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SQW Consulting appoints Expert to drive Expansion of Employment and Skills services

SQW Consulting, one of the largest and best known providers of economic and social development consultancy services, has appointed Dr Eleanor Breen as its Associate Director to drive forward the expansion of its Employment and Skills Policy services. Dr Breen, an expert in labour market policy and skills issues, formerly worked for GHK Consulting where she was a director for 13 years and helped build the UK arm of the business.

Dr Breen has over 25 years experience of tackling employment and skills issues at national, regional and local levels. She has designed and evaluated policies to enhance labour market information to individuals, institutions and businesses; and worked to improve the responsiveness of education and vocational training institutions to the specialist skills needs of industry sectors, such as ICT, media, leisure, construction, logistics and engineering. She also has considerable experience of improving access for excluded groups to training and the labour market.

Recently, Dr Breen has worked on a number of assignments with the Sector Skills Development Agency including the evaluation of the effectiveness of Sector Skills Agreements across the Skills for Business Network, and acting as an external assessor of the Standard Setting Bodies’ market analyses and the Sector Skills Councils’ employer-led qualifications strategies.

Other recent high profile projects have included a UK-wide evaluation of the New Deal Plus for Lone Parents pilot programme for the Department for Work and Pensions, a review of the European Employment Service within Jobcentre Plus, and a project assessing the effectiveness of different forms of support for women’s enterprise for the Department for Business, Enterprise & Regulatory Reform (BERR). Dr Breen has just completed a term as the UK expert correspondent for the European Employment Observatory, which reviews employment policies and labour market trends across Europe.

Dr Breen joins SQW Consulting’s Skills team, which has undertaken a range of projects in employment and skills evaluation, workforce development and employer engagement for clients that include the Department for Work and Pensions, the Department for Children, Schools and Families, the Skills for Business network and Regional Development Agencies.

Simon Pringle, Managing Director of SQW Consulting, said: “I’m delighted to welcome Eleanor Breen to SQW Consulting. She brings an excellent track record in policy research, with substantial experience of advising major clients on the development of policy and action plans in the labour market and skills area.

“Developing a more highly skilled workforce is a key focus of government attempts to grow productivity and stimulate inclusion. Eleanor has an excellent understanding of the partnerships and relationships that are needed at national, regional and local level to deliver improvements in employment, skills and productivity. She is a major addition to SQW Consulting, and enables us to extend our existing services to clients in the area of skills policy and implementation.”

Eleanor Breen said: “I am delighted to join SQW Consulting, which has an outstanding reputation for high quality, professional work. Over the years, SQW has made a considerable contribution to knowledge in the area of policy development and to effective delivery in economic development. The firm has great ambitions to grow and extend its service offer to clients, so now is an exciting time to be joining. I look forward to working with the team here to further develop our services in employment and skills policy.”

- ENDS -
Editors Notes
Press enquiries to: Margaret Henry, Company Secretary & PR Director.

Tel: +44 (0)1865 811199 Email:

Photo available on request
Dr Eleanor Breen, the new Associate Director at SQW Consulting, who has joined the firm to assist with the expansion of its Employment and Skills policy services.

About SQW Consulting
SQW Consulting is a leading economic development and management consultancy that is well-known for producing ‘The Cambridge Phenomenon’, a defining report that brought Cambridge’s high-tech industry to worldwide attention.

The company’s clients include government departments in the UK and overseas, devolved administrations, regional development agencies, funding bodies, local authorities, partnerships and international organisations.

SQW’s consultants bring extensive experience to their assignments, with backgrounds in academia, national and local government, industry, and development agencies. At any one time, they are working on over 100 projects in the areas of economic and social development and regeneration.

SQW employs over 80 staff and is headquartered in Cambridge with regional offices in Edinburgh, Leeds, London, Oxford and Manchester. For more information:

About SQW Energy
SQW Consulting’s sister division, SQW Energy, provides services in the area of energy and carbon management.

Launched in April 2008, SQW Energy works with the energy industry, public and private sector organisations and offers tailored consultancy services in energy market design and regulation; energy technology strategy and policy; and carbon assessment and management. For more information:

About Oxford Innovation
SQW Consulting’s sister firm, Oxford Innovation, provides services to growing companies, and to government bodies that promote enterprise. The company operates 13 Innovation Centres that provide flexible office and laboratory space to over 350 technology, knowledge-based and creative companies. Oxford Innovation also manages three highly successful Investment Networks that link investors with entrepreneurs seeking funding from £20,000 to £2 million.

Oxford Innovation employs 100 staff and is headquartered in Oxford, with additional Innovation Centres in Berkshire, Gloucestershire, Northamptonshire, Portsmouth and South Yorkshire. For more information:

Publisher Contact Information:

SQW Consulting
+ 44 (0)1865 811199

Company profile of SQW Consulting
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