As an Apprentice, I was not too sure what to expect or what I would gain from the event but found myself leaving Milton Keynes feeling very inspired by the whole day. I was able to learn more about the various responsibilities that different council’s face and the different experiences and challenges that chief executives come up against.
Emma Maier began proceedings by giving a short introduction of the LGC and also gave a very interesting talk about the survey results from a questionnaire that was posted in the LGC magazine. The survey was answered by the LGC magazine readers and aimed to point out the strengths of current chief executives and skills needed for the future.
David Hill who is the chief executive for Milton Keynes Council followed Emma. I found this short piece very interesting as David spoke about how the community and surroundings of Milton Keynes had changed so much for the better. I was beginning to realise what a council such as Milton Keynes had to face in its day to day running. I had not noticed half the amount of challenges that a council is up against everyday as I suppose it was not something I had given much thought too even as a local member of a community myself.
Next was Kim Ryley, chief executive for Shropshire Council, who has 30 years’ experience in the industry. One piece that especially interested me that Kim spoke about was how technology is changing the way some councils are being run and also how communities have changed over time. As a young person of 20 who has grown up with this technology, I did not realise the stresses that could be caused within a council by the introduction of new technology.
Adam Oliver of BT Research gave a presentation about his role within the company and spoke about BT’s Corporate Social Responsibilities, which everyone including myself seemed to enjoy. Adam also spoke about BT’s role within the disability and inclusion sector, especially the work with SCOPE to help people with Cerebral Palsy communicate using the best communication devices possible. I believe everyone found this to be a very inspiring piece as Adam gave some very influential examples.
Adam spoke passionately about BT’s Apprentice scheme and introduced me and my apprentice colleague Dave Gibbs to everyone, much to my surprise he asked Dave and me to present to the conference. I explained how I felt about being an apprentice for BT and my plans for the future within the company – a future where I aspire to become a future leader.
Simon McDonald from Odgers Berndtson finished off the event by speaking about recruitment within local government. Simon spoke about interview techniques which I found very useful as a young person with very little interview experience. I felt that this advice offered by Simon is something I could put into practice when looking to develop my career.
I had been given this opportunity to attend this thought provoking event by Adam Oliver, who wanted to bring a couple of Apprentices along as he has a passion for mentoring the young talent in BT. I did not know what to expect but looking back over the experience, I feel more informed about local councils and feel that I have a better insight about the roles and responsibilities of leaders and chief executives. I feel more confident in myself to approach senior leaders and would like to thank the LGC and Milton Keynes Council for hosting such an inspiring event. What I felt so inspired about is how I’ve picked up Future Leadership skills through BT sponsoring the LGC Future Leaders Network, an opportunity I was thrilled to have.
Scott Manton, BT Openreach Apprentice