To achieve an evidence-based understanding of the current position of skills shortage in the region and to advocate for system changes which address these gaps.

Skills Project Group Chair: Anna McDonald, Head of Large Corporate Banking, East, Barclays

Anna is Head of Large Corporate Banking, East at Barclays. Anna and her team support large businesses across the length and breadth of the East of England enabling them to achieve their growth aspirations. Anna previously led the education industry specialism, providing funding expertise and operational banking to Universities and Further Education colleges throughout Eastern region. Before moving to Cambridge, Anna was an Investment Banker specialising in global syndicated debt at Barclays International, Société Générale and BNP Paribas. She is married with three children and likes running, cycling and spending time with her family.   

Project Team Members

Vanessa Anderson - Apprenticeship Programme Manager, Cambridge University Hospitals
Anne Bailey - Co-Founder & Director, Form the Future CIC
Lynne Birch – Schools Advisor, Cambridge County Council (Curriculum, Teach and Learning Team)
Jon Bouffler - Director of Learning Development Services, Anglia Ruskin University*
Sandy Boyle - Head of HR, Mills and Reeve*
David Braben – CEO, Frontier Developments*
Rebecca Britton - Communications, Communities and Partnerships, Urban & Civic*
Karen Clarke - Associate Director of Workforce, Cambridge University Hospitals*
Helen Clements - Community Investment Advisor, Morgan Sindall*
Andrew Daly – Principal, Swavesey Village College
Michelle Dowse – Deputy Principal, Cambridge Regional College
Suzanne Dutton - Resourcing Manager, Bidwells*
Bob Ensch – Area Director, Morgan Sindall*
Craig Finch - Relationship Director, HSBC*
Jacqui Halls - Vice President of Learning, Standards, and Insights, Medimmune
Simon Humphrey – Corporate Responsibility Manager, ARM*
Barbara Janta - Senior Analyst, RAND*
Tony Jones - CEO, One Nucleus
Fiona McGonigle - Business Skills Manager, Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority
Charlotte Mitchell - Relationship Director, Barclays*
Tim Oates – Group Director Assessment, Research & Development, Cambridge Assessment
Jane Paterson-Todd – CEO, Cambridge Ahead
Dr Samuel Smithers - Executive, Financial Advisory, Deloitte*
Abigail Trencher – Partner & Head of Employment Law, Birketts*
Christopher WalkinshawGroup Corporate Communications Director, Marshall of Cambridge*
Julia Wilson - Associate Director, Wellcome Sanger Institute*

* Member/Member organisation

Project Overview

Cambridge, like many parts of the UK suffers from a skills shortage across many sectors. To address this shortage, businesses as well as Government will need to consider further routes in training and skills provision to overcome this void. Cambridge is potentially more challenged than other cities across the country, as its growth in employment of over 8% in the last 3 years could significantly increase the ratio of vacancies to applicants. 

Our aim in this group will be to engage with local stakeholders, policy makers, educators and employers and find long-term sustainable and tactical solutions which will secure a skilled and loyal workforce for the region.

Further to this, the impact of Brexit is likely to mean more stringent policies over EU migration, which are expected to affect the number of higher and lower skilled workers entering the UK into the long-term. Consideration will need to be given towards the actual and final Brexit agreement around immigration, and objectives redefined as necessary over skills.


Into the future

Looking ahead, our attention will focus on the following themes relating to skills:

1. Skills Development
Reviewing the local economy’s strengths and opportunities, and exploring how businesses can influence and support training and skills development for a future generation.

2. Unskilled labour market
Consider options for tackling a potential void in the unskilled labour market.

3. Strategic alignment with the Growth Project
Ensuring that the Skills Group are strategically aligned with the 2018/19 outputs of the Growth Group to deliver tactical implementation that supports our objective to focus on the needs of our teachers, schools and businesses into the future. 

Research & Publications

Attracting and retaining teachers in Cambridgeshire: Report 21st March 2017

This report explores the current and future landscape of wet lab and incubator space provision for start-up and early-stage life science companies in the Cambridge sub-region.


01223 653023


Sarah Brereton, Director, Limewash
01223 813 557

Subscribe to our mailing list

Please enter your first name
Please enter your surname
Please enter your email address
; ;