I have done two placements so far. One was working in the customer services team of LGSS – Cambridgeshire County Council's shared back-office service with Northamptonshire County council and other public sector organisations including schools, academies, fire and rescue services and district councils in the east of England.
My second placement has been in the Economy, Transport and Environment directorate, helping to develop the directorate's business plan in an increasingly challenging financial environment for the public sector.
Through the NGDP modules I have learnt a lot about the political and financial situation local government is in; about the need for different leadership and management styles in different work settings; and about how high-performance cultures in the workplace can be developed and maintained. The placements at my council have allowed me to reflect on what I have learnt at the modules in the workplace context and helped me to develop my skills as a public servant.
The learning and development has supported my day-to-day work by helping me to develop my skills in leadership and getting the best out of others in my team. I have also been able to take other courses at my council including project management which has been really helpful as a lot of my day-to-day work has involved managing projects.
What I find personally rewarding about being a part of the NGDP is the strong sense of community among fellow NMTs at my own and other councils. We all have a passion for working in local government so it is always interesting to discuss the different experiences we've had at our councils. At my local authority I have really enjoyed working on things that I know will have a real impact on the communities that I'm serving.
I have received excellent support from my council during the scheme. My placement coordinator has been very supportive in helping me find placements and courses which will assist in my professional development. I have a mentor who is always on hand to help me reflect on my experiences and give my any advice. We also have regular meetings with the council's Policy and Strategy manager who helps us to get involved in with any work coming up which is of strategic importance. I have also found it really useful to be at a council where there are a large number of past and present graduates.
The exposure to different parts of the council, the learning and development modules and the encouragement to get involved in work which is of strategic importance at my council are all excellent for my CV. The scheme has been excellent for getting experience in a vast variety of areas over a short period of time. This has helped me to consider what type of work I want to do in my future in local government and has helped me develop the skills necessary to go forward with the path I want my career to take.
The NGDP is an excellent opportunity to develop professionally and work for the public good, if you're unsure about applying I would really recommend it, you have nothing to lose!