Rich at London Borough of Havering

Being on the NGDP has given me the opportunity to serve my community, whilst simultaneously allowing me to develop my leadership skills and help shape my career.

In my first year, I've been fortunate to have worked on a wide variety of projects across the council that range from a review of air pollution in the borough, to the piloting of an app for our town centre. Within my current placement in Economic Development I'm working on a review of Romford Market, the development of the high street and an accompanying funding bid. Whilst this list is by no means exhaustive, all of these opportunities have provided learning points for me as an individual that have enriched my aptitude for a whole range of future undertakings. On reflection, I think the most exciting project to be a part of this year has been in association with the development of the market. It has been a project of never ending complexity and challenge; however the potential result of restoring and reviving it at the heart of the town is an inspiring objective. More holistically, I have found that the work involved in Local Government inevitably has a strategic element, but there is also a very tangible element, which enables people to remain individuals rather than being merely consigned to spreadsheets and statistics.

I'm grateful for the opportunity to take part in the NGDP as it has provided me with a helpful transition between being an ambitious graduate to being in a career that enables me to use my skills to benefit the people around me. In general, there has been a commitment from everyone who I've met to maximise the experience for me in order that I gain a vast range of experiences from different areas. Indeed, it is the versatility of the scheme that is perhaps its greatest strength, as it provides the opportunity to learn something about at least four completely different areas of an authority. This practical learning has been supplemented by conferences at Warwick and the ILM in Leadership and Management, all of which help frame the experiences which I encounter daily.  

I believe that if you are passionate about people and want to develop your career then the NGDP provides a great platform to do that. There are so many opportunities available to you that you can use to sculpt your experience, you just need to say "yes" and take up the challenge.