Here at Essex County Council (ECC), we offer a range of entry to work schemes, one of which is our Procurement Graduate programme. This programme offers Graduates the opportunity to undertake a comprehensive programme of training and development through individually planned placements within the Procurement department over a two-year period to gain a broad base of experience and gain their level 5 CIPS qualification.
We met with Rula, who is in her first year of the Procurement Graduate Programme to find out what a day in the life of a graduate at ECC looks like.
8:30 – 9:00am: I start my day logging into Teams and Outlook, answering any emails and queries, whilst reviewing my to do list for the day.
9:00 – 9:15am: I double check my presentation and agenda for a provider engagement forum that we are going to be holding that morning and make sure everything is ready for the meeting.
9:30 -11:00am: I host a provider engagement forum for the MLM Project. The ‘MLM’ Meaningful Lives Matter Programme is a core pilot activity and market engagement strategy to create better and more meaningful lives for Adults with Disabilities and Autism. Essex County Council’s vision is that people should thrive in their community, have a place to call home and someone to love and be loved.
Within this project we have been exploring three care provider markets and I am managing the Canvey Island demographic. During this forum we are addressing the issues of Covid-19 and listen to the problem’s providers are facing during the pandemic as well as the adaptations to create activities and look after the wellbeing of the Adults. We discuss group workshops and sharing community resources to help providers care in the best way possible under the circumstances and how Essex County Council can further support them. One provider is lacking in PPE so I will ensure that they are sent this straight after the meeting.
11:00 -11:30am: I grab a quick coffee and then debrief with my team after the engagement forum, outlining and confirming the actions taken from the meeting and next steps that need to be taken by us.
11:30 -12:30pm: I am helping assist on the Covid Infection Control Fund for providers and respond to messages and queries in the inbox. I have some calls to make to providers to chase them on returning their Infection Control Grant Agreement’s for them to receive their government grant. This grant has been issued for providers to purchase any products, PPE or put in place any safety measures for their staff and Adults that will help reduce the spread of infection.
12:30 – 1:30pm: Lunchtime – I use this time to get some fresh air and take my dog for a walk.
1:30 – 2:00pm: I am currently on a project creating an online Social Value filing cabinet containing useful information and opportunities for providers. I am being trained how to upload this information onto our website and Care Provider hub.
2:00 – 3:00pm: I have a group revision session for my first CIPS exam. On the graduate programme you are automatically enrolled onto the college course to obtain your CIPS diplomas. The work and study balance is 20% of your working week. Some weeks we have lectures and seminars, but this week is a short revision session with my peers.
3:00pm – 5:00pm: For the MLM programme I am creating my first Category Plan and I have a meeting with the Residential Care Category and Contract Manager to discuss the outline and contents of the category plan. Following this meeting I work on the Category Plan until the end of the working day.
Although I miss the social interaction of being in the office, it is great to be able to finish work and already be home. So, I log off at 5pm to enjoy my evening.
If you’d like to find out more about our graduate schemes or other entry to work opportunities, please click here.