Log in

The Team

The Skills Development Service team are made up of 2 full time staff and 10 Student Peer Trainers.  Please feel free to contact the SDS staff at any time or pop into the Skills Hub on 2nd floor of Students' Union to see us.

John Steele

Head of Training and Development

I manage the Skills Development Service which includes curriculum management, quality assurance, delivering sessions, supervising the training team and managing the budget.  I also have prime responsibility for the provision of the externally-accredited courses and represent SDS on the Cardiff Award. I have a passion for teaching and believe that every person has a right to realise their own potential.  I gain no greater satisfaction than seeing our students feel great about themselves, go into good employment or onto a progression following their experiences at the Skills Development Service.  I am of the firm belief that we are not obliged to teach, we are permitted. Outside of work I enjoy listening to and playing music as a guitarist, rugby, football and walking. 

Rifhat Qureshi

Training and Development Coordinator

Hello I’m Rifhat.  I work alongside John. I help administer, deliver and facilitate the different sessions run by the Skills Development Service. I am the main point of contact for the Student Peer Trainers and work with them to make sure all our sessions run smoothly and effectively. I have a PGCE in Post Compulsory Education and love nothing more than teaching and meeting a new group of learners. Besides teaching, I have a strong business/retail background. I enjoy Pilates, HIIT training, running and power walking and I’m always trying to exceed my 10,000 steps a day!  

The Student Peer Trainers

The Skills Development Service wouldn’t be as successful without our talented and hardworking team of Student Peer Trainers.  To get the role they go through a tough but rewarding interview process. Once they commence with us they attend a full and robust Train The Trainer course. Student Peer Trainers predominantly deliver our evening sessions but often take extra sessions if they wish. Many of our Student Peer Trainers work longer than a year if they are still Cardiff University students at the time, allowing them to grow in skills and confidence.  Meet some of our Student Peer Trainers below.

Ellie Davies - Senior Peer Trainer

I’m Ellie, a French and Philosophy student in my 4th academic year with the Skills Development Service. I became interested in the SDS after attending compulsory courses through my degree programme, and teaching them has been the most incredible opportunity. The Communication, Personal Effectiveness, and Leadership courses offer great learning opportunities for all students and I would encourage anyone interested to dive straight in.

Sum - Senior Peer Trainer

I’m Sum, in the final year of my PhD looking at the genetics of bipolar disorder. I completed all the original CPD certificates back in 2013 and gained the current platinum certificate and the diploma of professional development in leadership in 2018. The service we offer is completely free and a great way of developing transferable skills that you will need once you graduate.

I’m an associate fellow to the Higher Education Academy and in addition to training and mentoring students within the SDS team, I also teach and support students from secondary school all the way to postgraduate level

Jessica Amey  - Student Peer Trainer

Hi, my name is Jess Amey. I have just finished my year abroad studying in France, and am now back to do my final year of Law and French. I started as a Student Peer Trainer in September 2016. I am also part of City of Cardiff Concert Band; I play the flute. And I'm doing the Languages For All courses, currently learning Italian.


Lucy Ghent - Student Peer Trainer

Hi, I’m Lucy, and I’m currently studying an MSc in Human Resource Management alongside my work as a Student-Peer Trainer and Mentor Consultant. I started working at the SDS in 2017 after completing a Certificate of Professional Development, and have since also completed the Diploma of Professional Development in Leadership. I enjoy helping others to achieve their potential through the SDS sessions, which are a fantastic way of developing valuable transferable skills.

Laura Cawson - Student Peer Trainer

I’m Laura, currently going into my third year of a law degree. After completing the Professional Development Diploma and a certification in First Aid in 2017 I joined the SDS. The loves of my life are music, books and tea. I’m also the president of the Japanese Society and avid baker. I can’t recommend the SDS enough, it’s given me the confidence to try the new, forgotten and experimental opportunities of university life.