• BJBF Team

Meet the Team

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.

Cath Jenkins

Mark James

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.

Read Mark’s career story here

James Bevan

Employability Programme Manager

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

James Bevan

David Freeman

Employability Programme Manager

Before joining the BJBF team Dave worked in the retail sector for over 20 years, with over 12 years’ experience as a Senior HR Manager. Dave has extensive knowledge and experience from working at various sites across the country for the UK’s biggest retailer, managing large HR projects and being the point of contact for over 350 members of staff.

As Employability Programme Manager, Dave brings specialist HR skills and experience to the team. With a fantastic proven track record, and being a member of the CIPD, Dave is our man in the know for work-related HR issues.

Outside of the office, Dave enjoys mountain biking around the hills of South Wales and spending time with his two children and partner Bethan.

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.

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.

Matthew Richards

Matthew Richards

Project Co-ordinator

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 Project Co-0rdinator, 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!

Rhian Noble

Project Co-ordinator

Rhian has 10 years experience working in the education sector as a Lecturer, Tutor and Assessor for Gower College Swansea, developing resources and delivering across a wide variety of levels and subjects. Rhian has worked with a number of employers, building strong working relationships leading to secure work placements and employment opportunities for students. Rhian has also previously worked as a Teaching Assistant at a local Welsh primary school, offering one-to-one and group support through the medium of Welsh.

In her role as Project Co-ordinator, Rhian is tasked with building strong links with partners, employers and clients. Leading and working with the team of Career Coaches, Rhian aims to deliver a high quality bespoke service which meets the needs of each individual.

When not in work Rhian is a busy mum to three boys and loves spending quality time with her family and friends!

Stuart Robinson

Employment Coach

Stuart has worked in employability on a number of DWP contracts for over five years. Originally from a sales background, Stuart is confident talking to groups of people and is quick to develop rapport with the people he engages with. Having joined Gower College Swansea in 2017 to develop the commercial arm of the college’s training provision, Stuart drew on his experience gained from the private sector to develop a range of systems and processes aimed at improving how the college engaged with local employers. This work led to Stuart re-entering the world of employability in April 2019 as an Employment Coach on the new Enterprising Futures project.

Working in an outreach capacity, Stuart is committed to helping people grow, develop and achieve their goals. His varied work experience enables him to engage with clients from all kinds of backgrounds and his communication and negotiation skills help him to deliver the message to clients that self-employment could be a viable alternative to more traditional forms of employment in the area. Organised and with an ‘eye for detail’, Stuart brings the soft skills and abilities he’s picked up from over 20 years in commercial sales roles to an employability role designed to help people realise their potential and set up their own businesses.

Outside of work, Stuart treads the boards with local amateur dramatic groups. He writes and reads plays, hoping to make his directorial debut someday. He can be seen most weekends with his partner Sue, litter picking and removing plastic from the beach, where they live.

Steven Giles

Employment Coach

Steve has a wealth of experience having worked in a variety of roles over the past 20 years. Predominantly working for Local Government within Learning and Development, Steve was responsible for overseeing the organisation of workforce development activity for over 8,000 Council employees, together with over 4,000 workers and volunteers within the Carmarthenshire social care sector. Steve also has vast experience of supporting colleagues in the design and delivery of appropriate learning interventions for workforce plans and the management of change and organisational performance.

As an Employment Coach for Enterprising Futures, Steve will draw on his experience in order to support people through his helpful advice and practical knowledge. Steve prides himself on his approachable and friendly nature and will use his passion to help others develop, progress and achieve their potential.

Outside of the office, Steve enjoys a walk on coastal paths of South West Wales, watching rugby and spending time with his friends and family.

Louise Dempster

Futures Programme Leader

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.

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!

Read Louise’s Career Story here

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

Emma Wood

Workforce Adviser

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.

Emma Wood

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!

Bev Haigh

Employability Tutor

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.

Bev Haigh
Ade-Howell

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

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.

Elliot Jones

Career Coach

Having completed a PGCE in Secondary Education, Elliot previously worked in a specialist school teaching and supporting young learners with a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder where he personalised the learning experience and enabled all learners to access a practical and meaningful curriculum. Elliot also has experience as a Learning Support Assistant and a Support Worker for young people with additional learning needs.

Having been involved in a number of social mobility schemes and projects in different capacities, Elliot is passionate about boosting social mobility and raising aspirations. In his role as a Career Coach, Elliot is always striving to motivate and help people overcome barriers to employment and education by individualising and tailoring his support to meet the unique needs and circumstances of every individual.

Away from work, Elliot enjoys exercising and plays football on the weekend for Evans & Williams FC – although he’s currently spending most of his time running after his new puppy, a border collie named Stella!

Samantha Howells

Career Coach

Prior to joining the Better Jobs, Better Futures team Samantha worked for Gower College Swansea for 10 years as a Lecturer, Assessor and Personal Tutor. During this time she worked with a diverse variety of individuals from Broadway and the Work Based Learning teams to Independent Learning Skills and the Schools and Bridge departments. Samantha has also worked closely with employers to help students secure work placements and future employment opportunities.

With her wealth of experience in the educational environment, Samantha is passionate about coaching clients to continue with their training and personal development. In her role as a Career Coach, she wants to help people realise and fulfil their potential in their career and every other aspect of their life.

When not in work Samantha loves spending quality time with her family and friends, cooking delicious dinners and watching films.

Lynsey Dunne

Career Coach

Having worked for many years as a Training Coordinator in both Dublin and Toronto, Lynsey brings a wealth of experience in the area of Staff Development. Upon returning from Canada, Lynsey went on to achieve a Joint BA (Hon) in Psychology and Counselling in 2015, firmly cementing her passion and interest in wellbeing, human behaviour, and mental health.

As part of the Career Coach team, Lynsey loves nothing more than guiding people to think beyond their comfort zone and achieve their career goals. Lynsey has a great sense of empathy when it comes to preparing applications and pre-interview jitters, and she thoroughly enjoys encouraging her clients to put their best foot forward at all times, regardless of their background or circumstances.

Outside of work Lynsey enjoys live music, relaxing with friends, dreaming about one day owning a dog, and taking advantage of the beautiful sights around the Gower!

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!

Julie Bowen

Career Coach

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 a Career Coach, 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

Francesca Hampson

Career Coach

Prior to joining the Better Jobs, Better Futures team, Francesca gained over 15 years experience in training and education. During this time she worked in a variety of exciting roles including Course Co-ordinator, Lecturer, Apprenticeship Assessor and Internal Quality Assurer. Francesca supported learners to ensure successful attainment of their qualifications and ensured teaching and learning standards were always exceptional.

In her role as Career Coach, Francesca assists students to optimise their skills and education to secure the perfect job after completing their studies. With a passion for designing fun and engaging employability workshops, Fran encourages the learners to explore their full potential and future employment and training opportunities.

When not in work, you can find Francesca out on the water in the Gower Peninsula, either on a kayak or stand-up paddle board. Fran loves to travel to long haul destinations and has an ever increasing list of places she would like to visit!

Nicola Berry

Career Coach

Prior to working for Better Jobs, Better Futures Nicola worked for a 3rd sector organisation in a variety of different roles including Employability Support Worker, Fitness Class Instructor and Personal Trainer.  Nicola’s combination of roles allowed her to work with a diverse clientele helping them reach their health, wellbeing and employment goals simultaneously. Taking a holistic approach to employment and wellbeing, Nicola helped improve her client’s confidence, motivation and self-esteem to help them to reach their full potential.

Nicola is an enthusiastic and compassionate person who enjoys having the opportunity to make a difference to people’s lives. Nicola is excited about being a Career Coach and is looking forward to bringing her positive, energetic nature to the role.

Outside of work Nicola enjoys spending time with her family and dog, going for walks along the beach and listening to music.

Sarah Kenna

Recruitment Consultant

Sarah has over ten years experience within the recruitment and employability sector. Having graduated from University in 2000 with a BA Hons in Applied Social Studies, Sarah has used her passion for working with people in her various roles to raise aspirations and effectively support those looking to gain or improve their employment prospects.

As part of the dynamic BJBF recruitment team, Sarah loves matching clients to the right job opportunities and feels very privileged to be part of such a passionate, client centred team who truly care about the people behind the programme.

When Sarah is not in work she is usually running around after her two daughters with various after school activities. On the weekends, Sarah can be found spending quality time with her family with some good food and a glass of wine or two!

Rhian Chilvers

Recruitment Consultant

Having previously worked for one of the UK’s largest Car insurance providers for over 11 years, Rhian spent 7 years honing her skills within their in-house recruitment team. Gaining vast experience of bespoke recruitment, Rhian worked with staff members looking to progress in their careers, supporting them with application preparation and mock interview practice.

As a Recruitment Consultant, Rhian brings a wealth of knowledge and experience from the employer’s perspective as well as a passion for helping clients find the right role for them. Rhian’s determined nature means she is always seeking out the next perfect opportunity for her clients and pushing them to fulfil their potential.

In her spare time, Rhian is a volunteer with Girl Guiding UK and enjoys any excuse for an impromptu get together with family and friends!

Joanna Leeuwerke

Career Coach

Joanna’s previous experience includes SEN learning support at a range of Carmarthenshire and Swansea schools, teaching academic English to international students at Swansea University and as an Employment Development Officer for City & County of Swansea’s Social Services department.

As Career Coach for Project Search, Joanna will be supporting the interns in their placements and ensuring that they have the opportunity to develop their professional skills, as well as growing personally as individuals.

Joanna is passionate about wildlife and the natural world and can often be found out and about at weekends, appreciating the beautiful West Wales coastline.

Cassie Mogford

Career Coach

Cassie has a hugely diverse work background, bringing a wealth of unique experience to the team. Before joining Better Jobs, Better Futures, Cassie worked at a dog rescue centre as well as working as a Support Assistant with Pobl, helping young people who were vulnerably housed. This role afforded Cassie a huge amount of experience all focused towards supporting young people to become independent and prepare for a more sustainable future.

As a Career Coach, Cassie thoroughly enjoys meeting all of the clients she works with and loves to hear people’s stories about who they are and where they come from. Cassie is dedicated to helping people in any way that she can and is committed to making a valuable difference to every individual she meets.

Cassie spends most of her spare time with her five rescue dogs and enjoys going away at weekends in her converted camper van. Cassie also tries to go to vegan festivals around the UK each month following her passion for vegan food! Interesting fact about Cassie – she used to be Cabin Crew with British Airways and has travelled to amazing countries all over the world!

Ben Meredith

Career Coach

Since 2008, Ben has worked in Employability in Swansea & South West Wales on several Welfare to Work contracts in roles including Assistant Programme Leader, Employment Coach and Employer Liaison Officer. Ben likes to find a common ground with people at the very first meeting to help them feel relaxed and at ease. Ben is incredibly supportive and understands that being patient and working with clients at their own pace is crucial to helping them make meaningful progress.

As part of the Career Coach team, Ben is keen to widen people’s job choices, improve or extend on their current skill set and ultimately achieve their career goals. Ben has plenty of useful tips on completing job applications and always makes sure that clients feel excited, confident and fully prepared for interviews!

Outside of work, Ben enjoys spending time with his wife and walking their two Bassett Hound dogs. Ben also likes going abroad during the summer and watching a good quality gangster thriller, Sci-Fi or comedy movie with a nice bottle of red wine!

Sarah Davies

Career Coach

Sarah has had a long career working as a secondary school teacher and is passionate about helping people achieve their potential by providing tailored support for each individual. In her school role as Leader of Careers and Personal and Social Education, Sarah worked with many external agencies to support her students to overcome barriers within their personal lives, as well as helping them prepare for successful future career paths.

As a Career Coach, Sarah is excited to transfer her skills within the education sector to help provide individualised support to clients who are seeking new or better employment. Always with a smile on her face and a contagiously positive attitude, Sarah is eager to support anyone who is looking to improve their career prospects.

When not in work, Sarah enjoys long walks in Gower with her family and very demanding spaniel! Sarah has also recently started exploring new hobbies in silversmithing and complimentary therapies.

Rebecca Jones

Career Coach

Becky has had a diverse and rewarding career, most recently working for the Alzheimers Society as a Dementia Advisor. Working with people newly diagnosed with dementia, often under 60 years of age, gave Becky hugely valuable experience in supporting people from all walks of life in incredibly challenging and emotional circumstances. In addition, Becky has also spent time working as an Enquiries Officer for Job Centre Plus, helping long term unemployed individuals get back into the workplace.

As a Career Coach, Becky is thoroughly enjoying the variety of people she gets to meet on a daily basis. With her understanding and kind nature, Becky loves helping individuals take positive steps towards achieving their goals, whatever they may be.

Outside of the office, Becky enjoys spending time with family and her Basset Hound, Bailey. Becky also likes to read crime and horror books and is also often found out and about enjoying live music events!

Rebecca Wilson Barney

Administrator/Receptionist

Rebecca has enjoyed a career which has covered a number of different sectors. After completing a BA Hons in Business and Management, Rebecca spent seven years in Dentistry, studying to become a qualified Dental Nurse under the General Dental Council. Rebecca took her passion for helping people into her profession, where her caring and professional approach was regularly highlighted by patients.

Being the first point of contact, Rebecca welcomes everyone who walks through the BJBF door with the biggest smile and is always happy to help. With a friendly and positive attitude, Rebecca looks forward to meeting new and existing clients and giving them the best experience possible. When not on reception Rebecca can be found assisting with the promotion of BJBF via the company’s social media accounts.

Outside of work, Rebecca enjoys walking the Welsh coastline with her beloved dog Poppie. Her passion for fitness means she is a regular in her local gym and on the weekend she can be found at the Liberty stadium following Swansea City. Rebecca also loves to spend quality time with her family and friends.