Organisation: BAE Systems
Years of secondment: 2020 – 2021
Role before secondment:HR Manager – Organisation Integration
Role during secondment: Head of Regional Development – Midlands
Can you talk about any highlights from your time at the Movement?
Having joined the team in the lockdown of the pandemic, all our interactions were virtual. So one highlight was designing and delivering on zoom the Spring Leadership Forum in collaboration with West Midlands Combined Authority. We had Mayor Andy Street join us and loads of interesting speakers to raise awareness how employers can get involved to help tackle youth unemployment.
My greatest achievement was establishing the Stand Out Youth steering group. Movement to Work was commissioned by West Midlands Combined Authority Jobs and Skills Academy to form a Youth Steering Group to oversee the work carried out by the ‘Stand Out’ Project. The ‘Stand Out’ Project is a National Lottery funded programme aimed at providing unique training, volunteering, and employment opportunities to young people across the West Midlands, utilising the backdrop of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. Look at the MtW Stand Out webpages for more info Stand Out Youth Steering Group – Movement to Work .
What attracted you to the secondment?
The opportunity to do a role with real social purpose and make a difference to young people’s lives. The role was a chance to stretch myself and grow new skills in business development and partnership management in a new sector as I had never worked in a not-for-profit.
Talk us through the first few months?
I am not going to lie, it was tough! When I was first at MtW less was documented than it is now, so a lot of knowledge was passed on person to person which wasn’t always ideal. Coming from a business which has processes, guides and training I found not having resources like that tricky. However I loved getting to meet new people from all types of businesses and charities, talking about the work MtW do and helping them see how we could work together. The team at MtW was fab and I learnt lots from them, as the secondees bring the expertise from their business.
What was it like to move on from your time at Movement to Work?
I left MtW as everyone was breaking up for Christmas so it was a weird one as it felt like finishing up for the holidays. Going back into a corporate role was a shock, even though I was excited about my new role in a transformation programme. Back to a packed diary of business meetings!
What role did you progress into after your secondment?
I’m now working in a central programme team role on a UK transformation programme which will make our business more effective and efficient.
What value do you think doing a secondment brings your career?
Undertaking an external secondment provides a very different stretch in learning and helps you grow new skills and hone existing ones in a different context. So many leadership skills such as influencing, problem-solving and project management are transferable to the not-for-profit sector, so the experience gave me greater confidence in those skills.
What value do you think it brings employers and the Movement?
I think external secondments are a great way for an organisation to develop their talent, providing unique experiences and learnings, which the secondee can then take to future roles. The Movement gets a diverse set of skills and capabilities from secondees who each bring a variety of knowledge and experience.
What do you hope to achieve further in your career?
My aspiration is to keep having interesting experiences through the work I do and to continue to add value to the business.
What is your main takeaway?
How to interpret the personal and business drivers for partners initially engaging with MtW and how to convert this business development opportunity into a lasting, trusted partnership.
A few words of advice for those coming behind you?
Make the most of every opportunity to learn more about the challenges young people face in getting into employment, especially from young people themselves.