Jess Henderson

Organisation: Civil Cervice – DWP

Years of secondment: 2021 – 2022

Role before secondment: Policy Advisor

Role during secondment: Project Delivery, Events and Comms Manager

Can you talk about any highlights from your time at the Movement? 

Meeting fantastic colleagues, learning lots about the private and charity sectors (and their interactions), organising and hosting brilliant events, especially the Youth Summit and the Youth Employability Awards.

What attracted you to the secondment?

What attracts me to MtW is the unique position it holds between public, private and charity sectors and the leverage and impact that this very small organisation has across the youth employability landscape.

What was the first few months like?

Very busy and challenging balancing traditional role responsibilities with new events planning as we emerged from Covid. But extremely eye-opening and a great, but steep, learning curve.

How did you feel after your time at the Movement? 

Sad, but satisfying! I felt like I had found my feet and was finally making a bigger impact just as I had to go, however, the time was probably right as it was a new team forming and I was very lucky to finish on a high with the two major events finishing in my last week!

What role did you progress into after your secondment?

Returned to the Civil Service for a 6-month Fast Stream placement in Defra as a policy advisor.

What value do you think doing a secondment brings your career?

Insight into life outside the Civil Service – even just understanding the nuances of private sector culture and learning different ways of working from experienced colleagues across different organisations was brilliant.

What value do you think it brings employers and the Movement?

I think a MtW secondment is very beneficial for the home employer as the individual returns refreshed and full of new ideas and innovative ways of working after mixing with colleagues from different professional backgrounds. The Movement benefits from the unique blend of skills and professions that secondees bring to the table.

What do you hope to achieve further in your career?

I hope to progress my career in the Civil Service, developing strong government policy which leads to long-term positive societal changes. I hope to move across to the charity sector further down the line and would like to work in the private sector in a CSR team at some point.

Final thoughts? 

A Movement to Work secondment is a fantastic opportunity to develop a range of skills and gain experience working with senior professionals across the private, public, and charity sectors. The unique positio

n MtW occupies at the cross-section of the youth employment landscape enables a secondee to learn a lot in a short space of time and build relationships with a huge variety of stakeholders.

Your advice to a person considering doing a secondment? 

Go for it! Don’t be afraid to ask a million questions, don’t worry when things don’t go perfectly or as planned, ask for help when you need it and make the most of all the extra opportunities MtW can open doors to.

Your advice to employers who are considering joining the Movement? 

The movement can help you make a huge impact in a short space of time with little resource. It’s an extremely beneficial partnership as, in the end, everyone wins: the employer, the movement, and, most importantly, young people facing barriers to work.