Prior to achieving accreditation from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development in training practice and assuming responsibility for the firm’s internal and external training functions, Helen was a solicitor in the Employment and HR Services Team for six years, advising on a wide range of employment law issues. The success of the training products Helen created and delivered whilst practising as a solicitor revealed her passion for quality, innovative learning and subsequently lead to her appointment as Hugh James’s Head of Training.
In a training capacity, Helen and her team are responsible for all aspects of the firm’s learning and development. Internally, this includes the award-winning Hugh James Academy which is a unique programme of learning for all staff within the firm. Externally, Helen and her team also design, deliver and evaluate training to clients across a range of industry sectors on a broad spectrum of topics including personal and management development, employment law and human resources best practice.
Helen’s team was the only Welsh Law firm shortlisted into the top eight from an entrant group that was 700-strong by the Law Society, for an Excellence Award in Learning and Development in 2011.
The following year in 2012, Helen’s team secured a Highly Commended Excellence Award in Learning and Development from the Law Society, coming second only to a global, London-based law firm.
“Hugh James’ training is delivered with a level of confidence and expertise which is of an exceptional standard. The very professional yet down to earth approach of the training delivery made the learning experience engaging for employees. Training was tailored to meet the needs of our organisation – the trainer took time to understand our needs and our culture to ensure the effective design and delivery. Further more, there was a strong focus on feedback to aid improvement which was a refreshing approach. The quality of the training and the interactive approach to delivery (using DVD’s, group interaction and practical scenarios) made the training a great success. Delegate feedback was positive, learning expectations were met and in some cases exceeded, and the whole approach was professional and seamless”
Caroline Belasco, Director of Organisational Development, Coastal Housing
“Helen was great delivering joint training to our line managers and union representatives on our new company policies. She dealt with the debate, discussion and challenges with great ease. She is a legal professional who can deliver training in a practical format to meet clients’ needs”
Amanda Canterbury, HR Manager, Cardiff Bus
“What I particularly value is that Helen works in close partnership with her clients, she listens, is flexible and delivers to a very high standard. Helen designs, delivers and facilitates top quality training sessions/workshops; she gauges her audience excellently and uses well chosen scenarios to develop delegate participation and learning”
Nicola Walton, HR Manager, REHAU Ltd
“What a pleasure working with Helen, a professional approach; a great presenter and a wealth of knowledge and experience”
Gail Harris, Programme Manager and Business Development, The Wales Quality Centre
“I have had the pleasure of doing business with Hugh James for a number of years and regard their training team lead by Helen Iles as a high calibre unit, offering excellent advice grounded in sound practical solutions, applicable across all spheres of business. I also believe that the training packages designed and offered by Helen and her team are not only very professional and well crafted in terms of their excellent presentation and content, but also fairly unique in the way they “pack in” such a wide range of crucial employment advice with the ability to convey some key messages in a very memorable way. I have witnessed training sessions with groups of managers and supervisors alike, and can honestly say that the feed-back from these events is always consistent in that the participants find the sessions engaging, informative and above all enjoyable. Helen’s personal skills and ability to make employment law both interesting and enjoyable is clearly evident in all she does and the success of her endeavours bears testament to this fact. On behalf of Invacare, I look forward to our future collaborations in this area”
Simon Cox, HR Manager, Invacare
What do you love most about your job?
The variety of my work – no one training session is ever the same and I’m able to use my traditional employment law background in an innovate way. I’m also fortunate in that I’m out and about on a regular basis and meeting people from a wide variety of backgrounds.
What do you like to do outside work?
Music, socialising with friends, and cinema.