What Motivates Us

What motivates our members?

Julie Hawker – CosmicJulie

“Cosmic has a passion for developing and supporting digital talent across the region, including through our training programmes and apprenticeships, and so contributing to the next stage of employment and skills strategy is a no-brainer for me.”


AlanAlan Styles – Axminster Tools

“As both an employer and provider of tools to skilled people we wanted to help and meet others in East Devon who are proud of where we live and its industry.  We are extremely passionate about developing skills in our own company that requires many different skills this insight is something I hope we bring to discussions.”

John Varley – Clinton Devon EstatesJohn

“Devon is one of the most agricultural and afforested counties in England.  Land based industries need skilled and trained people from all disciplines to ensure that we remain competitive and grow these predominantly  small and medium family businesses so that they succeed.  The opportunity to represent land based industries at the meeting today reinforced my view that we have a remarkable opportunity across a wide range of enterprises in Exeter and East Devon to come together and help shape the academic agenda for young people and also support the existing workforce in terms of life long learning.   If employers across diverse business areas and professions I met today adopt a common learning agenda we can help shape an exciting strategy aligning education, training and skills supporting business competitiveness and individual achievement.  All this underpins economic growth and improved productivity for this very special part of Devon.  Clinton Devon Estates is delighted to play its part in this initiative.”

Mark GMark Godfrey – The Deer Park Country House Hotel

“I see it as a great opportunity to ‘be at the table’ and have the opportunity to be a part of shaping the future for our region, what a privilege!”

Paul Gale – Interserve

“Interserve is one of the world’s foremost support services and construction companies. We are fully committed to the aims and vision of the EHOD Employment Skills Board for which our Divisional Director in Exeter is a current Board Member and is supported by a local, skilled and experienced team of staff who work out of our four offices across the South West. Interserve is committed to providing a sustainable business that can help enhance and prepare the younger generation for future employment whilst ensuring that local people have access to the right skills and can progress in their chosen career path. By 2016, 15% of our staff will donate time to benefit local communities and in 2020 we are committed to invest 3% of pre-tax profits into local communities.”

Harry WildGo Wild Communications

Harry“It never fails to impress me how the power of effective communication can instigate action that leads to positive change. Exeter and Heart of Devon’s Employment and Skills Board keeps the channels of communication wide open, allowing this region’s most influential businesses to collaborate, listen and lead. Together we can shape a more attractive area for employment and play a key role in developing a world class workforce.”

Mark Shepherd – Waitrose

Mark Shepherd from Waitrose“As chair of the ESB I am honoured to have such high calibre board members around me. Together we are going to seize the moment and demonstrate what can be achieved when like minded, forward thinking leaders from diverse leading business sectors work together in a partnership with facilitators, funders and providers. I believe we can become the role model for delivering a World Class Workforce here in Exeter and the Heart of Devon.”

Karen Clarke – KC Consultancy

Karen Clarke KCI am passionate about supporting those that may currently be excluded from the opportunities to gain skills and employment. I joined the Board to have  some say on their behalf when considering the bigger picture. I also really enjoy joining up the dots and seeing how we can work better in partnership at all levels. I enjoy working with people who have set aside self interest and are keen to make a real difference and tackle problems head on. I feel I am in the right place for that! Thanks for having me on board.


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Exeter and Heart of Devon – Employment and Skills Board is an independent body and voice for employers, aiming to improve employment across Devon and beyond.

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