People on the Move: Alder Training; Eric Wright Group; Portfolio Group; JLL; Napthens

Joanne Abraham

A Liverpool training and apprenticeship provider has appointed a new managing director as it looks ahead to a year of change.

Joanne Abraham joins Alder Training from St Helens Chamber following two years as director of training services.

During her time at St Helens Chamber Joanne was responsible for the delivery of the organisation’s Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) contract including apprenticeships, traineeships, study programmes and adult education provision.

Joanne has held a number of roles during her 12 years in the sector, including workforce development manager, training services team leader and NVQ assessor.

She said: “I know from experience the impact that delivering the right course to the right people can have. As an organisation we have both a responsibility to deliver quality training for apprentices and a quality workforce for employers. When these two worlds align it can make a real positive difference.

“There is still a huge amount of potential growth within the sector with many organisations still not utilising their levy fund.

“We will be looking to work closely with organisations across the city region to help them understand the levy, including how they can use it to upskill their current workforces along with bringing in fresh faces.”

It is set to be a busy few months at Alder Training with the organisation about to undertake a major rebrand and move into a new city centre building.

Joanne added: “We will be undergoing a huge transformation over the coming months and my immediate responsibility will be to oversee this huge project.”

Alder Training has more than 20 years’ experience in offering a range of high-quality apprenticeships and training and is rated Good by Ofsted.

The provider was acquired by The Regenda Group in 2017 as part of its strategy to push into sectors closely aligned with its values.


Preston-based Eric Wright Facilities Management (EWFM) has appointed George Lilley as managing director.

George joins the company, which is part of the Eric Wright Group, from VINCI Facilities where he was customer director and brings more than 30 years’ board leadership experience in the defence, nuclear, industrial and commercial sectors.

His appointment follows a period of significant investment into the facilities management company under the leadership of interim MD Mark Steed. The facilities management team now numbers 147 and last year reported a turnover approaching £15m.

George said: “Under Mark’s stewardship Eric Wright Facilities Management has undergone transformational change with the recruitment of key staff and a significant increase in the client base.

George Lilley

“The company is in an extremely strong position to build on those solid foundations and I am delighted to join the team at this exciting time.

“The unique ownership structure of the Eric Wright Group was a major attraction for me. I am proud to be a part of a company that delivers market-leading social value.”

Eric Wright Group managing director Jeremy Hartley said: “George is an exceptional leader and has a wealth of experience which will help us to further grow and develop our facilities management arm.

“The Eric Wright Group is proud to be a commercial organisation with a social purpose, delivering an unbeatable client service and investing in the communities in which we operate. We have implemented comprehensive growth strategies in all seven of our divisions and bringing George on board will help us to deliver our vision for the facilities management team.”


Specialist recruiter, The Portfolio Group, has made a host of promotions on the back of a successful year which has seen the business announce a record turnover of £14.5m.

The business has made seven promotions in total with the highest accolade earned by Mark Davis as he takes up the position of associate director.

This will be Portfolio’s third associate director title given in just over a year, with Davis joining Patrick Day and Gemma Creamer as part of the senior management team.

Starting at The Portfolio Group almost eight years ago as a senior consultant, Davis has gone from strength-to-strength on the payroll temporary division earning a team leader title back in 2014 to now being propelled into the sought-after role of associate director.

Mark Davis

Davis, alongside the directors and associate directors, has witnessed significant growth over the past few years with a 120% increase in employee numbers, the opening of a second office in Manchester and a move to a larger London head office due to employee and business growth.

He said: “My journey with The Portfolio Group started just under eight years ago and I have seen the business diversify and grow into something I am incredibly proud to be a part of. I look forward to leading Portfolio’s temporary business and I am hugely excited by the thought of what we can achieve over the coming years.”

Danny Done, Portfolio Group managing director, said: “Mark has been a wonderful leader of our highly-successful temporary recruitment team for several years now and this promotion is a recognition of this and highlights his, and the entire team’s, fantastic work.

“We plan to expand the team further and Mark’s responsibilities will only grow with this expansion.”


JLL has made a new hire to its Manchester-based industrial and logistics agency team.

Josh Downes has joined the team as a surveyor, after starting with JLL as a graduate in September 2016. He has now gained the permanent position after qualifying as a chartered surveyor in October 2018.

Josh Downes

In the past two years Josh has worked across the consultant’s commercial investment, lease advisory and residential land and development teams. He’ll now support industrial schemes including Logistics North in Bolton, Omega Warrington and Oakhill 61.

The hire follows Robert Kos being promoted to associate director in the team.

Meanwhile, John Whitehurst has also begun supporting the team as a graduate surveyor as part of the rotation programme across the consultant’s divisions.

JLL’s North West industrial agency transacted 3.5 million sq ft last year and represents landlords including Mountpark, Stoford, Aviva Investors, Legal & General and Harbert.

Andrew Lynn, director for the industrial & logistics agency at JLL, said: “By hiring and nurturing emerging talent we’re expanding the skillset of our team and creating the next generation of trusted advisers for our clients. Josh and John have already hit the ground running supporting deals in the region.”


Jamie Allison, partner and head of the Cumbrian team at Napthens solicitors, will help support growing businesses in the county after joining the board of Enterprise Answers.

Jamie has taken a role as a non-executive director on the board of the organisation, Cumbria’s only Community Development Finance Institution (CDFI) and the only rural CDFI in the North of England.

Penrith-based Enterprise Answers is a sustainable, independent organisation providing financial services across the region, with the aim of creating ‘social improvement and business development returns.’

Jamie Allison

Led by chief executive Grahame Latus, it works with organisations throughout the region to ensure the businesses it works with have access to a range of support services. These include British Business Bank, The Family Business Network, Lancaster and District Chamber of Commerce and Invest in Eden.

As a non-executive director Jamie will use his experience in the legal sector advising businesses on a range of matters to help the Enterprise Answers team.

He said: “Enterprise Answers has supported some great businesses in the years since it was founded and I’m honoured to have been asked to take on this role.

“As the head of Napthens’ Cumbrian team I know how strong the business community is in this area, and I look forward to supporting new businesses and helping them flourish.”

Grahame Latus, chief executive of Enterprise Answers, added: “We are delighted that Jamie has joined our board.

“His diverse range of experience, skill, knowledge and connectivity will prove valuable, as we strive to position Enterprise Answers as a responsible lender and reputable business support provider within the region we cover.”