The Employment Related Services Association (ERSA), the trade body for the welfare to work industry, is delighted to announce that Jacquie Smallwood, Executive Director of Operations at Shaw Trust, one of the largest charities in the industry, has been elected as the new chair of the ERSA board.

Jacquie has over thirty years of welfare to work experience. Her extensive work in the employment sector, includes management of inner city job centres and significant operational experience of working in diverse and disadvantaged communities.  As one of the founder members of welfare to work provider, Working Links, Jacquie was the director with responsibility for IT and supply chain management and before joining her current organisation, served as Chief Operating Officer at MAXIMUS.  In her current role as Executive Director of Operations at Shaw Trust, Jacquie has responsibility for delivery of the charity’s welfare to work operations across the UK which also includes Careers Development Group (CDG) which merged with Shaw Trust last year.

As ERSA chair, Jacquie will be leading the work of a diverse board made up of representatives from organisations in varying sizes from the private and public sector. She will be supported by ERSA vice chair, Steve Swan, Welfare to Work Director at Tomorrow’s People.

Jacquie’s three key objectives are:

Jacquie Smallwood, said; “I am delighted to have been chosen to chair ERSA at such a critical and exciting stage in the future of the whole industry.  I want to build on the successes of previous chairs in proving the worth of what we do in changing the lives of the hundreds of thousands of people we support into work every year. Working in partnership with each other and with our commissioners, I am confident we can influence the policy agenda for the benefit of our customers and clients.”

Kirsty McHugh, ERSA Chief Executive, commenting on the election result said: “I am delighted to welcome Jacquie to her role. Jacquie combines extremely valuable insight into both the commercial and charitable sectors with a strong commitment to helping the industry succeed. “


Press enquiries should be directed to Anna Robin on 020 7960 6808

Notes to Editors

1. The Employment Related Services Association (ERSA) is the trade association for the welfare to work industry. Established in 2005, for the industry by the industry, it exists to help its members achieve their shared goal: to help people achieve and sustain employment.
2. ERSA’s membership is as diverse as the welfare to work industry itself. Its members deliver a wide range of government-commissioned welfare to work programmes, including the Work Programme, Work Choice, Mandatory Work Activity and ESF Families, plus other employment-related services.
3. A full list of ERSA board members can be found on the ERSA website, please see here.