Meet The Board

Jacqueline Oughton

Chief Operating Officer - Shaw Trust and Managing Director of Learning and Skills

I joined Ixion Holdings in 2014 where I am currently Managing Director Learning and Skills for Shaw Trust. I am a highly experienced and strategic leader within the Learning and Skills sector with significant experience in the contribution to and development of policy and growth across apprenticeships, traineeships and wider skills and learning sectors including higher level qualifications. I am a highly experienced Ofsted nominee having led and managed 21 inspections and led Ixion, as their nominee, to achieve their Overall Outstanding Grade I inspection result in 2017.

Paul Willis

Skills Operations Director

I joined Ixion Holdings in 2014 where I am currently Director of Operations for the Learning and Skills division. Previously I was Assistant Director Skills – National Accounts for Ixion Holdings, National Performance Manager – Learning at CSV, one of the largest volunteer charities in the UK and Europe, and prior to this worked for the Skills Funding Agency and its predecessors for over 15 years in a number of management positions.

I am highly experienced in providing strategic leadership and operational management of government funded programmes specifically relating to Apprenticeships and Traineeships as well as advising and supporting employers with accessing relevant training provision to support their organisational needs.

Outside of work you can find me in an ice rink across the UK either coaching Whitley Bay Juniors Under 18s Ice Hockey team and the Northern Conference Under 17s Ice Hockey team or playing Ice Hockey at a Recreational level (too old for high level league competitions now!) for teams based out of Whitley Bay Ice Rink.

John Danvers

European Innovation Director

I established Ixion’s Innovation Division nearly 10 years ago to help ambitious organisations in the UK and across Europe access significant research and innovation grant funding. 

Prior to establishing Ixion’s Innovation Division, I was Head of the UK Intelligent Systems Research Institute and Managing Director of Pera’s Northern European Research Institutes, including Nortek in Norway, DII in Denmark, FinVin in Finland and EII in Estonia. All of these research institutes were part of the Pera’s Innovation Network which comprises over 650 people, the majority of whom are engineers, scientists and technologists. 

As a Chartered Engineer I have over 35 years’ experience of developing highly innovative technological solutions for industry, gained with some of Europe’s leading blue-chip companies.  In the last 25 years I have built up a wealth of knowledge of grant funding initiatives, securing over £60 million of grant assistance for my clients.

Regarded as one of the most experienced innovation funding specialists in Europe, I have presented on the subjects of innovation, Open Innovation and enterprise funding across Europe at venues such as the House of Lords, the Houses of Parliament, Stoneleigh, the NEC, the Royal Academy and the Turning Torso (Malmo).   I have been published in the Financial Times (article: E-Health) and in several industrial journals. 

I am an accredited Business Coach under the national Growth Accelerator programme and a member of the Royal Institution. I am a full member of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) and also an accredited European Engineer, registered with FEANI. My academic background is in the field of electronics, ICT and control systems engineering. 

Victoria Blakeman

Justice Director

I’m a former prison governor, and I joined Prospects as Director of Offender Management in June 2013. Previously, I advised the UK Government and UN on counter-terrorism measures in the rehabilitation of offenders. I served as the Head of UK Corrections and Detentions in Afghanistan and was involved in the construction of and restructure of management at Lashkar Gar prison.

Mark Care

Quality and Performance Director

I joined Ixion in July 2019 as Quality and Performance Director bringing extensive experience of the education and training sector spanning a period of nearly 20 years. This includes operational roles and leadership and management of classroom learning, work-based learning and apprenticeships over the majority of sector areas – and implementing the necessary change programmes to comply with the recent apprenticeship reforms.

My previous roles include being responsible for the delivery and quality of education and training, continuous improvement, subcontractor management, and contractual and funding compliance.

Working as an Ofsted inspector for two years has provided me with invaluable insight into the inspection process which helps the application of effective strategies to maintain strengths and bring about improvements in provision where needed.

Out of work, I enjoy health and fitness activities; including the gym, hill walking, cycling and golf, along with watching sport on TV!

Richard Clifton

Non-Executive Board Member

A business development and performance improvement consultant with extensive knowledge of welfare reform and the employment and work based learning sector. With over 18 years senior management and delivery experience of government funded training and employability programmes delivered through the private and third sector.

Over the last 12 years business development and growth have been major parts of all roles held. Significant successes include:

  • leading the successful CDG Work Programme prime contract bid in London
  • establishing the CDG – Maximus alliance for Work Programme bidding success
  • supporting the merger and positioning of Shaw Trust and CDG
  • developing social enterprise projects to offer stepping stone employment opportunities

Most recently developing in-depth knowledge and understanding of the changes within local government health and social care provision. Leading the restructuring and commissioning of services as Health and Adult Social Care Portfolio Holder at Rutland County Council.

Peter Holmes

Non-Executive Board Director

Peter spent 30 years working in the technology and management consulting sectors. He initially worked for Hoskyns Group, now Capgemini. From 1977 until 1996 he worked for Sema Group PLC, now Atos, where he became the Managing Director of their UK systems integration business and a Director of their global outsourcing business. In 1996 he joined Andersen Consulting, as a partner in their Public Services unit. In 2001 Andersen Consulting changed its name to Accenture and later that year became a public company via a listing on the New York stock exchange. In 2004 Peter was appointed as the Managing Director of their Europe, Africa & Latin America Public Services Operating unit a business that employed over 5,000 people. Peter retired from Accenture in 2008.

On leaving Accenture Peter was invited to become a board member of techUK, the trade association that represents 900 member companies in the technology, telecommunications and electronic sectors. He continues to serve as a director, in addition to which he chairs the Finance, Performance and Membership Committee and the Remuneration Committee.

Peter was the first Chairman of Behavioural Insights Limited a social purpose company that is widely recognised as the world leading exponent of the application of behavioural sciences to public policy. He was also an independent non-executive director of Scytl a provider of secure electronic voting solutions.

Peter serves as the Chair of the Performance and Investment Committee of Shaw Trust, Prospects Group, Forth Sector and sits on the board of Ixion.

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