Chris Hudson MBE


Chairman of the Trustees and Leadership Forum


[email protected]


Chris owns & manages Chimo Holdings an award winning Sheffield manufacturer of high quality cutlery, gift & silverware. Chris has been involved with work-wise since its inception in 2010.  He strongly believes in trying to minimise the gulf between school learning and the world of work, by introducing young people through genuine work experience as early as possible.  He also knows from experience that it also looks positive on their CV’s.


As the Chair of Governors of one of Sheffield’s most improved schools & as a successful employer he understands the differences & challenges of both systems, and he wants where possible to help develop meaningful inter-action between the two.


Chris “prioritises getting young people excited about manufacturing, especially crucial for the famous “Made in Sheffield” brand, as he wants them to realise it’s no longer about ‘dirty shopfloors’ but that there are many other opportunities in manufacturing these days, like purchasing, finance, sales, software technicians, design, electrical engineers etc. etc.  Manufacturing offers a wonderful, exciting & innovative future for today’s young people."


Simon Alliott


Simon is a property and business lawyer with 30 years experience. He was asked to prepare the constitution for work-wise Foundation and found the work of the project so fascinating he kept coming to meetings. Simon recognise the value to young people that a wide range of experiences of the world of work can give. It is very difficult to conceive of a career in a working environment that you do not come across; and engineering and manufacturing are vastly different from anything normally experienced at school.


Simon was born and brought up in Barnsley and has spent the majority of his career in South Yorkshire. His day to day work involves advising on many aspects of business, not-for profit organisations and charities. He is also a notary public, dealing with overseas legal matters and a chartered company secretary. He trys to bring many years of pragmatic problem solving to the board of trustees.


Outside of work he is a leader with the Scouts and spends a bit of time cycling.

William Beckett


William was the founder of William Beckett Plastics and was its Managing Director for 43 years before selling it to US company MOCAP in 2015. The company was one of the world’s leading manufacturers of specialised cutting tool packaging employing over 75 people in the group and exporting over 80% of its products to 40 countries worldwide. In recognition of its significant export achievements, the company won the Queen’s Award for International Trade in both 2009 and 2012.


William is Chair of the International Trade Forum, the region’s leading independent networking forum for exporting companies. He also chairs the Sheffield City Region International Partnership for Trade (SCRIPT), which is responsible for achieving a significant growth in the number of companies exporting and for doubling export sales.


He is a Freeman of the Cutlers’ Company where he also sits on the strategy board of the Manufacturing Forum. William became a trustee of work-wise because “I am totally committed to the work they do in educating, encouraging and introducing young people into the world of work and particularly that of manufacturing.”

Marie Cooper


Marie became shareholder & FD of President Engineering Group Ltd in 2010 after an MBO, PEGL were winners of numerous awards over the 5 years for its manufacture and export of high quality products for the energy markets, these included the Queens Award for International Trade as well as Marie personally winning, the ICAEW’s national Young FD of the Year in 2013 & Business Person of the Year in 2015.  After its sale to Parker Hannifin in July 2015 Marie took on the role of Plant Manager and became responsible for the integration to the new structure. This came to a conclusion in October where Marie is using her skills, knowledge and experiences to pursue new business opportunities.


Marie has been committed to the work-wise programme since 2010.  After experiencing first hand skills shortages for Engineering roles, she strongly believes in the introduction of skills for employment & genuine work experiences.


As Business Champion & Enterprise advisor for secondary schools in Sheffield Marie is working to develop better links and inter-actions between schools & businesses.


Marie supports the work-wise objectives to get young people excited about manufacturing careers, Marie has been a member of the “Get up to Speed” committee for the 4th year now, an event that is geared around promoting and inspiring youngsters into the many career opportunities in and supporting manufacturing companies.  As well as changing the perceptions of Engineering and its historic ‘dirty shop floor environment’.


Manufacturing offers a wonderful, exciting & innovative future for today’s young people."

David O'Hara


David is a Chartered Accountant who worked in manufacturing industry for most of his career. David has been involved with work-wise as an employer, advocate for the program and most recently as a Trustee


David is Chair of Governors at a Barnsley secondary school and a National Leader of Governance.


Born and educated in Barnsley, and having spent much of his working life in Sheffield and Rotherham, David understands the massive potential that the region has. Connections between schools and employers have a long way to go and by spreading the word through work-wise, David believes that we can give all our young people  the best start to their working lives. 

Kevin Parkin


Kevin has been described as a “No Nonsense, hands on general manager and turnaround professional.” He is an enthusiastic communicator and a believer that high quality communication, training and succession planning are key business drivers. In December 2015, Kevin led an MBI of Precision Technology International Ltd (PTI) a manufacturer of demanding power train components based in Tamworth, Staffordshire. 


In 2006 Kevin joined DavyMarkham, recruited and promoted a new management team who made a £1m profit turnaround in 18 months. He then led an MBO and resurrected the apprentice training scheme which had been abandoned twenty five years previously. 


Kevin is a Freeman of the Company of Cutlers, is an ex Chairman of the work-wise Foundation and is a member of the Steering Group for the Advanced Metallic Systems PhD Program at Sheffield University. 


Kevin is a  founding member and trustee of work-wise “because I want young people to have an unbiased view of career opportunities in advance of making life changing decisions.”

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