Frontline Adviser of the Year – Sponsored by The Institute of Employability Professionals

IEP is the only professional membership institute for the employability profession. It represents its members to key influencers and sets the standards for the profession.

IEP members have a commitment to their profession. They are leading experts in their field.

IEP has members all over the UK and the Republic of Ireland working for leading private, public and third-sector employers. The entry process ensures that members can demonstrate their professional standing.

Employment advisers and job coaches who have demonstrated exceptional commitment in a frontline role

  • Keely Storey, Aspire Sussex
  • Keely is an inspirational, highly skilled and exceptional employability coach who puts the needs of her participants at the heart of her role. She builds the trust of individuals to enable them to share honest barriers and helps them find the courage to face their battles and overcome them. Keely’s creativity, skills and endless passion opens up opportunities individuals never knew they had, fires up their motivation and build aspirations beyond their expectations. By fighting for the rights of individuals, Keely has influenced companies big and small to review their direction of support and contribute to moving individuals closer to successful and sustainable employment.
  • Paul Gurley, Catch22
  • Paul is an Employment Coach on Catch22’s Creative Opportunities Forum Programme. This is a Home Office funded programme for 16-25 year olds who are at risk of falling into crime. He has an incredible ability to build rapport with all the young people he works with, making sure that he understands their needs so that they can put together a workable action plan. Paul ensures that each of the young people that he supports has his undivided attention in their appointments, and always follows up with the young person so that they are never left in the dark. When he is working with his referral partners, Paul is often asked by name to support new young people as word of his great support travels amongst organisations. Paul is also a great team player, constantly helping others, sharing best practices and being a great source of information to his colleagues.
  • David Oliver, Jobs 22
  • Jobs 22 Employment Coach David Oliver’s employability career has spanned more than 20 years; ask him why he gets such fantastic results for the participants he works with, and he responds modestly. A reluctant self-publicist, for David, he’s simply doing his job. David’s commitment to providing everyone he works with the same opportunity, the same space to talk through their challenges and the same benefit of his experience helps people achieve long-term success where they’d previously stumbled. David outrightly says he doesn’t see himself as anything special but firmly believes you have to have the correct moral code to work with vulnerable people and leave your judgement at the door. “I show up every day and try to do my best for the person who’s sat across the desk from me. That’s how you achieve success in this role, showing everyone the same kindness and support and listening to them. It doesn’t need to be about work; you can help someone in many ways, leading to them finding happiness and security in a job.” David has worked with people with wide-ranging challenges, from the long-term unemployed with mental and physical health challenges to autistic participants who need a different approach to enter the workforce for the very first time. David’s Manager and Lincoln branch manager, Paul Bond, describes David’s approach as consistent, non-judgmental, and a safe pair of hands, “David is someone you can rely on to deliver. He balances performance with a caring approach that puts people first. He has longstanding relationships with local providers and innately knows how to provide the right training and interventions for the people we work with in Lincoln.”
  • Lorraine Fenney, Newground Together
  • Lorraine Fenney is a Senior Employment Advisor at Newground Together. The projects she leads have helped hundreds of people regain their confidence and find employment. Many have faced multiple barriers to work and have required intensive support. What really sets Lorraine apart is her passion, her sincerity and her ability to build trusting relationships that take each person on their own unique journey, empowering them to return to work or education. Lorraine takes a truly holistic approach to ensuring people find the support they need. She recognises that the keys to overcoming barriers are security, stability and consistent support. She sees and fills gaps in service provision, as she did with her course to help refugees understand how recruitment works in the UK. People open up to her, which enables her to offer more personalised support, and she nurtures colleagues to deliver the same inspirational standards of care.
  • Saeema Yusuf, Team Belina
  • The Get Ready for Work, GRoW, Adviser Team nominates Saeema Yusuf for the Frontline Adviser of the Year. GRoW works with women further away from the labour market and Saeema works with those who are the furthest away: 90% have English as a second language, most have no qualifications; many have never worked. She is that magic combination of your big sister, your most cherished teacher, and that friend, who stands beside you when you need help and keeps you moving forward. We first got to know her in 2018, as a Mum participant on the GRoW programme. She had not worked for 15 years and was a stay-at-home mum with four children, and the main carer for her disabled brother-in-law. We were delighted when she applied for a maternity cover: at the interview she blew us away with her understanding and approach. She has made herself an indispensable part of the team. She is our top performer on the BBO PDT programme that supports BAME Women. Her work has been repeatedly used as examples of best practice. Because she has been through the programme, Saeema is a role model to our mums. They see that she has overcome the barriers and that they can do it too. In her own words ‘As a mum, I remember feeling I had lost some of my identity and had no real life outside of my front door. It was quite daunting when I joined GRoW. I had to learn how to discipline myself, to juggle my job with my other responsibilities. And, now I say – If I can do it, anyone can do it. There are so many opportunities out there and you have to believe in yourself that you can do it and you should do it!’
  • Janice Moody, Salisbury Jobcentre Plus – nominated by Recro Consulting
  • Recro would like to nominate Janice Moody, Disability Employment Adviser at Salisbury JCP who we worked with providing provision to a group of people suffering with a wide range of mental health issues. The aim of the programme was to help the group address their mental health issues and move them closer to employment. Issues that this group were experiencing were severe, ranging from trauma, stress, anxiety, social anxiety, depression, ill health and addiction. Janice played a lead part in the JCP team that put a business case forward to buy additional provision for this client group. She’d been working with clients identified as needing more support with their mental health, herself having experience of suffering with her mental health and demonstrated real passion to help others. The provision was extremely successful. We very much felt that Janice’s groundwork in building trust with the clients and demonstrating support allowed them to fully engage in this dedicated mental health provision. Janice has demonstrated exceptional commitment in a frontline role. Someone who passionately believed in what she wanted to achieve for the client base and made it happen with her efforts. Her work has directly impacted on their welfare, well-being, bringing them closer to employment whilst helping them address their mental health issues. One participant became confident enough to find a job. Others have made significant changes and have a much-improved outlook. The provision helped one client tackle their addictions, another address personal trauma experienced, another their severe social anxiety and a single parent overwhelmed by a troubled child. All encouraged by Janice to take the provision. Her support to the clients has demonstrated a customer-centred ethos that is second to none and she has led by example and applied best practise in supporting job seekers who have needed additional support.
  • Natalie Nero, Tameside In Work, Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council
  • Service is the first of its kind in the borough. The 12-month initiative aims to gather evidence around the most effective ways of supporting people who are in work on low pay to progress and increase their earnings. The project launched on 31st January 2022. Natalie Nero joined the team as an Employment Officer and has completed crucial work with participants to upskill and increase their earnings; providing bespoke training tailored to their personal needs, career aspirations, skills and development goals to help them progress. Since the launch of Tameside In-Work Progression, Natalie has worked with over 120 participants and has supported over 70 participants towards being invited for interviews to progress into new job roles, and over half of these participants have been successful in their applications for these enhanced positions. We have received phenomenal feedback from clients about the support Natalie has offered them whilst they have been involved with Tameside In-Work Progression. Natalie always makes time to meet with her clients and get to know and understand them, and the kind of support they need. Whether they support to develop their meetings skills, require support with job searching, completing job application form or preparing for a job interview; Natalie makes sure each person is offered an appointment which is suitable for them. Since the start of this project, Natalie has been diligent, persistent and conscientious in her approach to her work and has been instrumental in the success of this project. This award would be a fantastic way to recognise and thank Natalie for all of the time and effort she has invested in this work, and the incredible results achieved in the months since the launch of Tameside In-Work Progression.
  • Christine Walker Dale, Mental Health Matters
  • Christine has a wealth of experience working as an Employment Recovery Worker, supporting people with severe and complex mental health needs. Due to the nature of her client group, she must be flexible and able to adapt to the indivudal, taking into account their own unique barriers, strengths and aspirations. Utilising her own patience and resilience, she is able to work at the client’s pace and understands the importance of encouragement and motivation when striving toward recovery and independence. Although many of her clients are far from the job market, she has acheived some excellent outcomes in terms of training, volunteering and paid employment but also in relation to her clients’ confidence, self-esteem and overall wellbeing.
  • Carly Moore, Shaw Trust
  • Our nomination for Frontline Adviser of the year goes to Carly Moore who is an Employment Adviser on WHP JETS at Shaw Trust. Carly supports participants in a remote delivery provision requiring high levels of self-management and independence in innovating appropriate support. Within the role, Carly has worked exceptionally hard with her caseload and will do everything within the scope of her role to assist a participant as well as offering ideas of new solutions. She consistently delivers a high-quality service and there are endless stories of how she has helped her participants along the difficult path back into employment. Carly is a very diligent adviser and is particularly intuitive and this skill has enabled her to garner additional wellbeing support for her participants where needed. Carly is a wonderful ambassador for the employability sector, our charity, provision, and our teams. She regularly shares her best practice and looks to inspire and motivate others to find the right journey into employment for each participant in her caseload. This support has not wavered, even when Carly herself faced the toughest of challenges with a cancer diagnosis that involved surgery and intensive radiation therapy. With little time out of work, Carly maintained her compassion and desire to continue her hard work to change lives and contribute to more participant journeys. In the last 11 months, Carly has supported 246 participants, 96 of these have gained employment so far with many more in the future pipeline. Overall, Carly has delivered the provision with a high level of bespoke solutions, adapting to each participant needs, she has built confidence and skills within the communities she has supported and shared this success to allow others to do the same. Carly has contributed not only to her caseload but the wider provision and industry.
  • Petros Mersinis, Fedcap Scotland
  • Petros Mersinis knows how hard it can be to arrive in a foreign country alone, without a job or English as your first language. Petros came to the UK from his Greek island home to study, overcoming his struggles with the language barrier to complete his qualifications, leading to a ten-year career in the UK hospitality industry. In February, Petros took up a new challenge to help others who could be struggling: he made it his mission to support people into sustainable employment. Just weeks after landing his first job in the employability sector with Fedcap Scotland, Petros used his unique combination of natural empathy, lived experiences and innovative thinking to change the life of Nigerian mother-of-three Queen Aliu. Queen found herself in Edinburgh, a single mum with no money, job, or stable accommodation. She couldn’t speak English or read or write in any language. Petros went the extra mile for Queen, determined to walk the streets of Edinburgh with her until she found a job. Acting as her translator, Petros walked into hospitality businesses unannounced to pitch for a job for Queen. Petros’s persistence and understanding of the trade paid off when Italian restaurant L’artigiano asked Queen if she could work an eight-hour trial shift that same day. Queen is now a much-valued employee at L’artigiano, working 20 hours per week. Petros successfully exceeds his targets, helping 29 disadvantaged people into sustainable work within a few months. His engagement rates are outstanding, and he regularly goes above and beyond to help customers, acting as a mentor and all-round adviser to rapidly transform their lives. Recognising his extraordinary abilities to inspire people, Fedcap Scotland also tasked Petros with mentoring four new colleagues, encouraging them to push boundaries, find their own creative solutions and excel, while fostering a supportive team spirit.