Nicola is the Managing Director of Creative Bridge based in Lutterworth. She has previously worked in senior roles at Leicester Housing and the CIH. She is a board member at The Marketing Group and previously sat on the boards of CIH and Foyer Federation. She is a member of the Chartered Institute of Housing and the Academy for Chief Executives.




Dan joined PM Training in 1996, setting up the first gardening team and developing the Homeworks property management service, which now boasts more than 60 teams. Since then, Dan has worked in a number of roles across the business, including Director of Homeworks, and most recently Director of Training Operations, before being appointed Executive Director of PM Training in April 2020 and overseeing the company rebrand to Achieve Training in April 2021.

Born in Stoke-on-Trent, Dan has a real passion for the area and in particular the development and education of its young people. He is proud to have played a part in the growth and success of Achieve Training, which was set up by his father Sean Canavan in 1982.



Elizabeth has been a Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Councillor for over 12 years, holding many key positions including Council Leader and Deputy Mayor. Elizabeth has over 20 years experience in the finance industry, where she held senior HR roles, and was a Director of the RBS Pension Fund. She is now a Lay Judiciary at the West Midlands Employment Tribunals. Elizabeth also has a lifetime of leading roles in the voluntary sector and is the Coordinator of the North Staffordshire Independent Custody Visitors.



Paul is a qualified accountant and was formerly a Partner at Clearwater International, a cross-border advisory firm specialising in corporate finance. Paul has worked alongside directors and other stakeholders of growing companies for over 25 years advising on corporate strategy, value maximisation and fund-raising. While Paul has worked with clients across sectors covering the whole of the UK economy, he also has specific experience advising companies within the training and apprenticeship market.



Maqsood has 15 years of experience of developing and delivering policies and programmes on behalf of ministers, board members and chief executives. Currently Maqsood is the Cohort Director for Nye Bevan Programme and Strategic Senior Manager for Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Devolution Partnership (HSCP) Strategic Clinical Networks (SCNs). Maqsood is responsible for the Mental Health, Dementia, Diabetes and CVD SCNs including three cross cutting responsibilities: public engagement, advancing equalities and tackling health inequalities.



Barry recently retired from a local housing association as the Director of Business Development and Director of Arch services. Barry has over 28 years of experience in housing and regeneration in North Staffs and supporting vulnerable people across the area. For his previous organisation he has been actively involved in developing and delivering strategies, along with the delivery of major housing developments and regeneration projects. Barry has also been involved in bringing other organisations into the group, and merging their operations with the parent. He has chaired a number of influential groups throughout his career including a school governing body. He is currently mentoring a small business and supporting its growth strategy.



Born in Stoke-on-Trent and a graduate of Staffordshire University, Sarah has over 18 years’ experience in corporate learning and development and in higher education. In addition to her wealth of experience in employer engagement and work-based learning, Sarah is an expert in higher and degree apprenticeships. She works with the Department for Education, lobbying on degree apprenticeship policy. She is a guest editor and reviewer for UVAC’s Journal of HE, Skills and Work-based learning. Committed to lifelong educational development, Sarah is also Chair of Trustees of a 14-18 high school in the Staffordshire Moorlands and Staff representative on the University’s Board of Governors.

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David is a retired Chartered Accountant, having spent over 37 years in practice gaining wide experience of accounting for and auditing of social housing providers and credit unions with a firm specialising in providing audit and financial consultancy services to the not-for-profit and charity sectors. He has particular interests in risk management and governance in regulated sectors, and has previously been Vice-Chairman of a local stock transfer housing association.