Our senior team

Our Leadership Team is made up of our Chief Executive and five directors. They regularly meet to set our strategic and operational direction based on our business plan.

Sharon Allen OBE – Chief Executive

Skills for Care's CEO Sharon Allen Our CEO Sharon Allen

Sharon has worked in the public and voluntary sector, social care and supported housing sectors for more than 30 years.

A qualified social worker and housing professional, Sharon became Chief Executive Officer of Skills for Care in 2010, having previously been CEO of a large social care and supported housing organisation. Sharon, is a member of the Think Local, Act Personal (TLAP) Programme Board, Chairs the Operations Committee of the CHS Group (Housing Association) in Cambridge and is a board member of Age UK.

Sharon was awarded an OBE in June 2015 for services to social care, homeless people and housing.

You can follow Sharon on Twitter @sharonallensfc.

Our directors

For more information about our directors please click on the links below.

Andy Tilden

Andy originally trained as a teacher and is a qualified social worker and external verifier in management and health and social care qualifications. He has a MBA with a strong focus on learning and development.

Andy has worked in residential child care and remand services, education welfare and as a lecturer in a further education college. He helped to set up a training company attached to a learning disability company and delivered training across the South West of England.

Andy joined TOPSS England (now Skills for Care) as a regional development officer for the South West before being appointed as director of sector development – skills.

You can follow Andy on Twitter @andytildensfc.

Maria Lagos

Maria has over twenty years’ experience in social work practice and management, and education and training. She has a degree in Social Sciences and Psychology and a MS in Social Work Studies - CQSW.

Maria has managed child care services and worked in voluntary projects delivering services for refugee children and their families. She lectured in social work for six years and was course director of a practice teaching programme.

Maria moved to TOPSS England (now Skills for Care) when it was created and is now director of sector development – innovation, leading a team responsible for workforce innovation, policy, research, social work, and recruitment and retention. 

Thea Seville

Thea has worked in social care for over 30 years and began her career as a local authority child care and day service officer in North Yorkshire.

She then worked as a further education lecturer, training officer and volunteer coordinator before becoming development manager in a voluntary sector learning disability service.

In 2001 Thea worked with the local authority and independent sector services across Cumbria to set up the Cumbria Learning Disability Partnership and was CEO until moving to Skills for Care.

Thea began working at Skills for Care in 2004 as the North West regional development manager before being appointed as director of strategic workforce intelligence.

Barry Lee-Potter

Barry is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, has a degree in Philosophy and Linguistics.

Barry has led marketing and communications teams in the UK Commission for Employment and Skills, the Sector Skills Development Agency and at Department for Work and Pensions, Department for International Development and Department for Education.

He has managed large, integrated direct response campaigns using TV, radio and direct mail, as well as developing no/ low-cost techniques for organisations using social platforms to enable organisations to listen to what people are telling them; and to get their messages across quickly.

Sue Shaw

Sue has a BSc Honours degree in Economics and Statistics from Leeds University and a Diploma in Entrepreneurship from Manchester Business School. 

Sue is a qualified Chartered Accountant, who trained with one of the big four international accounting and auditing firms. After qualification she gained experience including corporate taxation, receiverships/ liquidations/ bank security reviews and due diligence.

She has managed a portfolio of audit clients including commercial companies, pension schemes and a portfolio of charitable, not for profit, voluntary sector and social housing clients mainly based in Yorkshire.

Sue joined Skills for Care nine years ago and has worked in finance and accountancy for over 25 years.

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