Heather is Director of Work Advance, where she provides research and advisory support with a particular focus on inclusive growth; industrial strategy; work and skills; diversity and inclusion. She was previously Interim Director and Deputy Director of the Work Foundation (part of Lancaster University) and Head of Public Policy for Experian PLC.
She has nearly two decades of experience in advising Government including the Cabinet Office, MHCLG, BEIS, DWP, HCA and the Welsh Assembly; Local Authorities across the UK, Industry bodies, Skills bodies, think tanks and major corporates. This has included high profile projects for Government, such as the Cabinet Office's review of Local Economic Resilience and CLG's State of the English Cities report.
Her expertise spans many areas of public policy, in particular inclusive growth, industrial strategy, international trade and investment, enterprise support, skills development and good work, demographic change, poverty and social inclusion.
Heather is particularly experienced in supporting Local Authorities across the UK to develop strong place-based strategies and programmes that promote inclusive growth. This includes current futures work in South Essex, Ashford, and in Canterbury; as well as having developed long-term visions and economic strategy work across East Kent, Horsham, Test Valley, Nottingham, Mansfield and Ashfield, Wigan and the North West amongst others. She also worked with the Joseph Rowntree Foundation on their Cities, Growth and Poverty programme, which explored place-based approaches to stimulating inclusive growth, including a review of the UK City Deals, Devolution Deals and LEP Growth Deals.
She is also highly experienced in labour market and skills research and policy advice, having worked extensively with industry bodies and Sector Skills Councils, Employment and Skills Boards and Learning and Skills Councils in order to assess and inform the alignment between FE and HE provision and current and future skills needs. This includes the development of major investment programmes to transform skills provision, promote equality & inclusion, and improve workplace practices. She also leads a major programme of work for the Skills, Talent and Diversity workstrand of the Policy and Evidence Centre for the Creative Industries.
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