• BJBF Team

Meet the Team

Cath Jenkins

Cath Jenkins

Director of Employability

Cath has an extensive track record in employment strategy, policy and programme development. Having worked in the employability and skills field for over 20 years, she has a passion for improving people’s lives through meaningful work, skills development and career advancement.

As the leader of the ‘Better Jobs, Better Futures’ team, Cath sets the strategic direction for the programme and is always thinking of new ways to improve, expand and innovate in the delivery of employment support.

Outside of work Cath can usually be found following sport of some sort, in particular rugby, football, athletics, cycling and golf.

Mark James

Employability Programme Manager

Mark’s background as a corporate training consultant has enabled him to work closely with the business community at all levels to provide recruitment and training solutions. He has a proven track record of solving the recruitment needs of businesses, including the design of educational training programmes that increase business productivity and improve staff retention rates. Being well connected to the business world, Mark has a sound understanding of the local economy having worked through various business cycles.

Mark is on hand to offer a range of support to businesses, including recruitment, succession planning and the mapping of staff development progression pathways.

Outside of the office, Mark is a keen athlete and over the years he has managed to complete both the Berlin and London marathons.

Mark James
James Bevan

James Bevan

Project Co-ordinator

James has spent his entire career working in the employability and training field giving him extensive knowledge of employment trends and the evolving local labour market. As one of our Project Co-ordinators, James’ experience enables him to ensure that our programme is creative, interactive, and at the forefront of innovative employability support.

James’ approach to management is dynamic and hands-on, working closely with the team to ensure they provide first-class support that is current and most importantly, ensures clients gain employment or progress into positions better suited to their skills and attributes.

Outside of work, James likes to think he is a health conscious individual; however he enjoys his food a little too much and approaches this topic extremely light-heartedly!

Read James’ career story here

Sian James

Project Co-ordinator

Sian has worked with Gower College since 2010 and has a wealth of compliance knowledge, specifically around ESF funded projects where she has overseen projects in excess of £31M.

Working alongside James as a Project Co-ordinator, Sian is tasked with building strong links with partners, employers and clients, as well as implementing programme processes, systems and resources to ensure the effective delivery, longevity and sustainability of a dynamic and interactive service for the unemployed and underemployed.

Beyond work, Sian is our very own star of stage and screen and likes treading the boards with local amateur dramatic groups. With her unique approach; she is already a fantastically vocal ambassador for the success of the project.

Sian James
Louise Dempster

Louise Dempster

Workforce Adviser

Louise has over 15 years experience in the Employability sector working with both employers and job seekers alike. Louise has supported employers on their journey to becoming disability confident and has supported numerous equality and diversity policies and practices in the workplace.

As a Workforce Adviser, Louise is highly experienced in supporting a range of employers. Dedicated to developing productive working relationships with local employers and partners, Louise loves to have a catch up over a coffee working through essential business issues such as recruitment and retention of staff.

When not in the office, Louise loves spending time with her family and two very energetic children! On the weekends, Louise enjoys camping (more specifically, glamping!) and indulging in some reality TV!

Beth Fisher

Workforce Adviser

Beth has extensive experience in the field of employability and has been extremely successful in a variety of customer focused positions ranging from large blue chip companies to smaller independents. Beth is full of knowledge when it comes to providing employment strategies to suit employers and their business needs and she always takes the time to deliver the best possible solutions to any problems!

As a Workforce Adviser, Beth is very much looking forward to bringing all her skills and experience together as well as further enhancing her expertise. Developing meaningful professional relationships is Beth’s forte and she is passionate about working closely with businesses to provide an exceptional service, without exception.

In her spare time Beth loves to walk around the coastal paths of Gower with her family, and she voluntarily conducts home checks for a Boxer dog rescue charity from which she adopted their 3 legged Boxer, Roxy!

Beth Fisher
Zoe Williams

Zoe Williams

Workforce Adviser

Zoe has worked in recruitment and employability for over 17 years bringing a wealth of knowledge to the team. Her interest in employability led to a change in career into the welfare-to-work sector in Swansea, working with the short and long term unemployed to help them gain sustainable employment. After 4 years in this sector Zoe moved to a gender equality charity, which enhanced her commitment to equality and diversity.

Now a new chapter begins and, using her experience from multiple employability sectors, Zoe will be working with employers to provide in-depth advice to businesses on workforce planning and development issues.

When not working Zoe loves to support the Ospreys and Portsmouth FC, or can be found walking in the mountains and coastal paths around Swansea. Zoe is a lively member of the team, often heard before seen thanks to her famous and outrageous laugh!

Read Zoe’s career story here

Matthew Richards

Career Coach

Matt has considerable experience of welfare-to-work contracts and has gained a range of transferable skills and knowledge in the field of recruitment. In previous roles, Matt has developed a range of systems and processes to ensure he assisted his clients in the most effective and successful way possible. Matt is now able to utilise his awareness and understanding to provide a new and innovative support structure for clients and businesses alike.

As a career coach, Matt will provide a bespoke service that is tailored to every individual who walks through the door. A keen advocate for positive progress, Matt is dedicated to providing a unique approach to delivering employability advice and is genuinely committed to helping people grow, develop and achieve their goals, whatever they may be.

Matt is a massive Swansea City Football Club fan and can be found most weekends down at the Liberty Stadium or at away games cheering on the team!

Matthew Richards
Bev Haigh

Bev Haigh

Career Coach

Bev’s background is primarily with HM Coastguard, where she worked in Search and Rescue co-ordination for almost 20 years. On learning that she was to be made redundant, Bev decided to retrain as a teacher in adult education and training and completed her Professional Certificate in Education in 2016.

Since completing her training, Bev has worked in the employability sector, where she has supported people into work in the Neath, Port Talbot and Swansea areas. Since her own redundancy, Bev is passionate about supporting those in similar situations to make the positive changes needed to regain employment or retrain and learn new skills.

When she isn’t supporting her clients, Bev enjoys running and keeping fit and loves to spend time with her family and dogs.

Ade Howell

Career Coach

Ade has 8 years’ experience in welfare-to-work supporting the long term unemployed, specifically ex-offenders, veterans and sickness benefit claimants.  Ade is at the forefront of employability and is passionate about supporting clients in an innovative and personable way.

In his role as a career coach, Ade is extremely optimistic about helping people secure employment and is always looking for fresh and fun ways to assist people. Full of helpful advice and practical guidance, Ade is our go-to guy for anyone looking to make some positive progress, in any aspect of their life!

Outside the office Ade can be found with his rugby head on, fulfilling his roles for the Ospreys and Welsh Rugby Union.  Ade particularly enjoys walking nostalgically around the field pretending to be a player!

Read Ade’s career story here

Ade-Howell
Emma Wood

Emma Wood

Career Coach

Emma has worked in the world of employment and disability for the past 16 years alongside supporting her husband run his construction business.  Emma has vast experience of working in the Welfare to Work sector, specialising in supporting disabled customers.

Friendly, upbeat and approachable, Emma’s strengths lie in employability, careers guidance and digital accessibility. Emma has incredibly valuable knowledge in terms of her awareness of the additional needs that disabled people may have, and the support that employers need to ensure these members of staff are valued and supported in the best way possible.

A love of all things outdoors, Emma enjoys trail and road running, watching the Swans and spending time socialising with her friends.

Angela Davies

Career Coach

Angela has had a long and varied career in employability, having worked in the sector since 2003. Angela worked on New Deal for Disabled people with Shaw Trust until 2011, working with people with disabilities or from disadvantaged backgrounds and empowering them to return to suitable employment.

Angela moved across to TBG Learning and worked with a range of clients on the Work Programme. Here she qualified as a Wellness Recovery Action Planning facilitator, helping people to build a range of wellness tools to improve their lives. Angela is passionate about helping people to be the best they can be and will use all of her experience in her role as Career Coach, continuing to supporting people in their journey.

Angela spent almost 11 years living and working in Sydney until she returned to Swansea in 1999. A vegan and animal lover, Angela shares her home with three rescue cats. Angela loves cooking, watching live music, reading, natural therapies and meditation as well walking and having fun with friends.

Jo Bailey

Career Coach

Jo has had a very varied career, ranging from working with Job Centre Plus as an Administration Officer to working for the Ministry of Defence as an Office Manager. Most recently Jo worked in HMP Swansea within the Activity Hub, responsible for allocating prisoners to the correct work pathway in order to prevent them re-offending.

In her role as a Career Coach, Jo will use all of her skills in helping prepare people to enter or re-enter the world of work. Building on her extensive experience working with ex-offenders, Jo will focus heavily on ensuring that all individuals are supported in the best way possible.

Outside of work, Jo loves photography, music and going to gigs. Jo also loves weekend walks on the beach and looking after her rescue cat Olly. Having been a rally co-driver in former days, Jo is our resident daredevil having rallied all around the UK, including on the Isle of Man!

Lisa Thomas

Career Coach

Lisa has had a varied and exciting career, having been a Travel Agent for over 20 years. Having the opportunity to travel around the world has given Lisa a wealth of experience in working with a huge variety of people on a 1-2-1 basis. Always taking a non-judgemental approach, Lisa thrives when supporting clients.

Lisa is incredibly passionate when it comes to inspiring others and always takes a lively and optimistic approach to any challenges she faces. She ensures that any client she works with is her absolute priority and that the individual’s needs are at the forefront. Lisa is excited about her new role as a Career Coach and is looking forward to using her diverse experience to ensure that people get the most effective support delivered in a fun and positive way.

Lisa loves to spend her weekends being active and regularly goes horse riding, kayaking and walking with her three dogs. Lisa’s greatest passion in life is her family, and she is at her happiest cooking for everyone around her kitchen table. An interesting fact about Lisa is that she can recite the alphabet backwards – feel free to put her on the spot!

Mark Wilkes

Senior Recruitment Consultant

For 15 years, Mark has been providing recruitment and training consultancy within the South Wales business community, as well as managing an SME business for 3 years.  As a result, he brings with him an extensive list of contacts, as well as invaluable knowledge of business and recruitment process.

Mark is excited to use his experience to provide a holistic, 360 degree recruitment and training proposition to businesses in the Swansea Bay region.

Mark Is a true foodie, and loves to travel and try different cuisines. In his spare time Mark is a professional singer and loves to run, play football and have a round of golf.

Julie Bowen

Recruitment Consultant

Julie has over 17 years’ experience in the Advice & Guidance sector; working with the Careers Service and Gower College to embed employability into schools and colleges and facilitating work focused interventions to groups and individuals, empowering them to reach their full potential.

As part of the recruitment team Julie is using her experience in guiding clients through all aspects of their career management to create links, broker relationships and successfully match candidates to secure meaningful employment.

To relax, Julie enjoys travelling and researching new places to visit. At the weekend she loves nothing better than cooking delicious meals and sitting down to eat with her ever-growing family.

Read Julie’s career story here

Dan Parvin

Workforce Adviser

Dan’s background in education and school services meant that he was able to pursue a career in helping young people achieve their career prospects. In his last job Dan worked his way through the ranks to become the Lead Recruitment Partner for one of the largest PPA providers in Wales and South West England. Having achieved success in his previous recruitment endeavours he is excited to transfer his skills and widen his abilities.

Dan prides himself on his likable and passionate approach, especially when it comes to helping individuals break into the working world. Dan will give tailored advice to companies and individuals, ensuring that both parties achieve the most successful results.

When not in work Dan is interested in music, fitness and cooking. He is a fan of Swansea City FC and plays for his local rugby club Swansea Uplands RFC. If not playing guitar or on the pitch he’s usually walking around the Gower coastal paths.

Samantha Crowley

Employability Engagement Co-ordinator

As an English Literature graduate, Sam has a passion for writing and is our social media specialist who likes nothing more than creating and delivering content to connect with people around the globe. Always taking a personable approach, Sam’s strengths lie in her determined and focused work ethic and her friendly and positive attitude.

Sam loves getting to the heart of a business and the people and ideas behind it, and she is the go-to girl if we need anything planned or arranged. With a self-confessed obsession with lists, post-it notes and schedules, Sam is the woman in the know when it comes to making things happen!

Outside the office, Sam can be found cooking (and eating!) and spending quality time with her family and friends. Also an avid sports fan, Sam regularly plays netball, and is very partial to a big day out at the rugby or football!

Samantha Crowley

Ffion Roberts

Administrator/Receptionist

Ffion has a passion for helping people, with a career to date that has revolved around delivering an exceptional service to clients in a variety of roles. In her previous position as a Customer Service Adviser, Ffion gained invaluable skills in, and experience of, working in a fast-paced customer-focused environment.

As our Administrator/Receptionist, Ffion ensures that daily operations run as smoothly and efficiently as possible. Ffion is approachable, friendly and kind, and her ability and eagerness to help people makes her a fantastic ambassador for the programme.

Ffion is a fluent Welsh speaker who enjoys meeting new people and conversing in both Welsh and English. When she isn’t working, Ffion enjoys swimming, reading and spending time with close friends and family. Ffion also has a Degree in Fine art which she obtained at Aberystwyth University. One of Ffion’s favourite past times is to go for long walking adventures with her partner and soon to be husband, Kyle.