We’re a social enterprise with one main goal: to increase the hiring success rates for Engineering, Architecture & Business Services candidates and employers.

We’re focussed, efficient and results driven. We specialise in filling Engineering, Architecture and Business Services positions in professions including Civil, Electrical, Mechanical, Structural Engineering, Architecture, Accountancy, Data Science, HR. Approximately 70% of our candidates succeed in finding long-term positions.

We plug skills gaps and help build strong diverse teams. Our clients include ARUP, Crossrail, National Grid, Network Rail, Transport for London and Unilever - we work with some of the biggest names in engineering.

Get in touch if you think we can help you.


Summer 2020, we are running a mutual collaborative Capacity Building project with Renaisi, where 2 Renaisi employment advisers are working 1 day per week each with Transitions.

Meet the team

Directors

Sheila Heard

Sheila Heard

Managing Director & Careers Adviser

Specialist graduate careers guidance and employment adviser for refugee professionals in London. Over 15 years’ experience of developing and running placement and employment support initiatives to assist refugee professionals back into their professional working lives, including accountants, architects, engineers, HR professionals, lawyers, scientists and statisticians. Founded Transitions in 2010 as a specialist social enterprise in London to deliver services to good employers and to highly skilled refugees who have been offered a place of safety in the UK and have a right to contribute to UK economy and society.

07866 257421

[email protected]

Justin Brett

Justin Brett

Quality Standards & Evaluations Non-Exec Director

Justin has been with Transitions for 7 years and brings with him over 14 years of experience in the careers sector starting off in recruitment and then moving to London Metropolitan University’s refugee unit (RAGU). After leaving RAGU he went on to work with long-term unemployed and disadvantaged groups where he gained his NVQ4 in Advice & Guidance in 2008. Since then Justin has worked with families and hard to reach groups across London and is currently working as a project manager / commissioner for a large housing association. Outside of his 9-5 job, Justin has had a variety of roles including a term as Vice President of the Career Development Institute.

[email protected]

Jacqueline Winton-Evans

Jacqueline Winton-Evans

Financial Controls & Planning Non-Exec Director

Jacqui joined Transitions December 2017. She has a Financial Management & Control, Management Consultancy and IT background. She has worked in Public Sector, Education, Housing Management and Global Not for Profit Organisations.

During her time as a Management Consultant, she has lead global strategic transformation projects from concept through to delivery. Has designed and implemented global Finance best practices and worked on managing the rollout of the new systems.

Key achievements to date include:
Produced Global financial regulations manual for global NFP organisation, designing, developing standardising Global business processes and procedures for NFP, Designed COA for HMRC. Involved in implementation and rollout of global ERP systems (100K users).

[email protected]

Employment Advisers

Sheila Heard

Sheila Heard

Careers Adviser

Specialist graduate careers guidance and employment adviser for refugee professionals in London. Over 15 years’ experience of developing and running placement and employment support initiatives to assist refugee professionals back into their professional working lives, including accountants, architects, engineers, HR professionals, lawyers, scientists and statisticians. Founded Transitions in 2010 as a specialist social enterprise in London to deliver services to good employers and to highly skilled refugees who have been offered a place of safety in the UK and have a right to contribute to UK economy and society.

07866 257421

[email protected]

Non-Exec volunteer Advisory Panel

Abdullah Mahmoud

Abdullah Mahmoud

Architect

Abdullah is a qualified Architect in Syria worked on several projects in both public and private sector in Syria. He holds a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Damascus, and a Master of Science in Sustainable Development from the University of Sussex. He was also awarded the Chevening scholar (FCO-UK) due to his leadership skills and ability to influence others. His experiences range from the construction industry to volunteering with several initiatives in the Arab world and the UK.

In addition, he was a board member in the Syrian Researchers organisation, which aims to increase the awareness of the public in the Arab world of the most recent challenges using scientific discourses, and social media methods. Abdullah has a great passion for sustainability, social equity and empowerment of the most vulnerable via education. He is keen to see Transitions grow and assist professional refugees integrating in the UK by hard work and passion. Currently, Abdullah is working in Shepheard Epstein Hunter in architectural design and master planning.

Carolyn O’Sullivan

Carolyn O’Sullivan

FCIPD

Carolyn O’Sullivan is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development having initially qualified in HR in 1995. Carolyn has extensive experience in both the public and private sector, having spent 18 years with Thames Valley Police and the last 6 years at Network Rail.  Carolyn is an accredited executive coach with the Institute of Leadership and Management having obtained her coaching qualification in 2009.  Carolyn is an ECR certified coach, Myers Briggs and NLP Practitioner. Carolyn is also a qualified workplace mediator.

Carolyn’s personal message:

I truly believe that everyone has the potential to achieve, I left school with hardly any qualifications having just simply not tried hard enough.  Luckily for me I had some great tutors and with a little ambition and determination set out to achieve my own goals.  I have been delighted and enlightened to help develop people and be part of their own personal journey.  I have and continue to learn and develop on a daily basis and am always grateful to those who allow me to be part of their lives.  It is incredible to see someone start to emerge in their confidence and ability and begin to achieve their own goals. I am a Network Rail Diversity and Inclusion Champion and Chair of the Milton Keynes Women’s Inspire Network.  I am glad to be part of a community who respect each other and can be open to learning new skills regardless of who they are.

carolyn.o’[email protected]

Debra Ann Blisson

Debra Ann Blisson

BSc (Hons), MBA, FIC, FRSA

Debra Blisson is a highly experienced and successful businesswoman with exceptional entrepreneurial expertise having started six businesses herself, some as social enterprises and some as for profit businesses. She remains a non-executive director for two of these businesses.

Debra has worked in the fields of economic development, women’s enterprise strategy and policy, social enterprise and co-operative development, and as an advisor to small and medium sized enterprises. She has also written a number of articles and papers on enterprise development. She has been a women’s enterprise advisor to the UK government and has established a number of women’s enterprise support organisations, both in the UK and Europe. She has also worked extensively across Europe providing consultancy support to both public and private sector companies.

Until December 2011, Debra was the Director of Enterprise and Business Support for Advantage West Midlands, the Regional Development Agency for the West Midlands.  Debra was responsible for enterprise and business support policy, with an annual budget of circa £70 million. She also chaired the regional working group for the allocation and delivery of Enterprise and Business Support funds for the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). Whilst at AWM, Debra developed a range of policy initiatives providing strategic and practical support to women in business, minority ethnic businesses, youth enterprise and social enterprise.

Debra is currently studying for a PhD at Aston University.

Erin Payne

Erin Payne

Civil Engineer

I am a civil engineer working in the water sector and with experience in New Zealand and the UK. I became involved with Transitions when I realised that I had no idea what happens to all of the skilled engineers like me when they arrive in the UK as refugees. Since finding out more about the barriers that refugee engineers face in the UK I’m determined to do what I can to help Transitions’ engineering candidates.

I am passionate about corporate social responsibility and humanitarian assistance initiatives within the engineering sector, and  I also work with other social enterprises such as Engineers Without Borders and RedR. I hope to use this and my knowledge of engineering associations and insight into the operations of engineering companies to assist Transitions’ outstanding candidates.

Louise Salmon

Louise Salmon

Careers Guidance

Qualified in Careers Guidance, I have over 20 years experience working with refugees, including setting up Careers, Work placement and Employability training programmes for refugee professionals at RAGU, London Metropolitan University. Also experienced in working with UK employers, professional bodies and agencies in lobbying for refugee employment. I am continually inspired by the courage, dignity and motivation refugees demonstrate, their wish to fully contribute to the UK and be able to find a peaceful settlement.

Michael Rogers

Michael Rogers

Engineering Skills Assessment Consultant

Mike is a Chartered Geologist and a Chartered Civil Engineer with nearly thirty years of industrial and professional membership experience. Mike has been able to support companies and individuals (both in the UK and Internationally) as they seek to maximise their training and development potential. Whilst at the ICE Mike took responsibility for the international membership development for countries other than Hong Kong and the UK with a focus on conversion of eligible candidates to professional membership. Since setting up CMNA in 2015, Mike has worked with the United Nations, consultants and contractors in regards to the effective operation of their training programmes – the emphasis being on seeking to support candidates as they seek to demonstrate their competencies to be come professionally qualified. Working with Transitions on the Big Lottery Funded Programme, Mike is seeking to review the experience of refugee engineers and allow them to benchmark this against the UK competency standard for registration. Through workshops, discussions and feedback on reports drafted, Mike aims to support these engineers as they embark on a six month programme to evaluate their skills and competencies in the UK engineering market.

Omer Ibrahim

Omer Ibrahim

Building Services Mechanical Design Engineer

Omer is a Mechanical Engineering Consultant and a Master’s degree holder in Engineering Project Management with strong experience and background in Mechanical Engineering specialised in the design of mechanical building services. Omer is an Incorporated Engineer Candidate with the Institute of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE). Through Transitions Omer has been able to support and assist a couple of Transitions candidates with different aspects of their search for skilled job. This includes deciding which roles to target, guidance on written applications, online tests, and interviews. Whilst volunteering for transitions Omer also had the chance to support Transitions in regards to how effectively they can run their advisory support programmes to current Transitions candidates as they seek to maximise their engineering skills with a focus in supporting eligible candidates for professional membership. Omer is keen to see Transitions grow and in assisting more professional refugees to benefit from the great work that Transitions does. Currently, Omer is working in Arcadis as a mechanical building services design engineer consultant.

Paria SH

Paria SH

IT/Telecom Engineer

Paria is a qualified IT/Telecom engineer worked as an IT engineer and Telecom researcher both in IT industry and Telecom Academic research. She has a Bachelor degree in IT and a master degree in Telecom. Her experiences range from IT desktop engineering to mobile network systems and she has been a member of IEEE, Research Gate, and CompTIA organisations.

In addition to this, she has published several scientific papers in highly prestigious international journals and conferences such as Canadian Modern Applied Science and Progress in Electromagnetic Research Symposium (PIERS). She has a great passion for helping and advising young people in finding their way in the industry and academic sections specially, encouraging women in pursuing a job in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). Paria is working in IT section in ARCADIS consultancy group at the moment.

Ray Laws – BA (Hons)

Ray Laws – BA (Hons)

Business Management with Marketing

I have been assisting Transitions in a voluntary marketing consultancy role since May 2013. With Transitions I have advised on marketing strategy and also produced marketing collateral for the organisation, including leaflets and the Stakeholder Consultation 2013.

My skill set and expertise equips me to advise Transitions from a marketing perspective, I have also worked closely to uphold the values and mission of both Transitions and its candidates holistically. I’m keen to see Transitions grow and assist more professional refugees benefit from the great work that Transitions does.

Outside of my advisory role, I work within the digital marketing services including website design, desktop publishing and search engine optimisation.