Sheila, who was previously Deputy CEO of the charity, takes up her new permanent role as CEO at the start of January 2023.

Sheila has been an intrinsic part of Career Connect’s strategic leadership team since its inception 20 years ago.

A successful company Director with significant experience in developing and leading services with Local Authorities, schools and businesses, Sheila has headed up HR, workforce development, quality improvement, commercial services and international business development in her role as Deputy CEO at Career Connect.

As Career Connect’s first female CEO, she will continue to lead the charity in its new vision and mission and delivery of its five-year strategy, with a focus on impact and growth.

Career Connect works to empower individuals and help them on their career path. This includes professional careers guidance and employer encounters in schools, support for young people who are at risk of or Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEET), reaching those who are vulnerable or from under-served groups, and providing careers support and guidance for adults looking for work.

Through its subsidiary company Achieve Northwest Connect (ANWC), it provides employment, education and training support to offenders and ex-offenders.

Its training centre also offers accredited training programmes for careers professionals.

The charity works across the North West and nationally, holding contracts with Local Authorities, schools and within the justice sector.

Sheila is committed to developing career management services for young people and adults at a regional, national, and international level and brings extensive experience in creating, developing and sustaining strategic partnerships.

Sheila said:

“Career Connect has a mission to drive social mobility by enabling more people to access and succeed in education, training and employment. This mission, and our vision of a society where every individual realises their full potential, is at the heart of everything I will do as CEO of our charity.

“To do this, we need to continue to be innovative, invest in our people, remain committed to equality and diversity, ensure our impartiality, and stay attuned to the needs of the people that we empower on their career journeys.

“We have an exciting future ahead as we grow our work in embedding User Voice into everything we do and developing our Evaluation and Research team, which will help us shape our services for maximum impact.

“I have a profound respect for the work our charity does, and our passionate people who deliver high quality support that truly changes people’s lives. I feel privileged to undertake my new role as CEO and continue to realise the vision of the charity.”

Lorraine Dodd, Chair of the Career Connect Board, said:

“The Board and I were very impressed by Sheila’s vision for the future of the charity, delivering against our Strategy and upholding our values.

“Sheila brings exceptional experience from within the charity, most recently as Deputy CEO working closely with our previous CEO Barry Fletcher, delivering on our ambitious plans.

“I am very pleased we have been able to appoint a successor from within the charity and it highlights the depth of talent that exists within Career Connect.”

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