WESB Member Biographies
Jeff Cuthbert AM, Deputy Minister for Skills
Chair of the Wales Employment and Skills Board
Following re-election to the National Assembly for Wales in May 2011, Jeff was appointed Deputy Minister for Skills.
Prior to entering the National Assembly in 2003 Jeff was Head of the Asset to Industry Unit at the Welsh Joint Education Committee. This unit worked on the development of vocational and industrial qualifications and standards.
Jeff founded and chaired the Cross-Party Built Environment Group, the Cross-Party Healthy Living Group and the Cross Party Group on Diabetes. He co-founded and co-chaired the Cross-Party Beer and Pub Group. In the last Assembly Jeff chaired the Committee on Standards of Conduct and also sat on the European and External Affairs Committee, the Enterprise and Learning Committee and Public Accounts Committee.
Jeff grew up in South Wales and was educated at University College Cardiff. He has a degree in mining engineering and was President of University College Cardiff Students Union from 1974-1975. He is an active member of the Unite trade union and involved with a number of local projects in Caerphilly, most notably as the chair of the Caerphilly Miners Community Centre Management Committee.
Jeff is a Corporate Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.
Scott Waddington – Wales Commissioner, UK Commission for Employment and Skills
Scott was born and educated in Wales followed by attending Reading University (Economics and Accounting Degree).
He has spent the majority of his career in the hospitality sector, specifically in drinks marketing and pub retailing working with businesses including Bass, Carlsberg and Century Inns.
He joined the privately owned Welsh brewer and pub company, SA Brain as chief executive in 2001. Following a review of corporate strategy, the Brains brand was repositioned, investment in the pub estate was increased and the drinks distribution business was expanded through acquisition across Wales. Brains now has a total of 260 pubs as well as a growing brewing and brands business.
The developments within Brains have been recognised with a number of awards including the Western Mail ‘Welsh Company of the Year’, the Publican’s ‘Regional Brewer of the Year’, ‘Marketing Strategy of the Year’ at ‘The National Business Awards’, The Publican Pub Company of the Year and the Hollis ‘Sponsorship of the Year’.
Scott was Chair of the CBI for Wales during 2010 and 2011.
Emma Watkins - Wales Director, CBI Wales
Emma Watkins is director of the CBI in Wales and is responsible for managing the CBI’s relationships with the Welsh Government and other stakeholders, acting as the figurehead for the CBI in Wales. She is responsible for member recruitment and retention, as well as our commercial events programme.
Emma is a director of the Wales Social Partners Unit, which has been established to help business organisations work with the Assembly. She is a member of the Secretary of State for Wales’ Business Advisory Group, the Welsh Government’s Council for Economic Renewal, and a number of other bodies. She is a business opinion columnist for the Western Mail and a regular media commentator and speaker.
Emma has been with the CBI since 2003, during which time she has been head of public services policy, principal policy adviser in the CBI’s Brussels office, and head of policy for the CBI in Wales. Before joining the CBI, Emma worked as a political researcher for two members in the National Assembly for Wales. Originally from St Davids, Pembrokeshire, Emma holds an MSc Econ in the European policy process, and a BSc Econ in politics and modern history, both from Cardiff University.
Martin Mansfield - General Secretary, Wales TUC
Martin Mansfield was appointed as Wales TUC General Secretary in August 2008. Martin plays a leading role in the social partnership structures in Wales including the Workforce Partnership Council and the Council for Economic Renewal.
He has worked for over twenty years in the trade union movement including Unite and the GMB. He was previously a college lecturer and employed in skills needs research. From 2003-2005, he worked on secondment as economic development special advisor to Wales’ First Minister and Cabinet.
Martin has a Masters Degree in Industrial Relations (with Economics and Law) from Warwick University, a BA Hons in History & English and a postgraduate diploma in Applied Research Methods. He was born and brought up in Dowlais, Merthyr Tydfil and now lives in Caerphilly with his wife Paula and their children Bethan, Thomas, Rhys and Gareth.
Marcella Maxwell - Director for Wales, Working Links
Marcella joined Working Links in May 2008 as the Director for Wales. Prior to her appointment, Marcella was Chief Executive of Chwarae Teg, a pan-Wales organisation established to promote the role of women in the Welsh economy. She was also formerly head of the Economic Development Division in Cardiff Council with responsibility for economic policy, business development and European funding.
In her current role, Marcella leads a team of almost 200 people and is responsible for the overall strategic and operational direction of Working Links Wales, including the delivery of a variety of employment-related contracts and programmes.
Marcella is has held a number of board positions including the CBI Wales Council and the Wales Council for Voluntary Action, and she was a member of the Youth Unemployment Task & Finish Group established by the Minister for Education and Skills in 2010.
Iestyn Davies - Head of External Affairs, Federation of Small Businesses Wales
Iestyn Davies is the lead staff member for the FSB, which represents the interests of small and medium-sized enterprises in Wales. The FSB’s current membership in Wales stands in the region of 10,000, and it has an active role in lobbying and influencing government as well as supporting its members with a range of business benefits.
Iestyn leads a team of seven full-time employees that supports FSB members in Wales via their regional and branch associations. He also provides direct support to the Chair of the FSB’s Welsh Policy Unit, Mrs Janet Jones.
Graham Edwards - Chief Executive, Wales & West Utilities
Graham has significant senior management experience in the utility sector running electricity distribution and water businesses with South Wales Electricity, Hyder and latterly Thames Water. He has held senior posts in human resources, operations, and managing director roles with full profit and loss responsibility.
Prior to joining South Wales Electricity in 1992, Graham spent many years in the manufacturing sector with international automotive and consumer goods companies. In his early years he served an apprenticeship in structural engineering.
Graham has a Masters degree in Business Administration and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.
Tom Hadley - Director of Policy and Professional Services, Recruitment and Employment Confederation
Tom Hadley is Director of Policy and Professional Services at the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC). His role focuses on lobbying key Government and EU officials on a range of employment and labour market issues. The work also involves highlighting REC initiatives to promote industry standards, including enforcement of a Code of Professional Practice, audit schemes and the launched Diversity Pledge.
Before joining the REC, Tom Hadley spent six years at the CBI (Confederation of British Industry) and previously worked for the London-based recruitment and economic development consultancy MBA Training Research & Development. Previous roles included a traineeship within the European Commission and work within the in-house legal department of the French multi-national Vivendi.
Tom has a Masters in International and European Law from Assas University in Paris and a BA Law Degree from Sussex University. Tom is also a national league rugby player and a collector of fine wines.
Alison Itani - Director, Wiltan Ltd
Alison Itani has been a Director of Wiltan Limited since 2005. She initially trained as a nurse at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford and moved to Wales over 20 years ago. Since then she has worked at managerial level in the healthcare, retail and media sectors.
Wiltan Limited was formed in 1985 by Alison’s husband and is a manufacturing company based in Pontypool which manufactures components for the transformer industry. From a modest start as the smallest UK manufacturer of these parts it has grown to become a major supplier. The company currently employs 40 people and has won a number of awards for its training programmes and its commitment to diversity.