Toby at London Borough of Brent

"Being on the ngdp at Brent has given me a fantastic opportunity to take on challenging and complex work with real responsibility, and lets me see first-hand the tangible difference this makes to local people and communities."

Toby at London Borough of Brent

Working at London Borough of Brent

Studied Politics, Psychology and Sociology at Cambridge University

Advice? My advice to anyone applying to the ngdp is to do your research. Find out as much as you can about current trends and buzzwords in local government, and keep up to date with major policy changes in the news.

How have you changed? The ngdp gives you a real chance to make opportunities for yourself. I have learnt over the past year that if you don't ask, you don't get. I am in my current placement as a result of a coffee I had with the head of service. My confidence as a public sector professional has definitely increased over the past year and this is largely thanks to the fact that graduates get access to the most senior officers in the council, right up to the chief executive, who provide support and guidance, as well as leading by example.

Favourite projects? My favourite project so far has been to create a package of bespoke employment support for individuals with learning disabilities. I was given considerable scope and responsibility to identify what was needed, consult with residents and external providers and present a business case to senior managers to deliver a brand new service. This was then approved and we have now appointed a provider to deliver this new service to residents, which is really exciting!  

I started in the Leader of the Council's office, which gave me a really interesting strategic overview of how a local authority is run at the highest level. I also gained invaluable experience of working at a political interface: not many local government officers get this experience early in their careers so it should put me in a strong position in my future career.

What about your development? The learning and development we undertake has been invaluable to my projects, particularly in writing and presenting a business case. I already know immeasurably more about the challenges and issues in local government and public service delivery more widely, and I regularly apply this in my day to day role. It has also been useful in providing a ‘big-picture' context to the day to day work I do at my local authority, and allowed me to think more theoretically about the work I do and its impact on wider society.

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