Luke WilliamsLuke Williams

Location: Manchester

Qualifications: BA Philosophy, Politics and Economics

I joined SQW's Manchester Office as a Research Consultant in 2015 after studying at the University of Warwick. I have since been promoted to Consultant, after roughly two years as a Research Consultant during which I received training covering GIS, Excel, literature reviews, consultations, surveys, evaluation and appraisal, data presentation and infographics. This training provided a strong underpinning for my subsequent progress, and new joiners at Consultant level also have the opportunity to participate in these training sessions.

I was motivated to apply for the role at SQW due to my keen interest in education and skills and, since joining, some of my personal highlights have been within these fields: contributing to a Post-16 and Skills Plan for Northamptonshire; speaking with teachers, museums and galleries to evaluate Arts Council England's Museums and Schools Programme which seeks to embed collections-based learning into the curriculum; and speaking with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) learners and teaching professionals to explore the impact of the Education and Training Foundation's SEND Further Education Workforce Development Programme.

Nonetheless, one of the best things about working for SQW is the varied nature of the role. I have worked on projects in fields as diverse as arts and culture, economic development, farming, and science and innovation. This variety keeps things interesting and rewarding, with opportunities to learn about new subjects, work alongside colleagues who are authorities in their field and travel the breadth of the country.

Working for a small but growing company that places a strong emphasis on progression and personal development offers the opportunity to progress quickly, take on additional responsibility and carve out your own areas of interest. In the space of three years I progressed from a data analysis role on the evaluation of the Working Well Programme in Greater Manchester to being responsible for the evaluation as the project manager. Working Well aims to help around 25,000 long-term unemployed people with complex barriers to work move into, or closer to, work through addressing their issues. The programme is of national significance as it was a forerunner to a model that has now been rolled out nationally as the Work and Health Programme. Working on projects with the scale and importance of Working Well – and being able to play a formative role in their development – is one of the most exciting aspects of working at SQW.