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Graduates shine a light on working at County Council

19 November 2021

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Eight graduate trainees have shone a light on working on Nottinghamshire County Council’s successful graduate development programme. 

They have spoken about their experiences of life at the County Council after recently starting their two-year traineeships and as a new internal online hub, which showcases the role the programme plays in developing the next generation of potential senior managers and leaders, went live.

The group is the largest cohort of graduates to join the scheme since it was launched in 2018 and follows a rigorous selection process which began in March.

The programme offers a wide range of learning and development opportunities including specialist project management training; experience of adult and children social care; public health experience and access to mentors at senior management level.

Speaking to councillors at the latest Personnel Committee at County Hall, the trainees gave a fascinating insight about their day-to-day roles.

Jade Daft, 23, who was already employed by the county council before gaining her trainee placement in public health, has been working on efforts to get vulnerable people better access to Covid-19 testing.

She said: “I found out about the scheme through the Nottinghamshire County Council website but that’s because I knew I wanted to work in a place where I’m going to be helping people and society.

“I knew that, because of my personal values, I wanted to work in a council or in a public setting.

“The support has been phenomenal and the introduction since we started has been so comprehensive. We have CPD (Continuing Professional Development) sessions every single week – sometimes I’m having three a week. It’s been really, really good.”

Former University of Nottingham student, Abi Burgoyne, 21, has a placement in the Chief Executive’s department, which involves working alongside the Corporate Leadership Team.

She said: “It’s been really, really good so far. One of the main things for me is that it’s exceeded my expectations in terms of the responsibilities I have been given.

“I’ve had lots of support so far and lots of really good experiences.

“I’m currently involved with organising the County Day celebrations for next year. So in the first few weeks there have been a lot of meetings with people and getting my head around things, but I’ve been lucky with this placement in that I’m very much in the driving seat of what I’m doing at the moment.

“I have a line manager who has offered immediate support, but I’ve very much been given the reins in terms of what I want to do on a day-to-day basis.”

Councillor Gordon Wheeler, chairman of the Personnel Committee, said the graduate scheme plays a crucial role in developing the next generation of high-quality local government managers.

He said: “The graduate scheme is amazing. These people are our future, it’s as simple as that.

“You may well find there’s a future chief executive of this council – or another council – among the eight trainees. I’m pretty sure they’ve all got wonderful futures.

“The level of support they are getting from our wonderful staff is amazing – and that’s exactly what the previous cohort said. They spoke so highly of the support they’ve had from everyone at County Hall and beyond and that, I am sure, will continue.

“We look forward to working with the present cohort of graduates and also the next one and the one after that because this is our future and we have got to take as many high quality graduates as we can possibly afford.

“This is part of our commitment to nurture talented graduates, develop their careers and ultimately retain them within the organisation.”

The graduate trainees not only receive support from their line managers and mentors but through peer support.

A hub has been developed for them to share their experiences and they contribute regularly by sharing their blogs.

These will be used as part of future recruitment campaigns to ensure new applicants have helpful information about the traineeship to gauge whether it is for them. 

The County Council’s next graduate recruitment campaign will be launched in March 2022.

ENDS

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