Andrew Dakers

Andrew Dakers


Director, SPARK! - London's Original Education Business Partnership


Developed in the London Borough of Hounslow, extending to other parts of London.

"In a London context, we still have a mountain to climb: achieving a sustainable ecological footprint; building greater community cohesion to prevent future 'London riots'; ensuring that unemployment reduces; and that there is equality of access to the new employment opportunities that emerge."

The Project
THE WEX FACTOR is a boot camp that supports young people (14-16 or 17-18) as they make the transition from school into the world of work. After successful pilots in schools across Hounslow in 2011-2, THE WEX FACTOR is now available to schools across London.

THE WEX FACTOR turns work experience into work inspiration through:

  • a lively, fun and bespoke programme that can awaken their thoughts, ideas and aspirations as to where and what they want to be after leaving school – from access to further education, to a realistic view of employment opportunities.
  • training to develop the employability skills needed to successfully enter a very competitive job market.
  • support in aligning their educational attainment with labour market opportunities.
  • work experience in a business setting to develop skills and experience that will help give purpose and direction for their life after school.

What does being a London Leader mean to you?
Being a London Leader provides a unique opportunity to share innovative ideas for sustainable development coming out of the London Borough of Hounslow with other parts of our capital – but also bring new ideas back to my home borough.

What's your past experience?
My career has spanned IT at the BBC, business change management at GlaxoSmithKline, campaigning for WWF-UK, and leading Public Affairs at Business in the Community. I spent a decade active in frontline community politics until 2010 and was a member of London Borough of Hounslow's Pension Fund committee. As well as leading SPARK! - London's Original Education Business Partnership (formerly Hounslow Education Business Partnership), I am a course leader on the University of Bradford's DL MBA Business Ethics & Sustainability programme. Through The Cooperatition Incubator, I campaign for changes to competition law to enable greater collaboration between companies where there is public benefit. I spend my evenings chairing the project to regenerate the historic heart of Brentford town centre and as a trustee of Pathways, a social landlord. I have worked in Fiji, India, Uganda and the USA, and gained an MSc in Development Management from The Open University in 2002.