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The Team

The Skills Development Service team are made up of 2 dedicated full time staff and about 15 Student Peer Trainers.

Skills Development Service Staff

Two full time staff run the SDS and they also teach on many of the courses. Please feel free to contact the SDS staff at any time or pop into the Centre For Skills, Enterprise and Volunteering on 2nd floor of Students'of 2nd foffice 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 - Intermediate Peer Trainer

Hi, I’m Sum, from Weston Super Mare and going into my 2nd year of a PhD in Bipolar disorder research. I started as a peer trainer in 2014 having completed all three certificates of professional development. I’m currently an associate fellow to the Higher Education Academy and in addition to training students with the SDS team, I also teach and support undergraduate students in the School of Biosciences. I’ve also completed the Cardiff Award. Outsideof this, I’m into spin classes, yoga, the gym, nature, photography and the outdoors.

Libby - Peer Trainer

I'm Libby, a third year Psychology student undertaking my second year as a SDS peer trainer. Other than being a loud and lively student and doing sports such as fencing and pole sport I wanted to pick up some prospering career skills on the way. That's why I joined SDS. Going to SDS made me feel ahead of the game when it came to skills that employers wanted, while also learning them in a relaxed and fun environment.

What does a Student Peer Trainer do and what is it like working for the SDS?

Meet Laura - a former Student Peer Trainer

Laura worked with the SDS team during the 2015-16 academic year and blogged about her time with us. If you want to find out what it's like working as a Student Peer Trainer read Laura's blog