Science Industry Partnership

Meet the Team


Robert Watts, chartered MCIPD, CMGR FCMI
European Apprenticeship and Talent Program Manager, Covance

Robert has worked in learning and development for over 15 years. Through collaboration with partners, Robert seeks to assist professionals with career exploration and skill development to meet the business needs of today and tomorrow, with a passion for Diversity and Inclusion strategies and increasing social economic mobility.

Robert sits on The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry, Academic Collaboration, Education and Skill Senior Leadership Group (ACES) and is a member of the Royal Society of Biology’s Accreditation Committee, is a Diversity and Inclusion Ambassador, a member of the Apprenticeship Diversity Champions Network (ADCN) and a committed Apprenticeship Ambassador. Alongside this has also Chaired the Apprenticeship Trailblazer Group for Level 7 Research Scientist, creating new and innovative routes for individuals to obtain chartered Scientist status and been involved in numerus trailblazers across different sectors.

Robert’s work experience comes from a variety of industries with work covering different global markets and he brings a wealth of skills gathered from across the globe. He is passionate about raising the profile of Apprenticeships, T-levels, technical education and aspirations of people across the industry.

Vice Chair

Claire Webb
Training and Development Manager, Inovyn

Claire has had a lifelong drive to work within the Human Resources field, and in her later career she has honed her focus into influencing talent strategy for her employers.  She has worked for the past 13 years in the Petro/Chemical industry spending 12 years in various HR and L&D roles at Stalnow Oil Refinery working for Shell UK Oil Products Ltd, until the asset was acquired by Essar Oil UK Ltd. More recently she has moved onto a new challenge within INOVYN’s UK operation, becoming the Learning and Development Manager.  With a major focus on ensuring the correct training is in place for competence now, she also places a priority on development of existing talent to enable succession, as well as managing the apprenticeship programme for the future needs of the business.

Through her hands on experience, coupled with her links to wider industry, she has learned there is a consistent skills issue across many manufacturing sites in the UK,  which is a mixture of a challenging age demographic; advancing technologies; and lack of focus on a sustainable talent pipeline.  This is why she feels passionately about the interface industry and commerce has with education at all levels with a view to influencing adequate provision within curriculum to shape and support the UK’s future talent. As such Claire volunteers as an Enterprise Advisor and works closely with a local school on their careers and employability skills strategy. In doing this she has an insight into how challenging this is for schools. She has also spent a great deal of time supporting STEM outreach activity with schools and in the community

Claire is excited to have a more strategic role within the SIATE group, as this will provide a great vehicle for exploring opportunities for industry to work together to influence skills solutions that will work for business’, and learners alike.

Helen Davies
Standards Manager, Cogent Skills

Helen supports the development of new apprenticeship Standards to underpin the skills agenda of Science Industry Partnership (SIP) members. She works with government and industry bodies to produce a strategic map of skills and standards required and commissioning new skills standards. Helen also works with employers to identify recruitment and training priorities for key occupations in order to map them against the most relevant standards. Prior to this Helen was a Talent Development Specialist with Essar Oil UK, and has a long track record in Learning and Development across both the public and private sectors including the travel and construction sectors and the NHS.