2016 Conference Speakers

2016 Conference Speakers

Mat Ainsworth

Greater Manchester Public Service Reform Team

Mat Ainsworth is the Greater Manchester (GM) Strategic Lead for Employment Initiatives, part of GM’s Public Service Reform programme. Mat is responsible for the delivery of the employment elements of GM’s devolution agreement, including the expansion of the Working Well programme, joint commissioning of the Work & Health programme with the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP), development of an integrated universal employment support system with Jobcentre Plus, as well as policy development for further system reforms in GM. The role includes significant joint working with partners across GM, especially those working in health, skills and economic development, as well as with central government departments, most notably DWP, HM Treasury, Cabinet Office and Communities & Local Government. Mat has previously worked for Salford City Council, Nottingham City Council, Jobcentre Plus and as a teacher and freelance translator in Slovenia.


Liam Barstow


Liam began his theatre training at Mind The Gap at Bradford in 2009. After his training he became a resident artist for the company and got his first job on tour in 2013. Since then Liam has been on many tours and is currently in Mind the Gap’s production of ‘Contained’, which will be touring around England next year. Liam landed the role of Alex Warner in Coronation Street in 2015. He was recruited after being spotted in ITV’s Breaking Through Talent disability workshop, created in response to actors with disabilities getting few audition opportunities.




Margaret Haddock

European Union of Supported Employment

Margaret Haddock MBE is the President of the European Union of Supported Employment (EUSE) and Chair of the Northern Ireland Union of Supported Employment. She is also Chief Executive of Orchardville, an organisation that provides supported employment to people with severe learning disability and/or autism and also runs a portfolio of social enterprises which employs people with learning disability alongside their non-disabled peers. As President of EUSE Margaret has ensured partnerships with key European partners have been secured and that the voice of Supported Employment continues to be on the Policy agenda. Margaret had previously worked in the private sector employment and training arena managing several youth and job training initiatives.


Ed Hawker


Ed Hawker is a member of Disability and Work Opportunities Division at the Department for Work and Pensions, responsible for policies aimed at supporting people with health conditions and disabilities into work. He has policy responsibility for Work Choice and Specialist Employability Support, joint policy lead on the national design of the Work and Health Programme and is taking forward a number of new initiatives delivered through the Job Centre Plus network.




Hugh Pullinger

Head of Disability and Work Opportunities Division, DWP

Hugh Pullinger is Head of Disability and Work Opportunities Division at the Department for Work and Pensions. He is responsible for policy on specialist disability employment programmes (Work Choice, Access to Work, Specialist Employability Support) and the Disability Confident Campaign. Hugh was previously Head of the Office for Disability Issues and has worked on social policy and strategy development in a range of Government Departments including DWP, the Treasury, the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit and the Home Office.



Elizabeth Stanton


Liz has been employed within IKEA since 1999 and has been the Community Support Specialist at IKEA Edinburgh since 2007. During this time she has overseen the development of the store’s community programme, establishing partnerships with over 50 local organisations and ensuring training and employment opportunities for a range of local people with various disadvantages and/or disabilities.