Luke, Policy Secretariat, Land Equipment
What does your role entail?
My current role entails dealing with Parliamentary Questions, Freedom of Information enquiries, Ministerial Correspondence, and letters from the public in relation to any of the programmes that sit in the Land Equipment Operating Centre.
Why did you choose a career in Policy? Where did you begin?
Prior to DE&S, I worked for an accountancy company for 13 years, in a restructuring and insolvency role. I started out as a Business Manager with DE&S in 2015 and then moved to a policy role in 2018, when an opportunity arose to join what was then called the Joint Enablers Secretariat Team. I was lucky in that my first Delivery Manager wanted to expand my development and experience outside of my role and introduce me to policy-related queries, allowing me to make this transition.
What makes you proud in your role at DE&S? What difference does your role make?
I love the fact that I have clearly designated tasks with accountability to own these from start to end. The ability to add value and provide a first draft to responses on behalf of delivery teams is really appreciated, as otherwise time is often taken away from delivery of the programmes and projects.
Why DE&S? What makes it a great place to work?
I have been amazed at the variety of career options within DE&S, and with the teamwork and collaboration of colleagues across the department. Having come from the private sector the concept of flexible working was definitely a positive.
What are your career aspirations? And how does DE&S support you?
My aspiration is to acquire wider policy experience and knowledge that will allow me to progress and assist others. The support from the function and my delivery managers in changing roles has been excellent.
What pathways are there into a career in Policy? Is it a difficult career to get into?
I started my career as a Business Manager and was proactive in seeking support to transition. A variety of methods to learn about policy are available, and job shadowing is definitely recommended.
What advice would you give to someone looking to start a career in your field at DE&S?
If you are able to write and explain things in clear, understandable English, then you have most of the transferable skills required. I have often learnt the most by sharing drafts with colleagues for their views and comments. Given the size of DE&S, the advice given to me was that it will take at least six months to a year to gain an understanding of the business and your relevant area. Building a relationship with key stakeholders is essential.