Ralph Gibson

Cohort: 19

Studied:Politics and Internal Relations BA Hons

What made me chose the NGDP over other public sector grad schemes is its focus on developing leadership and management skills. The NGDP is built around creating future public sector leaders, therefore, whether it be in our placements or when completing our Institute of Leadership and Management qualification, there is a constant focus on developing our skills. For example, in our placements, we are given real responsibility very early on. Whilst this is initially daunting, you rapidly improve your leadership and management skills.

Another reason why I would recommend the NGDP is that you have a real, tangible positive impact on local people. It is really rewarding to see the direct positive impact the work of the Council has on the local community.

I’m currently placed in Legal Services where I’m working in a team responsible for delivering a demand management project. The project aims to increase manager and staff self-service for lower level legal work. This will allow Council lawyers to work in areas where they can add the most value and will hopefully reduce the amount of work that is outsourced.

As part of the project I am part of the team creating an online learning resource. This centre will include FAQs, a template library, and how-to-guides for client departments. A key part of my role is to liaise with colleagues in the legal department, client departments, and IT to design the centre and create content. The project has also involved implementing demand monitoring metrics. This is an area I previously knew nothing about. Therefore, I feel as though I have developed my data skills by working on the project.

I’m really enjoying working on the project. I have a lot of responsibility and am having a direct impact on the way the council operates and the relationship between legal services and other departments.

I believe that the NGDP is having a positive impact on my professional skills. Every day I am given more responsibility and am out of my comfort zone, therefore, I’m developing my skills and am increasing in confidence. By the end of the scheme, I feel the NGDP will have helped me develop a skill set that will enable me to have a successful career in local government and the public sector.