Youth Employment UK Conference 2015

Youth Friendly Employment Conference 2015

Creating a Youth Friendly Culture


Laura-Jane Rawlings

Founder and CEO, Youth Employment UK

Laura-Jane is the founder and CEO of Youth Employment UK CIC. Laura-Jane’s youth employment experience spans over 15 years and ranges from recruiting young people into entry level and apprenticeship roles to working for an Education Business Partnership supporting employer engagement, careers and work related learning in education.

Laura-Jane’s expertise includes careers education, employability training and transition into employment. Laura-Jane is a passionate advocate of young people and ensuring that young people are consulted on the policies and issues that affect them.

Youth Employment UK CIC is a membership organisation that specialises in youth employment and includes a large membership of 16-24 year olds and a national ambassador network. Working with government, employers and organisations invested in youth employment Laura-Jane ardently campaigns for a Youth Friendly UK.

Rt Hon Priti Patel MP

Minister of State for Employment

Profile to be published shortly.

Neil Burke

Regional Development Officer, Youth Focus: North East

Neil joined the Youth Focus: North East team in March 2008 where his role focussed on ensuring that the Regional 14 – 19 Educational Commission incorporated young people’s views and opinions in their decision making on the 14 – 19 educational agenda.

Neil currently manages Youth Focus: North East's programmes which aim to address issues related to youth unemployment. This includes acting as the Youth Involvement Officer of BIG Lottery Fund's Talent Match North East programme and further developing Youth Focus: North East's young person led pre-employability programme Reducing the Skills Gap.

Anne Spackman

Chief Executive, Career Ready

Anne joined Career Academies UK from The Times, where her roles included Managing Editor, Digital Editor and, most recently Assistant and Comment Editor. She was awarded an OBE for services to charity in 2002 for her work as a Trustee and Chairman of One Parent Families.

Charlotte Hill

Chief Executive, Step Up To Serve

Charlotte became Chief Executive of Step Up To Serve in April 2014 in the first year of the Campaign. Prior to joining the #iwill campaign she had been Chief Executive of UK Youth  since  2010.

After studying Political Science & Philosophy at Birmingham University and working part time for Richard Burden MP during her studies, Charlotte started her career working in Parliament for Rt. Hon. Harriet Harman QC MP in a number of roles.  After five years with Harriet Harman, Charlotte moved to the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) as their Parliamentary Advisor.

Charlotte is an RSA Fellow, Companion at the CMI, Vice Chair of Whole Education, a trustee of Football League Trust and also a member of the Management Committee of Westminster House Youth Club in her local area.  She also sits on the Advisory Panel for both Try for Change and Unleashing Potential.

In 2012 Charlotte received the award of “Rising CEO Star” at The Charity Times Awards.

Beth Gardner

Chief Executive, Fair Train
Beth is responsible for the strategic management and development of Fair Train, in order to support organisations within the voluntary and community sector with workforce development. Beth is passionate about the impact which work based learning can have on individuals and organisations, both in their local context and within the wider economy. This is evident from her career in organisations that all have a strong focus in developing and inspiring people in both paid and volunteer roles. An ecologist by trade, Beth has been a CEO within the voluntary and community sector for over six years, and joined Fair Train in August 2014. Alongside her career experience, Beth has an MBA specialising in strategy, and creativity and innovation; and a Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) postgraduate marketing qualification.

Katerina Rüdiger

Head of Volunteering and Employability Campaigns, CIPD
Katerina is the Head of Volunteering and Employability Campaigns at CIPD. Her department leads on the CIPD’s wider work on employer supported volunteering and engagement with the voluntary sector. Katerina’s team also oversees the CIPD’s Steps Ahead mentoring programme, which matches young jobseekers with HR professionals to help them into work. Previously, Katerina led the CIPD’s portfolio on youth unemployment, developing the CIPD’s Learning to Work programme in 2012 and establishing the CIPD as an expert on skills policy issues.

Before joining the CIPD, Katerina worked in various research and policy roles for government bodies and think tanks in London and Brussels, looking at skills and employment issues in the UK and internationally. These include the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES), The Work Foundation and The European Policy Centre and the European Commission. Katerina is the author of a series of policy and research reports on employment, skills and volunteering issues and is a regular commentator in the media and at external events.


Chief Executive, Social Enterprise Acumen
Kate is a serial social entrepreneur who is now working full time in Social Enterprise Acumen CIC to achieve the vision of creating enterprising communities in North East England and across the world. She is passionate about creating an ecosystem in which social entrepreneurs and social enterprises can thrive. As well as inspiring social entrepreneurs through her work with Social Enterprise Acumen CIC she is also a Trustee of the Greggs Foundation, a Director of Communities Together Durham, Director/Trustee of ACEVO and a Non-Executive Director of the North East Social Investment Company.

Kate was awarded the OBE in 2008 for services to social enterprise in North East England
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