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Acas West Midlands senior adviser profiles

Our Senior Advisers have experience and expertise in improving workplace relations and helping support organisations to implement change. They can visit you, or discuss your issues over the phone, and give advice, guidance or training to suit your particular needs.

Each team member covers specific areas of the West Midlands Find out more about our staff and who covers your area.

To get in touch with one of us call 0300 123 1150 or complete an enquiry form 

Alfie Coglianese Alfie Coglianese

Alfie has worked in the Civil Service for most of her working life. She started off in employment services before getting her first job with Acas as an office manager. She was then given the chance to move into a public facing role and became an individual conciliator, dealing with individual disputes, before moving into other roles and onto collective work. She believes the management skills she used in that post stood her in good stead for the duties she now carries out as a collective conciliator, trainer (qualified to NVQ level 4) and senior advisor which she has done for the past seven years.

In her current role, Alfie provides support for businesses in North Black Country (Wolves and Walsall, WV1-16 and WS1-6). Her knowledge and experience of the day to day issues confronting employers enables her to provide advice, guidance and training which is not only soundly based but also practical and pragmatic.

When disputes arise in the workplace, whether between individuals or the company and the workforce, Alfie is able to help the parties find a mutually satisfactory resolution.

She also has responsibility for Equality and Diversity and can assist your organisation in main streaming equalities and making equality and diversity even more central to how your organisation operates by providing Equality Diagnostics, guidance with policies and by delivering training in this area.

Pat Hicks Patricia Hicks

Pat has worked for Acas since 1997, having previously had a number of roles within the Civil Service, providing support to job-seekers and to small businesses. She joined Acas as a conciliator in Employment Tribunal claims and acquired a wide knowledge of employment law and of the difficulties that both employers and employees can encounter

Since 2004 she has been a senior adviser and conciliator, and works primarily in Coventry and Warwickshire CV1-37 and Tamworth B75-79. Her knowledge and experience of the day to day issues confronting employers enables her to provide advice, guidance and training which is not only soundly based but also practical and pragmatic.

When disputes arise in the workplace, whether between individuals or the company and the workforce, Pat is able to help the parties find a mutually satisfactory resolution.

She has particular interests in employee engagement and in mediation. She believes that employers who are serious about forging good relationships with employees, and who are able to identify and resolve conflict before it festers, will reap reward in terms of productivity and profitability.

Jon Dews Jon Dews

Jon has had over 30 years in employment & training, employment relations, enterprise and business development, joining Acas in 2000, firstly as an individual conciliator and then as a senior adviser. He has an MA in Employment Relations & Employment Law from Keele and is a fellow of the Institute of Training & Occupational Learning. He has experience in critical and sensitive dispute resolution at all levels and skills in project and team management, marketing and business development. He has a record of enabling mutual solutions to workplace disputes.

Since 2004 Jon has been responsible for supporting business in Birmingham, particularly post codes B1-B25, B27-B36, B42-44 & B46, B72-74. He has interests in communication and consultation, especially setting up of staff forums, job evaluation, conflict resolution and in supporting SMEs. He also has responsibility for developing business partnerships across the West Midlands, particularly chambers of commerce and the new Local Enterprise Partnerships.

David Whiting David Whiting

David began his working life in the Manpower Services Commission in the late 1970s. During this time he worked as an internal trainer, training Jobcentre staff in people skills; receiving and providing training which was well advanced and still relevant to today.

Prior to joining Acas he was Jobcentre Manager at Handsworth in Birmingham; a role which involved meeting employers and individuals from a very broad based community and with very diverse needs.

He has worked as Quality facilitator, undertaking work to embed a system of process improvement, data analysis and customer focus. This involved using a broad range of facilitative techniques to ensure the engagement of employees.

For the last 10 years David has operated across a broad spectrum of Acas services; conciliating in collective disputes, undertaking diagnostic work with a view to building more positive working relations in order to preventing potential disputes, advising on employment policies and procedures. Dave is primarily responsible for businesses in Herefordshire, Worcestershire, South Shropshire TF7, 8 and TF11-13, South Black Country DY1 - 15 and B66-71, South Birmingham, Redditch and Bromsgrove (inc NEC and Birmingham Airport) B26, 37-38, 45, 47-48, 60-65, 80 and 90-98.

He also operates as a trainer, providing both workplace training and open access events. He delivers the Acas accredited mediation course and undertakes workplace mediations. He has not, as yet, mastered how to transfer those skills to deal with his two teenage children.

Abigal Hirshman Abigal Hirshman

Abigail is an experienced psychotherapist and has worked for more than 15 years, as both a Manager and Practitioner in the field of counselling and mental health. During this period Abigail has provided therapeutic support and training to both individuals and groups in the workplace who are experiencing emotional and psychological difficulties.

For the last decade, Abigail has worked at Coventry University, initially as head of the counselling and mental health service and then as a research manager developing and managing large scale projects and training programmes in the field of health and wellbeing. These have included collaboration with Acas on the development and delivery of the Age Audit Tool, managing large scale workplace health and fitness projects on behalf of Coventry City Council and working with local community groups, councils and businesses in the Black Country to identify barriers and enablers to physical activity.

Abigail is particularly interested in working with organisations on managing staff well-being using a pragmatic approach to identify issues and developing a tailored programme that can be measured to ensure best outcomes for individuals and businesses. Abigail is a trained facilitator and has developed a number of bespoke training packages around stress awareness, building resilience and conflict resolution; these have been delivered to both closed and open groups within the public and private sector. As part of her recent MSc Psychology Abigail investigated the impact or line management support on staff satisfaction and continues to undertake research in this area.

Abigail covers the geographical patch of Bromsgrove, Dudley, Halesowen and Rowley Regis, Stourbridge, Telford and Wrekin, Warley and West Bromwich.

Louise Lenton Louise Lenton

Louise has been a Civil Servant for most of her working life. She started off in Land Registration before moving to DWP as a Work Coach, then later as a Jobcentre Manager and Manager of an Employer Engagement Team. Louise then moved to HMRC where she headed up a large Specialist Tax Team accountable for Trusts and Inheritance Tax, during which time she set-up a new Training Team and oversaw the creation and delivery of a comprehensive induction/training package for new recruits.

The chance came to move back into a public facing role and Louise joined Acas as a Senior Advisor and Individual Conciliator Manager. She believes the management skills she used in her previous roles stood her in good stead for the duties she now carries out as Conciliator, Trainer and Senior Advisor.

In her current role, Louise provides support for businesses in Burton, Sutton, Solihull, Lichfield, North Warwickshire, Nuneaton and Tamworth areas. Her knowledge and experience of the day to day issues confronting employers enables her to provide advice, guidance and training which is not only soundly based but also practical and pragmatic.

When disputes arise in the workplace, whether between individuals or the company and the workforce, Louise is able to help the parties find a mutually satisfactory resolution.

Jug Sahota

Jug worked in the private sector prior to joining the civil service in 1990 as a Customs and Excise officer. She moved to Acas in 1992 and has undertaken various roles including Helpline adviser and Conciliator dealing with Employment Tribunal claims, both of these roles have enabled her to acquire a wide knowledge of employment law and of the difficulties that both employers and employees can encounter

Since 2005 she has been an Equality and Diversity Adviser. She assists organisations in main streaming equalities and making equality and diversity even more central to how organisations operate by providing Equality Diagnostics, guidance with policies and by delivering training in this area. She is an Associate Member of the Institute of Training and Occupational Learning (ITOL)

She is also a mediator and her knowledge and experience of the day to day issues confronting employers and employees enables her to provide assistance when issues arise within the workplace, whether between individuals or the company and the workforce and help parties find a mutually satisfactory resolution. She believes that employers who are serious about forging good relationships with employees, and who are able to identify and resolve conflict before it festers, will reap reward in terms of productivity and profitability.

As your local senior advisor, Jug will be available to work with you on request through the whole range of HR issues from introducing new policies to setting up joint working forums. You can make an appointment for her to come out to you and she will undertake a free diagnostic of your HR to advise/assure you. Get in touch and see how she can help you.

To speak to your local advisor, contact Acas customer services on 0300 123 1150.