1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
I am part of a team of 4 who provide 24hr cover, 7 days a week to vulnerable 16-18 year olds. The YPs live in semi-independent accommodation based in Grantham, Lincolnshire.
This was a move by Lincolnshire County Council to bring Lincolnshire children who were cared for out of County, back into County for their Care.
The hope is that the provision in County will provide a huge cost saving for Lincolnshire County Council. It will also provide more beds for children within the County.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I have learnt a few new skills, but these are mainly connected with the administration associated with the role. I have had access to the Council's database, so this was something that I had not encountered before, I needed additional training for this.
I brought a variety of skills with me from other careers. I am quite old and have done numerous things in my life prior to joining LCC. So, I brought life experience too.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
This programme was a great experience. It was fantastic to do a type of formal learning once more.
I had not gained any other formal qualification in the last 30 years, so it was wonderful to complete one.
It was also interesting to note that it is rated as an equivalent A Level, so I now have another one of those. I had a couple already, so it was great to make the numbers up with a third.
4. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The programme I studied was highly organised and very structured. It allowed to me to study at my own pace.
Each Module was broken down into a series of questions, which had to be researched and supported with examples of the work that I undertook with the YPs.
It provided me with the opportunity to reflect on my practice and all of the experiences that I have had in my previous employment. It was very reflective.
5. How much support do you receive from your employer?
The support from work was pretty minimal to be honest, they allowed me to have my 1to1 assessments, the last one being via telephone.
However, when it was suggested that I have some time within work to do my QCF, this was rejected by management. I was therefore left to complete at least 50% of my programme in my own time at home.
This was not easy for me, as my son has been ill for nearly two years now.
6. How much support do you receive from your training provider when working towards your qualifications?
My training provider was absolutely fantastic, I cannot fault her in any way, shape or form.
She was fully supportive and allowed me to have a series of 1to1s, due to the difficulties at home with my son. This allowed me to complete a series of the modules orally within work time and therefore reduced some of the pressure on myself.
All messages, phone calls and texts were returned promptly and she was completely supportive.
7. How well do you feel that your qualification (through your training provider) helps you to perform better in your role?
My qualification will help me perform better, as it will allow me to have a greater understanding of my role.
During my study, I was asked to do a lot of research. This allowed me to look at various factors, laws, etc. that I had not considered during my day to day routine at work.
Therefore, I am now more aware of the legislation that is involved with my role and have a better understanding of the service we provide.
8. Are there extra-curricular activities to get involved in at your work? (For example, any social activities, sports teams, or even professional networking events.)
No there are no extra-curricular activities to get involved in at work.
The only Social activity that we get involved in is a Christmas Dinner.
The YPs are encouraged to join things, but there are no social gatherings or extra-curricular activities.
Due to there being such a small team and the fact that we need to provide 24hr cover, we can never all be off at the same time. Therefore, this isn't possible to arrange.
9a. Would you recommend Lincolnshire County Council to a friend?
There are a many different jobs within Lincolnshire County Council. The promotion prospects are good, if you are prepared to move between departments.
The pension scheme and benefits package are very good also. The Council do like to promote internal candidates where possible, providing they meet the necessary criteria and have suitable qualifications.
The Council have been very supportive during my child's illness. There are procedures in place to ensure the smooth running of day to day business.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Lincolnshire County Council?
Be completely honest in your application.
Do not miss anything out on your application, list all of your work experience and leave no gaps in your work history.
Ensure you get suitable and reliable references.
Dress formally for interview and answer all questions fully.
Bring your own questions with you, to make sure your role is fully explained.
Listen to all questions carefully before answering.
Tell the Council what skills and experience you bring to the position.