Our Trustees

EmployabilityUK designs and delivers bespoke employability skills programmes to meet the needs and expectations of students, teachers, parents/carers and businesses.


Paul Cadman


Paul is a strategic leader with extensive experience in leading business transformation, P&L/growth strategy, B2B/B2C operations, restructuring and performance improvements to optimise efficiency, productivity and profitability in highly competitive commercial settings.

As a persuasive communicator, Paul is able to cultivate strong and sustainable stakeholder relationships and build robust teams within the range of sectors which include automotive, recruitment and ecommerce. He is an Ambassador for a wide range of initiatives and charities and brings expert support and influence to drive EmployabilityUK’s growth strategy.



Keith Fraser

Chair of Trustees

Keith has recently retired after being a police officer with more than 27 years’ experience, with both the Metropolitan and West Midlands Police Forces. In his last role Keith was a Superintendent with West Midlands Police. With a degree in HR, Keith operated at a strategic level and managed large areas of business, hundreds of staff and multi million pound budgets.

Keith is passionate about helping young people and is delighted to be involved with a charity that shares the same commitment to raising the aspirations of young people throughout the West Midlands and beyond.


Lynn England

Vice Chair of Trustees

Lynn has over 30 years’ experience as a teaching professional and a senior manager in an 11-18 Academy in Walsall, West Midlands. Lynn is a school governor and an assessor for initial teacher training. She has worked as a supporter and ambassador for various education charities and has also been responsible for the development of a number of Enterprise courses for delivery in schools.

Lynn supports a range of charities and enjoys antique hunting, the arts and watching motorsport in her spare time.



Joanne Clarke Gordon


A Criminal Justice & Criminology Graduate with a successful background in legal finance, Joanne’s career spanned the UK, Middle East and Asia managing credit, revenue and compliance for some of the world’s largest International law firms. Joanne has supported numerous charities undertaking positions with West Afrika Ministries as the Child Sponsorship Coordinator and the New Testament Church of God as District Youth Secretary for the Handsworth district of Birmingham. Joanne is also co-founder of a CIC called The Decision Factory.
She has a passion for music and is a singer/songwriter but her real desire is to support young people to thrive and achieve their goals.


Elaine Walker


Elaine is a qualified and licenced accountant with over 15 years-experience. She has worked for various multi-national organisations including Sainsbury’s, AT & T, Babcock International and Forensic Science Services. Elaine has experience in providing management and Financial accounts for several European, The Middle Eastern and African legal entities.

Elaine is passionate about helping young people and enabling others to achieve their goals and identify the gift within them. Since taking on her office in 2015, by collaborating with the local Job Centre, Elaine has provided work experience that has led to unemployed individuals securing permanent jobs.

A highly respected individual within her community, Elaine is seen as a positive role model by her peers. She is a Board member of two local charities and assists with several other charities. She is a valued member of her church for which she sits on the Worship Team and is also a Trustee.



Rob Ball


After many years in senior HR roles at MG Rover Group and GKN, Rob created Naturally Concerned and its sister brand, Coaching by the Balls. At MG Rover, Rob’s work was central to the development of a highly successful apprenticeship scheme.

A Chartered Fellow CIPD and MIACE, Rob is an enthusiastic supporter of business/education partnerships having served on and chaired a number of education & employer Boards.

Rob’s interests include climate change and he is currently a Non-Executive Director and President of the Warwickshire Cricket League.



Nina Shields


A retired HR professional, after some 30 years in HR, working in a wide variety of sectors, Nina is now self employed as a professional gardener. She is also a textile artist.

Nina started her HR career in Industrial Relations in the engineering industry. She has worked in broadcasting, a public utility, house building, food manufacture, pharmaceutical manufacture, a commercially run prison and finance.

Throughout her career Nina continued to build relationships between the worlds of business and education. She is currently a governor at one of her local schools.



Justin Southwick

Trustee and Senior Social Media Advisor

As an operational leader in a range of management roles, Justin is passionate about raising standards and encouraging young people to excel and achieve their ambitions and potential. With a working interest in technology and social media, Justin brings a wealth of knowledge of marketing techniques to EmployabilityUK with a strong strategic influence.

Justin spends his down-time supporting a range of charities and introducing technology to his two young sons.


Operational Team

EmployabilityUK designs and delivers bespoke employability skills programmes to meet the needs and expectations of students, teachers, parents/carers and businesses.


Di Vernon

Founder & Chief Executive

After eight years working in the third sector, Di created EmployabilityUK – a new education charity. 
In her previous role, Di was responsible for developing Career Academies UK’s regional strategy and delivering the national programme. Having built a team of regional managers and taken the programme to all parts of the UK she then went on to become Director of Business Development.

Di has more than 25 years of corporate business experience from BT and O2, including delivering BT’s education and community programme in the Midlands. Di has held a number of volunteering roles including 6 years as a Special Constable with West Midlands Police.



Belinda Brown

Programme Manager

After graduating, Belinda started her career working in the exhibitions sector. From there she became Corporate Events Manager for an agency and was responsible for the management of a wide ranging portfolio of conferences, events and incentive travel. Belinda then moved in to the charity sector where she became Midlands & East Anglia Regional Development Manager for WaterAid. She was responsible for developing and supporting WaterAid’s relationships with the water industry, maximising income and supporting volunteers.

Inspired by the volunteers she has worked with over the years, and during a career break to raise her children, Belinda has undertaken a number of volunteer roles including being a Nursery School Governor. Belinda is responsible for EmployabilityUK’s programmes in Coventry.



Krystyna Nosek

Programme Manager

Krystyna is responsible for EmployabilityUK’s programmes in the Black Country in the West Midlands. She has extensive experience in student development and of leading large teams. With 23 years’ experience working in the Higher Education sector, she has developed a wide range of employability skills modules and workshops for outreach activities and work-related skills.

Krystyna is a trained Mentor and enjoys coaching young people of all ages. She has worked with youth organisations for over 30 years and is a long-standing supporter of the Crohns and Colitis UK group in the Wolverhampton area. Her interests include yoga and reading and she enjoys going to concerts and listening to live music.


Jo Gedik

Office Manager

A Business & Economics Graduate, Jo has over 20 years’ corporate experience in Business Change Programme Management, within the FM Sector. In her previous role, she remained responsible for leading Workstream Teams through central change Mobilisation, Stabilisation and Transformation phases. Experienced in Health, Education, Defence, MOJ, Retail and Rail Sectors, this has given Jo a great understanding of driving business efficiency and productivity in offices and organisations.
Jo is a trained CELTA Tutor and has lived and worked in Turkey to promote English Language Teaching to Adults. She has mentored on Graduate Employment Programmes, leading Nigerian and Ghanaian Graduates to secure full-time positions.
Her interests include socialising with friends from different cultures and communities, food, travel, music and languages.


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Student Reps

EmployabilityUK designs and delivers bespoke employability skills programmes to meet the needs and expectations of students, teachers, parents/carers and businesses.


Martyna Adam

Whitley Academy Sixth Form

Martyna is studying Psychology, Biology and Mathematics A Levels at Whitley Academy Sixth Form in Coventry. Martyna was part of the Employability Skills Programme pilot in 2016, and said it is a pleasure to have been chosen to take part in the programme.

After finishing her A Levels, Martyna hopes to go to university to study Psychology. During her school education she was an active leader of the school council, particularly focusing on the charity sector. As a school they raised funds for many charities by organising events such as cake sales. Primarily, due to her work to organise the Operation Christmas Child Shoe Box Appeal in 2014, Martyna won a scholarship from ‘Free the Children’, partnered with Virgin Atlantic, to Rajasthan in India for 3 weeks in the summer of 2015. During the scholarship she visited rural communities and helped build a classroom for a primary school.
Alongside her studies, Martyna has a part time job as a receptionist and class assistant at a study centre. She is also an active member of the Pathways to Law programme at Warwick University. In her spare time Martyna enjoys reading books and listening to music.



Fletcher Ransberry

The Blue Coat School

Fletcher Ransberry is currently an upper sixth student and the Deputy Head Boy of The Blue Coat School. Having applied to study politics at university, Fletcher hopes to pursue a career in business before entering politics. He plays an active part in campaigns within his party and hopes one day to take up a career in parliamentary politics after a career in journalism or brokerage. Fletcher is a speaker and an award winning comedy magician with a depth of experience in performing all over the world for a huge variety of audiences.

Advisory Team

EmployabilityUK designs and delivers bespoke employability skills programmes to meet the needs and expectations of students, teachers, parents/carers and businesses.


John Dooner

Senior Safeguarding Advisor & Director of Volunteering

A coach, mediator and team builder, John has an extensive background in education. 
He is a former Headteacher of two Pupil Referral Units, has managed local authority support services and has extensive experience in Higher and Further Education. John has developed Safeguarding Policies and Guidelines and is a well established trainer in the essential area.



Desna McAll

Founder Director

Desna was Vice Principal at Cirencester College, where she was responsible for developing employer partnerships and a range of employability and enterprise programmes. Desna pioneered a range of business/education initiatives and built a suite of employer-led initiatives and activities for students.

She then worked as an Associate of the National Skills Academy in Financial Services, and an assessor for the Institute of Customer Service.

Now fully retired, she is a registered speaker for Dogs for Good and enjoys the challenge of tough charity fundraising treks, worldwide travelling, and relaxing with her dogs and horses. Dogs for Good is a UK-based charity, training and providing accredited assistance dogs to people with physical disabilities and children with autism.



John Tew

Senior Business Consultant

An insurance professional with F.C.I.I. qualification engaged in the industry for 40+ years.

C.E.O. of a local insurance broker for 13 years during which time John also became President of the Sandwell Chamber of Commerce branch of Black Country Chamber before then becoming President of the Black Country Chamber for 2 years.

He has been a board member of Greets Green N.D.C. and a board member of a charity based in Wolverhampton for 7 years including 2 as Chair of Trustees.

More latterly John was Chair of Governors of Sandwell College for 9 years during which he helped to achieve a tremendous turnaround including the building of a new £70 million campus and the transformation of many students lives.

A driving belief is that business and education can and should work better together!



Stef Nosek

Communications Advisor

Since graduating from University in 2010, Stefanie has worked in Higher Education in various roles including Quality Assurance, Data analysis and Course Management. She also works freelance as a Copywriter and has completed an Award in Direct and Digital Marketing in her spare time.
Stefanie has worked with young people since she was at School, working as a mentor at a Study Centre, in outreach activities at University and contributes to events in her local community.



Jennifer Cotterill

Special Projects Advisor

Jennifer has over 11 years of professional and business experience. She has extensive experience in bid and project management and communications. After completing an MSc in Psychology, Jennifer is a Learning and Development Advisor for a leading construction consultancy and is responsible for providing learning and development solutions across 11 UK offices. She has been involved in the delivery and assessment of development centres and has a particular interest in applying psychological research to business.

Jennifer has supported EmployabilityUK in a range of projects and has a passion for supporting young people to develop their vocational skills so they have the ability to succeed in the modern workplace.


Jo-ann Bramston

Volunteering Advisor

Jo-ann has gained a breadth of experience covering Sales and Operations and finishing in Project Management during a career spanning 35 years with Royal Mail. She has had a variety of volunteer roles working with young people in both the Education Sector and Scout Association where she is a trainer for young leaders aged 14-18 amongst other roles she carries out.

Jo-ann enjoys socialising with friends and spending time at her house in France.


Kevin Rogers

Senior Business Champion - Black Country

With more than 25 years senior management experience across organisations within the manufacturing, automotive and construction sectors, Kevin is Chief Executive of Wolverhampton-based not-for-profit health cover provider, Paycare. He is a qualified Accountant and Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants.

As Vice President of the Black Country Chamber of Commerce and a member of the Board of the British Healthcare Association (BHCA), Kevin is hugely passionate about raising aspirations of young people and is delighted to be Business Champion for EmployabilityUK in the Black Country.