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Skills team profiles

Jane Middleton

Director of Skills

Jane is a Director of GOWI Consulting Limited which is an acronym for Get On With It, reflecting her can-do attitude. With 25 years' experience across a number of industry sectors including corporate banking, mining, software, insurance and education Jane has worked in the UK and overseas. She has worked with businesses of all sizes, having set up three businesses, successfully run a number of SMEs, been employed by multinationals and consulted for businesses across all arenas. Her areas of excellence include business transformation, operational excellence and performance improvement.

Jane is a qualified leadership coach, an occasional jogger and she and her partner Mike have five boys between them.

Jane's focus is to bring jobs and growth to the region through the interaction of business and education providers and trainers to build the right skills, from basic to specialised, for the growth and prosperity of the West of England.

Marina Traversari

Project Executive

Marina has worked for over 10 years in Bristol within the creative industries, as Producer and Project Manager for Calling The Shots, Love Productions, Knowle West Media Centre and Icon Films.  Clients included: BBC, Department of Schools and Families, Parliament, Mediabox, Firstlight, BCC, South Gloucester Youth Services, University of Bristol, University of the West of England, National Geographic, Discovery, Animal Planet, Channel 4 & UK Film Council.

Marina is currently responsible for developing the communication strategy for the skills team, and reporting, monitoring and managing the delivery of targets whilst ensuring compliance within the projects risk and performance management arrangements.

Pearl Mills

Skills Adviser: Low Carbon

Pearl has worked for over 10 years providing business support to SME's within the South West delivering the Business Link, Skills and Environmental Support Contracts. Her role is to engage businesses, identify the skills needs of the low carbon sector and provide solutions through a range of support and services offered by the LEP and partners to help businesses develop a skilled workforce and grow.

Pearl is responsible for maintaining close relationships with the LEP Low Carbon Sector Group and partner organisations that represent the views of members and ensuring that the Low Carbon Sector Skills Group actively works together to have a positive impact on businesses and the economic growth of the sector within the area.

Becca Thurston

Skills Adviser:  Engineering, Professional Services & Inward Investment

Having spent over 10 years working within work based learning provision Becca has experience of Apprenticeships, NVQs in the workplace and supporting people into employment. She has worked within a variety of sectors including engineering, construction and professional services.

As the Skills Adviser for Advanced Engineering, Professional Services and Inward Investment Becca will work closely with businesses in the West of England to ensure they are getting the best from the local educational establishments. Increasing the communication between education and industry to help facilitate a variety of activities to meet the ever demanding employment and business needs and expand the range of opportunities available to young people.

Nicky Williams

Skills Adviser: Creative

Nicky has over 15 years' experience working in the creative industries; as a freelance camera lighting operator, director, creative facilitator and recently as Education and Digital Media Producer leading on the devising and delivery of the creative education programme at Knowle West Media Centre in Bristol.

As Skills Adviser for Creative, Nicky will engage with both businesses and education providers across the creative & cultural sector, identifying skill requirements and facilitating the growth of the creative industries in the West of England.  Nicky will also develop the 'Creative Skills Hub' working closely alongside Creative Skillset and other partners to offer a range of services to both employers and potential employees.

Carolyn Griffiths

Skills Advisor: Employability

Carolyn has an eclectic work background in both the public and private sectors. Since 2001 this has included teaching, working in schools on Enterprise projects and as the Education Business partnership Manager in the West of England. Carolyn has a wealth of experience of working with networks, employers and partners to deliver experiences for young people to support and develop their employability.

Carolyn's role focuses on employability and has three main areas of responsibility.  Carolyn supports the development of the Chartermark, promoting increased business engagement with education organisations and supports the Business in Schools Network.  Carolyn also coordinates the Employability Action Plan for the Employability group.

Gill Carter

Skills Adviser: Schools

Gill worked as Bristol's 14-19 Partnership Manager over the past 3 year's co-ordinating their offsite qualifications, finance and transport as well as working on individual projects with groups of schools – Gifted & Talented, Careers, audits. Gill also works for the Local Authority on Raising the Participation Age and previously on School Improvement. She is a qualified Ofsted Inspector.

Previously Gill worked in schools for 30 years finishing hermy teaching career as a Deputy Head of a Secondary school in Cornwall.

Gill leads and coordinates all schools activity for the LEP and has a particular focus on the Chartermark and employability in schools.  Gill also leads on schools activity and the Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone.

Henry Lawes

Partnership Manager

Henry has worked for over six years in bid writing and fundraising for both the Further Education sector and the Voluntary Sector in Bristol, working in partnership with a variety of organisations to develop joint project proposals. Henry has a background in partnership working including the delivery of the Station project in the centre of Bristol (involving the private, public and voluntary sectors) and media and communication work at Comic Relief.  He has even been an Airship Crewman for the Virgin Airship and Balloon Company.

Henry will be working with the five Further Education Colleges in the West of England to develop and deliver a provider response to the LEP Skills Plan and working with the West of England Vice Principals Joint Planning Group and also co-ordinating FE engagement in delivering the LEP targets.

Rich Viney


Rich is currently completing his NVQ level 2 in Business Administration with the West of England LEP as an apprentice. His role within the LEP is to provide general administration support to LEP office, such as event planning, minute taking project support  as well as governance and comms. He is also responsible for maintaining and updating the LEP website, our Apprenticeship Hub micro-site and social media.

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LEPs are driving economic growth across an economic area. They provide a means for local authorities to work together with business in order to quicken the economic recovery.
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