The NGDP has allowed me to make a real difference in my local authority; it has afforded me more responsibility and opportunity than I could ever have imagined.
Within only one year at the Royal Borough of Greenwich, I have already learnt so much about the inner-workings of a local authority. My placements so far have provided such wide-ranging experiences from helping a community-led organisation run a local park to co-authoring emergency planning documentation for borough-wide public events.
My first placement was in the Parks and Open Spaces department working directly under the Head of Service. During this time, I was involved in a whole host of varied assignments including documenting the processes which will be affected by the national medical examiner reforms, writing a sustainable park application for award investment funding, and identifying areas of service delivery which could be streamlined and moved on-line. My second and current placement is Waste Services where I have been involved in sourcing and piloting electric vehicles as additions to our new fleet, working on ways to improve fleet safety and fuel consumption, and readying the local authority for Bronze auditing in the Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme (FORS).
Both placements have allowed me to learn so much about the breadth of statutory and non-statutory services in the local authority and how these are directly affected by changes from national government. I have complemented this experience with my involvement in the REAL network in which civil service fast streamers and NGDPers attend events focused on the challenges for central and local government, and how we as graduates can help to innovate and protect services. In addition to the diploma in Leadership and Management for which I am studying, my local authority allowed me to gain Projects IN Controlled Environments (PRINCE2) qualifications which I have found invaluable when working on large-scale programmes that affect the whole organisation.
When I graduated from university, the NGDP really stood out for me as a rewarding programme which offers a lot more than the generic, sales-focussed graduate scheme. One year on, the programme has not just met but also greatly exceeded these expectations.