Yvette Cooper MP, Chair of the Commission

Yvette was elected as the Member of Parliament for Pontefract and Castleford in 1997 and has represented the constituency at Westminster for the last 20 years. She served in Government between 2008 and 2010 as Chief Secretary to the Treasury and the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions. Yvette has also represented the official opposition as Shadow Foreign Secretary and Shadow Home Secretary, chaired the Labour Party’s Refugee Taskforce and is now Chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee. Yvette has long campaigned on the issues of extra help for working parents, tackling child poverty, the promotion of women’s rights and family reunion for refugees.

Hasan Bakhshi, Executive Director, Creative Economy and Data Analytics, Nesta

Hasan leads Nesta’s creative and digital economy research programme and is a recognised authority in the field. His recent work includes co-authoring the Next Gen skills review of the video games and visual effects industries, which has led to wholesale reforms of the school ICT and computing curriculum in England, and the Manifesto for the Creative Economy, which sets out ten recommendations by which governments can help the creative economy grow. He is also an adjunct professor at the Queensland University of Technology.

Sue Ferns, Deputy General Secretary, Prospect

Sue has been deputy general secretary of Prospect since 2013 and was previously their head of research. Her responsibilities in Prospect include leading the union’s work on equal opportunities, legal services, skills, campaigning and communications, and on science, engineering and sustainability. Sue has been a member of the TUC General Council since 2005. She is also Chair of Unions 21.

Paul Nowak, Deputy General Secretary, Trades Union Congress

Paul has been TUC deputy general secretary since 2016. He previously held roles and was an activist in CWU, GMB, Unison, and BIFU. He introduced the TUC’s Leading Change programme.

Katie O’Donovan, Head of Public Policy, Google UK

Katie O’Donovan is Head of Public Policy for Google UK.  Katie is responsible for engagement with the UK government to ensure Britain remains a world-leading digital economy and Google continues to meet its commitments to responsible innovation. Katie sits on the board of youth charity Redthread, has been a board member for the Internet Watch Foundation and UKCISS and is a Policy Fellow at Cambridge University. Prior to her time at Google Katie established the Communications and Policy team at Mumsnet, and worked in politics, both for Prime Minister Tony Blair and David Miliband.

Roy Rickhuss, General Secretary, Community

Roy has been General Secretary of Community since 2013 and also represents Community on the TUC General Council and is a member of the Executive Council of the General Federation of Trade Unions. He worked in a steel tube rolling mill before becoming a full-time union officer.

Margaret Stevens, Professor of Economics, University of Oxford

Margaret is a labour market economist and an expert on vocational and skills policy. She is currently head of the Department of Economics at the University of Oxford. The main application of her work has been to the economics of vocational training. In particular, Margaret has studied the effects of government policies on training in international context.

Further information about the commission can be found here.

Find out how to submit evidence to the commission here.