Local Economy Solutions Limited

Julia Wilkinson BSc Economics (Associate)

Having graduated from Cardiff University in 1990 with an Upper Second class Honours degree in Economics, Julia was offered the post of Researcher in the same department. Teaching on undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, Julia worked as a Researcher and Associate for several years at Cardiff. Projects included financial economics, labour economics and industrial relations related work.

Following a move to Bath, Julia completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Careers Guidance at the University of the West of England (UWE) in 2004, obtaining a Distinction. Subsequently she worked for the Connexions service in Wiltshire before taking up the position of Careers Adviser at the University of Bath. With primary responsibility for providing guidance and advice to all students on all Business and related courses during her time there, Julia also wrote reports following her many employer visits and became qualified in psychometric testing.

Julia has worked on a range of skills related, evaluation, enterprise and sector research on behalf of LES involving detailed telephone interviews and analysis.

David Payne BSc Town and Regional Planning, Intermediate RICS, (Associate)

David decided to move into consultancy and research work over fifteen years ago, focussing mainly on labour market, education and skills related research.

Prior to moving into consultancy work David worked within local government both as an Economic Development Officer and Senior Policy Advisor. He also has extensive experience within the private sector.

David obtained an Upper second class honours degree in Town and Regional Planning at Dundee University in 1980.

David is an associate of Local Economy Solutions and has extensive experience of conducting detailed qualitative interviews with employers and associated reporting across a wide range of sectors in addition to the design and implementation of evaluation exercises. Over the last three years David has also led work specifically relating to occupational skills and standards with organisations including ABC Awards, OCNER (now Gateway Qualifications), The Federation for Industry Sector Skills and Standards and Skills for Care and Development.

Nick Gornall – MA in IT Management (Associate)

Nick's background is in Web Development, IT support and management in academic and professional contexts. He has worked as a freelance developer and consultant since 2006 and previous to this had over 20 years experience working in a range of IT related roles. He continues to work on contracts for his last employer, Dartington Social Research Unit (DSRU), and previous to this he was the Director of Technical Resources at Dartington College of Arts. He has an MA in IT Management from the University of Sheffield.

Nick has particular expertise in the development of on line and other relational databases.

Experience includes the development of online instruments for collecting data using a method known as Audio Computer Assisted Personal Interviewing (ACAPI). Using standard web browser software a respondent can read a question as well as hearing an audio version of the question and any instructions (via headphones or speakers). Each clicked or typed answer is recorded directly to a database ready for export or analysed online to generate a real-time report.

Nick has undertaken a range of work on behalf of LES including the design of a number of bespoke on line survey instruments, including the development of an on line ‘Skills Assessor’.  

Fiona Scapens: BA, Msc, PGCM – (Associate)

Fiona has a BA in Development Studies from the University of East Anglia, a masters in plant ecology, soil science and micro-meteorology from Birkbeck college, University of London, and a postgraduate certificate in management from Hertford University.

Fiona has worked in the urban regeneration field for 24 years, in both front line and senior management roles, and for both the charitable and public sector. Fiona has extensive experience in developing and managing neighbourhood programmes aimed at tackling the causes of disadvantage and deprivation, including community development and consultation, youth work, health programmes, environmental projects, arts projects, neighbourhood services, skills development and training programmes, and setting up economic development trusts. Fiona had been responsible for strategic and business development within organisations, multi –agency partnership work, bid writing, operational and financial management, and managing multi-disciplinary teams of staff. Posts include Regeneration Manager at Plymouth City Council, and Deputy Executive Director and Strategic Development Manager at Groundwork Coventry and Warwickshire.

Fiona has worked on a range of skills related and evaluation research on behalf of LES.

Julia Wilkinson
David Payne
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