Awards winners are pinnacle of industry ready to help jobseekers weather the storm of recession
Employment Related Services Association (ERSA) Awards 2022 highlight sector’s unsung heroes

The highest achievers in an industry standing ready to support jobseekers as recession bites have been celebrated at the ERSA awards.

The winners were announced at the end of the first day of the ERSA conference in Birmingham against a background of a forecast rise in the UK’s unemployment rate to nearly five per cent.

In front of an audience of employability and skills professionals, the awards, the tenth to be organised by the association, recognised the often-unsung heroes who help find worthwhile jobs and brighter futures for thousands of people every year, including many from the most disadvantaged sections of society.

The awards, chosen by an independent panel of experts, were presented by Tony Carr of 4 Front Partners and Ian Ross at Whitehead-Ross Education and Consulting along with the awards’ generous sponsors.

ERSA CEO Elizabeth Taylor says: “The empathy, expertise, experience and sheer persistence of those who work in our sector changes lives every day.

“Our winners deserve congratulations for their truly outstanding efforts and represent the very best of the work we collectively do on behalf of jobseekers and employers.

“There are challenges ahead, not least the rising number of people not working due to long term ill health or disability.

“But I am confident that within our sector we have the determination and the innovation to make a positive difference. Our winners are ample proof of that.”

Due to timing on the night, we were unable to announce organisations and individuals that received a highly commended honour, these are included below.

The full list of winners

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

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

Winner: Saeema Yusuf, Team Belina

Highly commended

Frontline Manager of the Year
Sponsored by The Institute of Employability Professionals

Managers or team leaders who have demonstrated exceptional commitment to leading their frontline team to excellent performance and customer achievements.

Winner: Adrian Nesbitt, Shaw Trust

Highly commended

Significant Achiever of the Year
Sponsored by Learning Curve 

A specific jobseeker that has demonstrated exceptional commitment to overcoming barriers to enter and maintain work.

Winner: Todd Scanlon, Down’s Syndrome Association

Highly commended

Employer of the Year
Sponsored by Successful Mums 

Employers showing exceptional commitment by partnering with providers in their area, supporting disadvantaged and long-term unemployed jobseekers.

Winner: Diageo – Nominated by ENABLE Scotland

Highly commended

Community Partnership of the Year
Sponsored by Saffron Interactive 

Organisations working together to form partnerships that support local communities already furthest from the labour market.

Winner: IPS in NHS Service – In partnership with Blackpool Council and Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust

Highly commended

Sector Innovator of the Year
Sponsored by Genius Within CIC

Recognising an organisation that has pioneered innovative approaches and solutions within the employment support market.

Winner: Tourism and Hospitality Talent Hub, The Growth Company

Highly commended

Team of the Year – Hidden heroes
Sponsored by entitledto

Working behind the scenes to enable services: IT/digital services, service design, research and evidence.

Winner: The Fedcap Customer Success Centre (CSC)

Highly commended

Team of the Year – Hardest hit
Sponsored by Education Development Trust

Frontline teams supporting individuals and communities in hardest hit sectors, including low-paid workers, young people NEET, diverse communities, experience of the justice system, women, people with learning disabilities and other disadvantaged groups.

Winner: Step Forward Tees Valley

Highly commended

Team of the Year – Disability and health
Sponsored by The Digital College 

Team that has demonstrated exceptional commitment in supporting jobseekers with disabilities and health conditions to achieve sustained employment.


Winner: Sixteen Co-operative Supported Employment Service

Highly commended

Outstanding Contribution to the Sector

Sponsored by Fedcap Employment and Fedcap Scotland

Recognising an exceptional person who has dedicated a significant part of their career to the employment related services sector and has made a notable impact on the wider sector.

Liz Sewell, Belina Consulting

Lifetime Achievement

A special legacy announcement awarded this year to an exceptional leader who has made a career-long contribution to the employability sector having reached the pinnacle of their profession.

Sarah Sanderson, Triage

Additional information







Media contact:

Helen Wardle, Fivefold, 07757 355339,


About ERSA:

The Employment Related Services Association (ERSA) is the representative body for the employment support sector.

ERSA’s membership spans the private, voluntary, and public sectors and ranges from large multi-nationals through to small specialist charities.