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Toolkit for Younger Staff

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  • 1. A guide for younger members of staff
  • 2. Foreword from Peter Gilroy, Chief Executive and fresh ideas that younger people bring to the organisation. I firmly believe that people should be treated on the basis of their talent and not their age. I have seen in the last few years the exciting impact that younger people are having in KCC, we must remember that they are the future and ensure that we value the contribution they are making to Kent and it’s residents. I am delighted to have the opportunity to write this foreword, not only to remind people of what Kent County Council has to offer but also to Peter Gilroy, emphasise the importance of Chief Executive, attracting younger members of Kent County Council staff and making sure that the opportunities are there for them to develop a career in KCC. I am proud that KCC is an organisation that is always looking to the future, always keen to modernise and to push the boundaries. It is therefore essential that we look to the future and make sure that we capture the energy, enthusiasm KCC Greenhouse staff group Back to top
  • 3. Contents PageIntroduction...................................................................................4Welcome to GreenhouseThe Cabinet....................................................................................6How the Council worksUseful information......................................................................8From annual leave to employee volunteeringStaff profiles..................................................................................22Senior members of staff explain how they developedtheir careers and how to make the most of theopportunities available at KCCStaff groups...................................................................................30The groups working to help ensure that KCC is a greatplace to work. KCC Greenhouse staff group
  • 4. Introduction Welcome to this Greenhouse We have included the basics booklet, which has been written for newcomers because we with the aim of informing know how new staff members younger staff of the many can feel uncomfortable benefits and entitlements asking their co-workers lots available at Kent County of questions. However, there Council. We believe this are plenty of lesser known will be informative for both pieces of information that new starters as well as more even experienced staff may be experienced KCC employees. unaware of. Greenhouse is a staff group We hope you enjoy reading it representing younger employees as much as we have enjoyed within KCC. We hold regular creating it, and that you find it meetings and have an online informative and useful! community website, enabling staff to discuss issues and Thanks, share useful information. More The Greenhouse Team (2009) information about our staff group can be found on page 30. Having been established as a group for two years, we are aware of the common issues Pictured; members on a group younger staff can encounter event and pieces of information that are not common knowledge. As a group we have worked on putting as much information as we can in this handy booklet for you to pick up and look at whenever you like! We hope this will be of a useful reference for you during your employment at KCC. KCC Greenhouse staff group Back to top
  • 5. Time off for study or training If the job you have found offers little or no training, you could be eligible for something called Time Off for Study or TrainingJoin our online community! (TfST). You can qualify if you are 16 or 17 and did not get any LevelGreenhouse has a new online 2 qualifications at school. Level 2community, enabling members qualifications include:of our group from different parts GCSEs at grades A*-C, anof Kent to join and share their NVQ Level 2, certain otherviews on discussion topics. Once qualifications, such as a BTECyou sign up on our community, First Diploma. TfST entitlesyou will have access to lots of you to reasonable paid timeinformation which is relevant off during normal workingto you as a young person in the hours to study or train for anorganisation, which includes: approved qualification. This mustrest entitlements, study leave be a Level 2 qualification thatand working hours. will help improve your future employment prospects.Be a buddy, find a buddy? The time off you get will depend on the course, yourFor many younger staff, it might circumstances, and yourbe their first job and working at employer’s needs. If you’re 18,KCC may seem like a daunting you’re also entitled to finish anyprospect. By buddying them up qualifications that you’ve alreadywith more experienced younger started.members of staff, they canbenefit from their experience To join our online communityand guidance. Conversely, or find out more see our Knetbecoming a buddy and providing site in the staff zone.help and guidance to a newmember of staff could give younew experiencesBack to top KCC Greenhouse staff group
  • 6. The Cabinet: how the council works area at County Council level. The candidate with most votes wins the seat, and the political party with most seats takes control of the County Council. The Leader of the Council is voted in at the next full Council meeting after the election. The Leader will appoint a Deputy Leader and Cabinet. The Cabinet is KCC’s political leadership team, responsible for strategic thinking Paul Carter, Leader and decisions that steer how Kent County Council the council is run. The Cabinet is made up of Members who are Kent County Council has given additional responsibility 84 elected Members of the for a specific set of KCC services Council (known within KCC and units (called a portfolio.)  as ‘Members’).  Members are For example, there is a Cabinet sometimes referred to as Member for Adult Social Services Councillors, which means the who is responsible for the Kent same thing. Each of the 84 Adult Social Services directorate Members represents an area of and all the services it provides.  Kent, called a division. See http://www.kent.gov. See http://www.kent.gov. uk/council-and-democracy/ uk/council-and-democracy/ democracy-and-elections/ councillors/ to find the Member cabinet/ to meet the Leader, for your area. Deputy Leader and other Cabinet   Members. Every four years, County   elections are held and people The Cabinet meets monthly who live in each division vote to make decisions as a for the candidate who they wish group that will have a significant to represent the interests of the impact on KCC’s budget or on KCC Greenhouse staff group Back to top
  • 7. its services to the community -  The full Council (where all 84these are known as key decisions. Members come together in theThe Cabinet is often advised by Council Chamber) meets sevenCommittees which are made up times a year to agree KCC’sof other Members and are set up Constitution and amendmentsto discuss specific topics. Each to it, appoint the Leader andCabinet Member will also take approve the policy frameworkdecisions relating to their own and budget (including Councilportfolio. Cabinet Members Tax).can appoint ‘Lead Members’ toadvise and assist them on theirportfolio. Cabinet Members work  closely with the officers who runKCC’s services - Cabinet Membersmake the decisions but are givenadvice and guidance by officerswho then put the Members’ Pictured; the Council Chamberdecisions into action. at County Hall, MaidstoneBack to top KCC Greenhouse staff group
  • 8. Useful information: Staff benefits and entitlements After Five Grade Basic Years’ Entitlement Service KS1 to 24 27 KS7 KS8 25 28 KS9 26 29 KS10 to 27 30 KS12 KS13 to 30 30 KS15 Up to ten days annual leave can be carried over from one leave year to the next. KCC also runs a scheme allowing employees to buy and sell annual leave. This is at the discretion of your line manager, on the basis of Annual Leave business needs. More details can be found on KNet: http:// Annual leave entitlement runs knet2/staff-zone/leave-and- from 1 April to 31 March every attendance/annual-leave year. Your contract will tell you how many days holiday you are entitled to during this period. If you started partway through the year, your entitlement is calculated pro rata. KCC Greenhouse staff group Back to top
  • 9. Leave arrangements for the your return to work). If yourChristmas holiday period are as return to work is not noted thenfollows: you risk being put on half pay. When Offices will be The form can be found on KNet: Christmas Day closed on: http://knet2/staff-zone/leave- falls on: and-attendance/sick-leave/ Sunday, Monday, Monday or Tuesday and Personal Leave and Tuesday Wednesday Carer’s Leave Wednesday or Wednesday, Thursday Thursday and With the line manager’s Friday approval, an employee may Friday Thursday, take up to ten days of paid Friday and personal leave (formerly called Monday, compassionate leave) per year. Saturday Friday, Monday Situations in which personal and Tuesday leave may be taken is down to the discretion of the line manager. Examples may include Sickness Leave attending a funeral of someone close or to deal with difficultiesUpon return to work, a Sickness following the break down of aAbsence Form needs to be marriage/relationship. Personalcompleted. On the first day leave is given to employees inof sick leave you must notify addition to taking unpaid leaveyour line manager by 10am to deal with urgent domesticthat you are taking leave. A issues. Up to five days personalmedical certificate is required leave can be used for caringfor absences of more than seven responsibilities. Carers leavedays (including the weekend). is a new pilot scheme and is currently only available to staffA Sickness Absence Form needs with regular hours contracts. Itto be completed (either by might be possible to apply foryourself or by your line manager), additional paid carer’s leave,either on return or after seven at the discretion of the linedays of sick leave (in which case, manager.it will need to be updated uponBack to top KCC Greenhouse staff group
  • 10. Learning, Development Expenses Claim Form and Volunteering In order to claim expenses, All staff are entitled to five days an OE2 Claim Form must be learning and development each completed. This can be found on year, two of which can be used Knet: http://knet2/staff-zone/ to take part in volunteering travel-and-expenses/claiming- activities. Your learning and expenses/Expenses%20masterb. development needs will be xls/view discussed with your line manager at your 1:1 meetings. Before claiming expenses for the first time, your will need to Details of available training complete an OE1 Claims Setup courses are available on KNet: Form and send it to Employee http://knet2/staff-zone/training- Services. This can be found in the and-development/training- same spreadsheet as the OE2 courses/training-courses Claims Form. Further information regarding When making a mileage volunteering can be found here: expenses claim, you have to http://knet2/staff-zone/training- deduct your home to office and-development/development- mileage for your first and last opportunities/employee- journey of the day. volunteering/ You will need your Oracle Assignment Number to hand when completing a claims form; this can be found on your payslip.10 KCC Greenhouse staff group Back to top
  • 11. Useful linksBlue Book (terms conditions of Pay Scales – http://knet2/staff-employment, annual leave, etc.) zone/pay-and-pensions/pay– http://knet2/staff-zone/terms- Staff Noticeboard – http://and-conditions/blue-book knet2/staff-zone/staff-interests/ noticeboard/Health and Safety Informationand Policy – http://www.kenttrustweb.org.uk/Policy/hsi_directorate.cfmJob Opportunities Within KCC –http://staff-zone/staff-interests/kcc-jobs/kcc-jobsNew to KCC (useful informationfor new starters) – http://knet2/staff-zone/features-1/new-to-kccBack to top KCC Greenhouse staff group 11
  • 12. Local Government Pension Trade Unions Scheme (page 106 of Blue Book) (page 155 of Blue Book) Most KCC employees under the KCC works alongside trade age of 75 are entitled to join unions on various issues the Local Government Pension including resolution of Scheme. employment relation issues by discretion and agreement. Entry to the scheme is automatic on employment but staff can opt The recognised unions in the Kent out of the scheme by contacting Scheme are:- Employee Services. Unison - www.unison.org.uk Contribution rates are based on an individual’s full time General Municipal Boilermakers equivalent pensionable pay and Allied Trades Union (GMB) (including any pensionable - www.gmb.org.uk allowances). Transport and General Workers Contribution Union (TGWU) – www.tgwu.org. Annual Income Rate (%) uk Up to £12,000 5.5 £12,000 - 5.8 £14,000 £14,000 - 5.9 £18,000 £18,000 - 6.5 £30,000 £30,000 - 6.8 £40,000 £40,000 - 7.2 £75,000 £75,000 7.512 KCC Greenhouse staff group Back to top
  • 13. Support Line Dignity and Respect at WorkSupport line counselling provides We expect you to be treated withan opportunity for us to re-find respect and dignity by the peopleresources within ourselves. It can you come into contact with inenable us to approach our lives, the course of your job. When thisour work and problems in a more does not happen we want you toeffective and creative way. let us know and be able to offerSupport Line is a service that you support to deal with difficultoffers staff up to a maximum situations.of 7 sessions of counselling ayear. The service, which is free, is Discrimination, bad andpaid for by KCC as part of their offensive behaviour, harassingcommitment to staff care. or upsetting language canEach session lasts for one hour; come from any source and if itthese will normally be once happens whilst you are workingweekly, but may be spread over a on KCC’s behalf there are alonger period where appropriate. number of things you can do toAll counsellors abide by address it.the British Association forCounselling Code of Ethics FIRSTCALL is a telephone line setand Practice, which specifies a up especially for our staff, 24/7,rigorous code on confidentiality. so that if something happens to you at work you have a contactTo make an appointment: who will be able to provide youTel: 01622 605539 with information whatever timeFax: 01732 875792 of day you ring.Email: supportline@kent.gov.uk FIRSTCALLMore information can be found 08458 247 703in the Staff Care Services folder Textbox: 08458 247 905on KNet. first.call@kent.gov.ukBack to top KCC Greenhouse staff group 13
  • 14. Flexible Working Work and Wellbeing (page 82 of Blue Book) Work and Wellbeing is part of Types of Flexible Working KCC’s commitment to making Arrangements Include: and keeping KCC a great place Flexitime to work by making sure that we Nine Day Fortnight have a healthy organisation. Annualised hours Term-time working only Work and Wellbeing offer many Part-time work services including:- The principles of flexible working A Virtual Gym - Europe’s only will apply to all employees online gym is now available to all irrespective of the number KCC staff absolutely FREE! Log on of hours they normally work. to your private gym at home for Implementation arrangements classes in pilates, aerobics, dance, will vary according to the relaxation and more! conditions on which individuals are employed. DVD Library – has 65 exercise titles for you to borrow free. Service delivery is paramount Wellbeing Health checks - As when considering arranging any part of KCC’s commitment to flexible working patterns for helping staff improve their groups or individuals. health and wellbeing, you could take advantage of a free health However, unless there is an check that includes your blood overriding negative impact on pressure, cholesterol, height, business delivery, an appropriate weight and Body Mass Index arrangement should be granted. (BMI). More information can be found in the Wellbeing in KCC folder in the Staff Zone section of KNet.14 KCC Greenhouse staff group Back to top
  • 15. KCC has committed to reducing carbon dioxide emissions from its buildings and schools by 10% by 2010. Although there are many energy saving projects being implemented across the KCC estate, we all need to do our bit to achieve these reductions. • Always switch your computer monitor off when you dont need it. It can account for almost two thirds of a computers energy use. • Keep windows closed when either the heating or air Environment conditioning is on. • Check that the thermostat onWithin Kent County Council we your radiator is not set tooare committed to reducing our high.impact on the environment and • Dont leave lights on all day.to deliver this we will achieve Natural daylight is oftenexternal accreditation for the enough to light offices duringway in which we manage our most of the day and it isenvironmental impacts. better for you.Travelling could be one of the To really make an impact webiggest environmental impacts should prevent waste beingyou make. created in the first place. We can all make a difference by using• If you drive to work, you can less, only purchasing what is minimise this by joining the required and by using resources Kent Car Share scheme. more efficiently.• Alternatively, could you make your journey to work by public transport, walking or cycling?Back to top KCC Greenhouse staff group 15
  • 16. In addition, to support and protect employees, KCC attempts to identify alternative employment for employees who are at risk of redundancy. Employees’ Responsibilities The identification of alternative work is a dual responsibility between KCC and its employees. An employee who needs to find alternative work because s/he is at risk of redundancy has a responsibility to seek and accept alternative work where it is suitable. In the case of staff at risk of Redundancy: redundancy, a refusal to accept KCC’s Responsibilities an offer of suitable alternative work, may result in the forfeit KCC is responsible for delivering of the right to a redundancy and maintaining high quality payment. services to the public. In response to economic, service KCC Approach to and business needs, there are Redundancy occasions when job changes or a reduction in the number of • Selection for redundancy posts may result in potential will be against agreed, fair redundancies. and non-discriminatory criteria. It is not KCC policy to KCC has a responsibility and a rely upon volunteers as the statutory obligation to consult only selection method. with staff and trade unions at • Measures to achieve the earliest practical opportunity reductions will include a over any changes to jobs or full range of options including organisational structure that vacancy management and could lead to redundancies.16 KCC Greenhouse staff group Back to top
  • 17. early retirement as well as • Financial support will be redundancies. available to employees who• Final decisions on the accept redeployment on measures used to achieve the a lower grade and may be required changes are left to available to employees the discretion of the who accept redeployment at a appropriate manager having distance from their original consulted with Trade Unions work base. and staff affected and taken • All employees seeking advice from Personnel. alternative employment due• Compulsory redundancies to redundancy will be given a may sometimes result from ‘settling in’ period or statutory organisational change, as it is trial period of at least 4 weeks not possible in all to assess the suitability of the circumstances to avoid job post. losses through alternative • Reasonable paid time off measures. work, with agreement, is• For those at risk of offered to employees seeking redundancy appropriate alternative work within or training, paid time off to seek outside KCC. alternative employment and priority consideration for vacant posts will be given. Redeployment Principles• Staff ‘at risk’ of redundancy and who need to seek alternative work will be given priority consideration for KCC vacancies within 2 grades of their current grade, provided their application meets the basic criteria.Back to top KCC Greenhouse staff group 17
  • 18. Secondments This could be just once or on a more regular basis, subject to Secondments are an excellent your line manager’s approval. opportunity to gain experience and develop skills that you If you are interested in work may not use in your current shadowing, talk to your role.  Secondments are short- line manager about your term placements; the average development needs. Explore length is 6-12 months and you the Directorate sites on KNet are expected to return to your to identify teams and areas you previous permanent post at the have an interest in and possible end of the secondment. opportunities. Secondment opportunities within KCC are advertised in the Learning and same way as normal permanent Development Unit vacancies, through Job Opportunities and the website.  Learning Development They are also often sent out to provides managers and staff KCC staff as ExtraMails. with the skills, knowledge and attitude required to meet KCC’s Work Shadowing  vision and 2010 targets. If you are considering your next Our areas of expertise cover move or you would like to extend Management Development, your knowledge of KCC and Staff Development , Health, find out how other Directorates Safety and Wellbeing, Diversity work, why not consider work Training, Investors in People, shadowing?  Through work Qualifications, Coaching shadowing you can spend time Mentoring, Information with a person or team carrying Technology, Induction and out their day-to-day job and bespoke solutions. really get to see what their job involves.18 KCC Greenhouse staff group Back to top
  • 19. We will: dignity at all times.Provide high quality, customer • Listening to and acting onfocused development your feedback and using thisopportunities and solutions to improve our services. in the most efficient andcost effective way.  We will The Unit is part fundedensure that your learning and (including salaries), which meansdevelopment needs are our there is a charge for the servicesnumber one priority. provided (except for the strategic advice to directorates).  Due toWe will do this by: its buying power, the Unit is able• Continually looking for new to reduce the cost of training and innovative ways of by negotiating excellent rates learning. with external providers and• Providing a ‘can do’ approach venues, and maximise the IT and adding the latest systems to provide management cutting edge development information about its services opportunities to our To gain access to our excellent portfolio. services do not hesitate to• Being flexible, responsive, contact us! positive and aiming to provide a ‘one stop’ service. For more information email:• Treating all our customers Learning.Development@kent. courteously, with respect and gov.ukBack to top KCC Greenhouse staff group 19
  • 20. To see how you can benefit by being a KCC employee Log on to www.KentRewards.com Are you making the most of your employee benefits? Employee Volunteering Do you know that you can get Employee Volunteering is for everyone. The choice of activities Cashback and Discounts: is vast. It’s easy to do, fun, • Cashback and Discounts and, even if it is challenging, with over 1300 retailers both will be the most rewarding locally and nationally? development you could ever do! • Extra gift vouchers free from the on-line shop KCC’s Employee Volunteering • Discounts at more than 40 Policy enables all staff to take gyms and health clubs in 2 of their 5 days learning and Kent? development allowance to • 10% off adult education volunteer. classes? Volunteering is an ideal way • 10% discount legal advice and to meet personal and team services through Brachers? learning and development needs, contributes to evidencing the Staff Club Investors In People (IiP) standard • Discounted events, trips and and is also reflected in KCC’s shows including travel Strategy for Staff.  • Tax free bikes and cycling equipment? By implementing Employee • Save up to 45% on the cost of Volunteering on and/or off the a bike and safety equipment job you will utilise and develop through the Cycle2Work transferable skills, for example scheme innovation, problem solving,  • Tax free Childcare vouchers? communication and increasing Save up to £1100 each year on networks. Examples of the kind the cost of your childcare of activities you could take part in include; Leading a project20 KCC Greenhouse staff group Back to top
  • 21. Supporting and maintaining We believe that recruiting peoplethe environment, Working with with different perspectives,vulnerable groups, Befriending ideas, backgrounds andand mentoring , Gardening, experiences helps us to providePainting......the list is endless. better services for the people of Kent.To discuss your employeevolunteering ideas or We strive to be an organisationfor more assistance and that:information about KCC’scommitment to Employee • is a fair and equal employerVolunteering, contact Caroline • has a workforce that isReade - Employee Volunteering tolerant, understanding andOfficer on 01622 694448 has respect for otherscaroline.reade@kent.gov.uk • provides safe and accessible places to work, free from harassment and discrimination • supports and listens to staff about employment and service issues • makes sure the working environment is inclusive, collaborative and innovative to enable our staff to fulfil their potential at work You can read more about our commitment to equality andEquality and Diversity diversity at http://www.kent. gov.uk/jobs-and-careers/Equality and diversity are equality-and-diversity/fundamental to KCC’s way ofdoing things. Kent is made upof diverse communities and wewant to reflect that diversity inthe people who work for us.Back to top KCC Greenhouse staff group 21
  • 22. Staff Profiles Progressing your career within KCC may seem like a daunting prospect, but with some hard work and perseverance, it is certainly possible to achieve your goals. Here are a number of senior KCC employees explain how they rose through the ranks and share their top tips on how to make the most of your career development opportunities. Oliver Mills, Managing Director, KASS Did you encounter any challenges when trying to progress your career in the council? Were you successful in overcoming these challenges? If so, how? The challenges were what make KCC attractive – there is a strong culture to take on change while valuing customer care During the early stages of your KCC career, what skills or experiences have helped you to stand out from the crowd when applying for roles with greater How long have you been working responsibility? at KCC? 21 years I was encouraged to always What was your first job in KCC focus on outcomes achieved and what did it involve? – when I was unsuccessful in job applications, I received helpful Policy Officer – carrying out feedback. reviews on things like access to files, hospital social work and care management.22 KCC Greenhouse staff group Back to top
  • 23. Are there any training courses or There is still some way to go, butqualifications you have gained there is now an acceptance thatwhilst at KCC from which you KCC’s future lies with its capacityhave particularly benefited (in to employ younger staff – itterms of courses or qualifications needs to take some risks to dothat would be beneficial to this.younger people)?Early in my career with KCC, I was Career Historylucky enough to be released meto do a 7 day course – the Duke Birmingham Young Volunteersof Edinburgh Commonwealth BureauStudy – with the private sector, Young Volunteer Organisertrade unions and academics.Later I had an executive coach London Borough of Hackneywho mentored me. Residential Child Care OfficerWhat would be the most London Borough of Camdenimportant piece of advice that Social Workeryou could give a younger personlooking to establish or progress London Borough of Lewishamtheir career in KCC? Team LeaderYou achieve most when working Kent County Councilwith a team – always focus on Policy Officeroutcomes. Area Manager Assistant DirectorSince your time at KCC, would Director of Operationsyou say that opportunities foryounger staff have improved (interms of career progression andpersonal development)? If so,how have they improved?Back to top KCC Greenhouse staff group 23
  • 24. Staff Profile Linda Davies, Director, Environment and Waste Did you encounter any challenges when trying to progress your career in the council? Were you successful in overcoming these challenges? If so, how? I pushed hard with my own manager for regrading when my responsibilities increased, at first unsuccessfully, but I persevered. I also had a couple of occasions with very difficult staff and learned a lot about myself in these situations, but sought expert advice ( of which there is plenty within KCC) which What was your first job in KCC was invaluable in solving the and what did it involve? problems. My first job at KCC was in 1989 During the early stages of As County Ecologist, advising your KCC career, what skills or the authority on the impact of experiences have helped you to major developments, such as stand out from the crowd when Channel Tunnel, Channel Tunnel applying for roles with greater Rail Link, road schemes,quarries responsibility? on wildlife and landscape. Also required to project manage Having line management the first major county-wide responsibility, at first through survey of wildlife habitats, set attracting a work experience up a countywide Biodiversity volunteer, and then project Partnership, and report on management, and team changes to the land cover of Kent management. I am told that since 1961. my drive, energy, passion and24 KCC Greenhouse staff group Back to top
  • 25. commitment have been a strong personal development)? If so,factor in my success how have they improved?Are there any training courses or Yes, although I have alwaysqualifications you have gained had access to training andwhilst at KCC from which you development and opportunitieshave particularly benefited (in for challenge throughout myterms of courses or qualifications career with KCC. I think the TCPthat would be beneficial to performance structure howeveryounger people)? unpopular provides an excellent framework for all individualsMiddle Management Training to identify their needs in theEmotional Intelligence round, and put in place what is necessary for progression.What would be the mostimportant piece of advice that Career Historyyou could give a younger person Cambridgeshire County Councillooking to establish or progress Lecturertheir career in KCC? Norfolk County Council Senior TeacherIf you can, get involved in University of Kent, School ofWider Contribution activity and Continuing Education make and cultivate as many Part/time Lecturercontacts as you can beyond your Various Boards of Examiners immediate area of work. Examiner of A - Level and Keep track of the many Diplomasopportunities to volunteer Commonwork Land Trust and use them, or take up mini Ecology Project Coordinatorsecondments. Ask to briefly Kent County Council shadow people whose work County Ecologistinterests you Principal Countryside Officer Head of Countryside Policy andSince your time at KCC, would Projectsyou say that opportunities for County Environmentalyounger staff have improved (in Management Officerterms of career progression and Director, Environment and WasteBack to top KCC Greenhouse staff group 25
  • 26. Staff Profile Amanda Honey, Managing Director, Communities How did you come to work in KCC? Did you come into KCC via a scheme or programme (e.g. apprentice or graduate programme) / was there something in particular that attracted you? I worked for CSV a voluntary organisation founded by KCC and I was encouraged to apply for a Development Officer post in Social Services. What was your first job in KCC and what did it involve? How long have you been working at KCC? Development Officer – Social Services Department – focus 19 years was on developing policy with voluntary sector and a lead At what level did you leave policy role for deaf and hearing education (i.e. pre-GCSE, GCSE, A- impaired services. Level, Degree Level)? Did you encounter any challenges Degree – Social Economic History when trying to progress your followed by a part time MSC in career in the council? Were you Social Policy and Planning whilst successful in overcoming these working for KCC challenges? If so, how? I was seen as a “bright young thing” but I was given lots of encouragement. My main26 KCC Greenhouse staff group Back to top
  • 27. challenge was that I wasn’t a KCC is a great organisation –social worker so I had to work make the most of the size of thehard to build up my credibility organisation to move around,with practitioners and managers. take advantage of secondment opportunities, work shadowingDuring the early stages of etc.your KCC career, what skills orexperiences have helped you to Since your time at KCC, wouldstand out from the crowd when you say that opportunities forapplying for roles with greater younger staff have improved (inresponsibility? terms of career progression and personal development)? If so,A “can do” attitude, a good how have they improved?networker, a reputation fordelivering to tight deadlines We have an ageing workforce– flexibility and willingness to and therefore need to developlearn! and promote younger people. Opportunities include ADP,Are there any training courses or Apprenticeships, Careerqualifications you have gained pathways etc.whilst at KCC from which youhave particularly benefited (interms of courses or qualifications Career Historythat would be beneficial toyounger people)? Community Service Volunteers Project Co-ordinatorMSC – Social PolicyOU – Effective Managers KCC Social Services Policy, Operational Management,What would be the most Performance and Area Directorimportant piece of advice that West Kent (Adults and Children)you could give a younger personlooking to establish or progress Communities Directoratetheir career in KCC? Managing Director, Communities.Back to top KCC Greenhouse staff group 27
  • 28. Staff Profile Michelle Woodward, County Professional Development Manager How long have you been working During the early stages of at KCC? your KCC career, what skills or experiences have helped you to 24 years. I applied for a stand out from the crowd when residential social worker post applying for roles with greater when I was 18. responsibility? What was your first job in KCC A commitment to the and what did it involve? organisation , and an ability to listen and learn quickly a variety I was a relief casual residential of tasks, I was also willing to social worker and involved me take on new challenges with taking part in looking after enthusiasm. children in residential units. What would be the most Did you encounter any challenges important piece of advice that when trying to progress your you could give a younger person career in the council? Were you looking to establish or progress successful in overcoming these their career in KCC? challenges? If so, how? Try and maintain a ‘cup is half I was very young and at times I full approach!’ did face discrimination, however my hard work and commitment overcame this and I was able to prove myself, to colleagues28 KCC Greenhouse staff group Back to top
  • 29. Staff ProfileJo Empson, Contract Manager,Kent Adult Social Services East Kent AreaHow long have you been working personally brought a thirst forat KCC? change and innovation to KCC and a questioning mind thatSince November 2004. challenges the whys, what’s and how’s of Policy, Procedures andHow did you come to work in Practice in KCC.”KCC? Did you come into KCCvia a scheme or programme What would be the most(e.g. apprentice or graduate important piece of advice thatprogramme) / was there you could give a younger personsomething in particular that looking to establish or progressattracted you? their career in KCC?I came into KCC following a fairly Aim to achieve rounded andshort timescale successfully varied experiences on your wayimplementing a programme to the top, offering yourselvesin the NHS. Attractions for me up for experiences wherever youwere locality, Strategy for Staff, can!Staff Care and Opportunities forprogression in Kent, a place I like Ownership – ensuring you taketo live. responsibility for yourself and   for the Peer Groups you are in.During the early stages of Owning the problem and beingyour KCC career, what skills or part of the solution. Taking theexperiences have helped you to ‘bull by the horns’ and ensuringstand out from the crowd when issues are spotted, worked onapplying for roles with greater and resolved proactively.responsibility?I came into KCC at a relativelyhigh level and hope I have KCC Greenhouse staff group Back to top 29
  • 30. Staff Groups working for you..... Greenhouse is a staff forum The main purpose of UNITE is run by and for younger people to support all black workers working for KCC. It is primarily employed by KCC, to enable them for staff aged 30 and under, but to carry out their duties without invites anyone who can actively any form of discrimination contribute to the group. Our and harassment. All Black aim is to provide younger staff and Minority Ethnic Staff are with information and advice. We welcome to attend and get can also provide development involved in the forum. opportunities, and a buddying scheme. UNITE meets six times a year, bi-monthly at various venues We hold meetings four times a across Kent. There are additional year to discuss issues relevant meetings of a core group of to younger staff and we invite members who meet between guest speakers who provide meetings to plan and develop services within KCC, such as work for and from the main Learning and Development and group. The meetings consist of Kent Rewards, We stay in touch a range of activities including, through regular social events and consultation, policy reviews, through our online forum (called training, support and information Communities of Practice) sharing. For more information email: For more information email: Greenhouse@kent.gov.uk. UNITE@kent.gov.uk30 KCC Greenhouse staff group Back to top
  • 31. Level Playing Field is an Established in 2003, Rainbowindependent group of disabled is KCC’s lesbian, gay, bisexualstaff and friends recognised and and transgender (LGBT) staffsupported by KCC. group.  We welcome LGBT staff as members, as well as others whoThe group is open to all KCC have an interest in the issues, andemployees who consider we have wider Friends networkthemselves to be disabled or for those who just want to keepwho have an interest in disability up to date with our activity.issues.   We hold about four mainThe group works to promote best meetings per year, and onepractice, broadening the or two group developmentknowledge around disability sessions.  We lead on LGBTissues within KCC. History Month (February) in Kent, and take part in otherThis includes giving advice and Kent events including local Pridefeedback on policy and practice. celebrations.  We’re always openThe group looks at employment to new ideas on ways to supportand service issues, identifying Rainbow members.  Taking partgood practice where it already in our meetings and activities isexists and highlighting scope supported at the highest level asfor improvement. part of your work here at KCC.  For more information email: For more information email:ipf@kent.gov.uk rainbow@kent.gov.uk Back to top KCC Greenhouse staff group 31
  • 32. Produced by Holly Strang , designed by Paul Jerome With special thanks to: Colin Calvert, Demetria Cacafranca, Greenhouse Members and the Corporate Diversity Team.Produced January 2009