Meet the leadership team

About Futures Advice - Ofsted rated Outstanding
Meet the leadership team
Governance structure
Work for Futures - Ofsted rated Outstanding
John Yarham - Chief Executive

John joined Futures in May 2013, having previously been Director of Economic Development at Nottingham City Council. He has led the organisation to increase its level of impact on individuals and the economy, which was recognised in Futures becoming the first National Careers Service in the country to be judged as being Outstanding by Ofsted in January 2017. With over 20 years’ experience in the employment and skills sector, John is passionate about supporting young people and adults into employment and supporting social mobility. Having already grown the company by a third, John is committed to a values-led approach to growth that sees Futures developing new partnerships to enable its impact on individuals and employers to further increase.

  • Michelle Wright
    Operations Director
    A picture of Michelle Wright

    Michelle has worked in the careers sector for over 25 years. She has extensive experience of helping young people and adults progress into work and training. She leads our operations division, which delivers high-quality careers advice, guidance and employability support to young people and adults locally and through our National Careers Service East Midlands and Central Eastern Region contracts. She also has responsibility for overseeing our delivery of Nottingham's Youth Engagement Initiative which supports 16-29 year olds, and for managing NEET and Not Known levels in both Nottingham and Nottinghamshire, which are currently some of the lowest in the country.

  • Sandra Cowley
    Commercial Director
    A picture of Sandra Cowley

    Sandra has worked within the Further Education sector for over 17 years, during which she has held a number of senior and key roles. As well as being instrumental in securing business growth through increasing participation in post-16 education, she has supported employers with skills development, succession planning and implementation strategies. Sandra is an advocate of lifelong learning, including ensuring individuals have access to opportunities to learn skills which will make a positive impact on their lives and on the communities they live in. Sandra has responsibility for forging new commercial partnerships, helping to grow our training and apprenticeship offer, and taking greater advantage of future funding opportunities.

  • David Straw
    Finance and Corporate Manager
    A picture of David Straw

    David has worked for the company for approaching 20 years and came into the business with wide experience from private industry both in manufacturing and the service sector. He leads the finance, ICT and MI functions within the business and supports the company in terms of delivering high quality support to staff and strategic stakeholders. His remit also includes the development and deployment of the company premises and also maintaining robust health and safety practices within the company for both its staff and customers.