams including- local authorities, Manpower Services Commission, Training Agency, Training and Enterprise Councils, Urban Programme, ESF, ERDF, City Challenge, Single Regeneration Budget, Employment Services, Jobcentre Plus, DWP, City Strategy Pathfinder, DWP District Managers Flexible Support Fund, Primary Care Trust, Care Trust Plus, Department of Health, the Future Jobs Fund, National Lottery Building Better Opportunities, Esme Fairbairn, Tudor Trust and the Lloyds TSB Foundation. 

Elizabeth was elected to the ERSA board in 2014.

Elizabeth has a Masters Degree in Human Resource Management.

Contact Elizabeth via [email protected]

Laura Benfield

Head of Membership

Laura joined ERSA in October 2014 in a newly created events role to develop its flagship conference and awards ceremony. Laura has over 20 years experience of project, events and marketing management and works with the team to deliver ERSA's programme of events, campaigns, benefits and opportunities to support the employability sector. Laura is a member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM). 

Contact Laura via [email protected] [email protected] or [email protected] 

Andrew Morton

Labour Market and Policy Research Officer

Andrew joined ERSA in August 2021. He has a PhD from the University of Leeds in labour relations and labour market regulation and has a research background that encompasses labour market policy, welfare policy and health policy. He currently holds a Research Fellowship as part of a WHO project on global health policy at the University of Leeds.  Prior to his work in academia, Andrew worked as a research consultant and as a research assistant in Holyrood, Edinburgh and Westminster. As Labour Market and Policy Research Officer at ERSA, Andrew’s work focuses on youth employment and the strategies to address youth unemployment in the UK. 

Andrew is working on a research paper on Kickstart experiences so far. If you would like to share your experience of the Kickstart Scheme please email Andrew at [email protected] . We want to highlight what needs fixing and make recommendations. Please also share your good news stories and examples of young people's progression to show what we have achieved.

Adam Byrne

Executive Officer

Adam joined ERSA in October 2020. Adam had a tough time before reaching his employment goals, suffering from anxiety and panic attacks for 15 years, which put his life on hold. In 2019 he was then referred to Transform Lives Company, a wellbeing and employability business, where he attended a group focused on getting him back on his feet. Adam volunteered in many different sectors, gaining various kinds of experience necessary for the role he has today and has a valuable perspective to offer, being on both sides of the employability journey.
Adam works for ERSA two days a week. 

Contact Adam via [email protected] or [email protected]