MEET THE TRANSITIONS 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

sheila.heard@transitions-london.co.uk

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.

justin.brett@transitions-london.co.uk

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).

Jacqueline.winton-Evans@transitions-london.co.uk

Penny Davis

Penny Davis

Recruitment Services Non-Exec Director

Penny is an experienced Board HR and Change Director and joined Transitions in January 2017. She has held a number of senior executive roles across a range of sectors including Balfour Beatty, Sir Robert Mc Alpine and T Mobile. She now works as an independent HR Consultant. Penny’s practical experience is balanced with her academic background in Occupational Psychology/Organisational Behaviour.

In addition to this, Penny has contributed to a number of books and articles on strategic HR, resourcing, employee motivation and HR Service delivery. For a number of years Penny was a volunteer with the Simon Community, working with London’s homeless.

Passion for developing people and enabling their careers. Outside work – learning how to box

Jon Hull

Jon Hull

Recruitment Services Non-Exec Director

I am delighted to join the Board of Transitions. Transitions does great work in helping employability amongst hugely a disadvantaged group in the UK. These individuals have an abundance of skills that if used can help them individually and the wider UK economy.

I have worked in the Recruitment industry for over 20 years for large corporate organisations and smaller ventures. I hope my experience, knowledge and passion for creating fairness in employment will help Transitions go from strength to strength.

Employment Advisers

Vicky Johnson

Vicky Johnson

Careers Adviser

Vicky joined Transitions in 2015 as a part-time Employment Support Consultant. She has worked in the careers sector for over 12 years and has supported adults from a variety of backgrounds, including refugees, into education and employment. Vicky has the Level 6 Diploma in Careers Guidance and is a member of the Career Development Institute.

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

sheila.heard@transitions-london.co.uk

Non-Exec Advisory Panel

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.

Sanjay Aggarwal

Sanjay Aggarwal

Executive Search and Recruitment Consultant

Sanjay Aggarwal is an experienced executive search and recruitment consultant with over 8 years of experience. Having started work with specialist Finance & Accountancy consultancies in Birmingham & London, he setup his own consultancy Taylor Lloyd Mason which recruits various roles across multiple sectors. Sanjay is passionate about Social Enterprise and he has been supporting Transitions London, initially in providing a better understanding of the recruitment industry, but now also with assisting in recruitment campaigns for some of Transitions clients.

Outside of recruitment, Sanjay coaches young people who are entering the job market from schools and universities with advice on job search skills, CVs, applications and networking. He also supports young people in enterprise and entrepreneurship by offering 1-2-1 help but also through the Young Enterprise scheme where he is a volunteer Board Member.

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.

Sarajuddin Isar

Sarajuddin Isar

Political Economy Professional

Sarajuddin Isar is a political economy professional with 12 years’ of overseas experience in banking, finance and international development. Isar is a current PhD student at Department of Development Studies at School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. He studies the political economy of taxation and state-building with a particular focus on the neo-liberal model of state-building in the context of Afghanistan. Isar is also a part-time editor with Simorg Fortnightly, an Afghan newspaper, which is published by Afghans diaspora in London on a bi-weekly basis. He is a writer and debater on economics, politics and development policy issues. Isar has worked in key roles in a series of organizations including the Central Bank of Afghanistan, United States Agency for International Development/BearingPoint, United Nations World Food Programme and international charities such as the Catholic Relief Services, Acted, Afghanaid and Oxfam.

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.

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.

Phoenix Ryder

Phoenix Ryder

Information & Communications Professional

Experienced information and communications professional, with a range of information technology, design and people skills, particularly in the field of economic and social inclusion. He has years of accumulated knowledge and skills in IT and voluntary sector. He is currently serving an NHS Trust, expanding his clinical, management and leadership skills and is always looking for opportunities to learn new skills and knowledge.

Phoenix has also contributed on a BBC Radio programme and in a focus group for the preparation of a Channel 4 television programme.

Outside of his daily job Phoenix very much enjoy sports and the outdoors, particularly badminton, swimming and country walks.

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.

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.

We have occasional volunteer and intern* roles.

*with a paid allowance

To know more please contact us at:

enquiries@transitions-london.co.uk

020 8642 4431 | 07866 257421

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