Ella Smith - Corporate Business Officer at Stafford Borough Council
When I was sixteen and doing my A Levels at school, I asked to do work experience at my local council. I really enjoyed it, so I applied for an apprenticeship, and seven years and several promotions later I’m still loving my work. I used to take the minutes in meetings now I sometimes chair them.
Part of my job is about providing ‘administrative support’ for the organisation. As well as this, I support finance and budgets and corporate issues like community safety and equalities too, so I work with lots of colleagues from across the council.
I’m part of the Internal Communications Group that brings together officers from across the council. One of the things we’ve done is improve how we welcome new staff. Now everyone gets to meet the Chief Executive and the Political Leader and learn about how we work.
I also manage two really exciting projects. I organise the council’s Community Awards that recognise the contribution of local people and voluntary groups doing great things in our borough. We’ve had a 70% increase in applications this year with really diverse entries, including an Alzheimer’s club, a walking netball club and a project to support refugees learn to speak English.
I also manage a programme which highlights the county towns position on the global stage. It’s a massive family event with thousands of people coming to meet local businesses and charities and see performances such as musical youth theatre and, this year, a chance to try sports in ‘commonwealth games taster sessions’. I really enjoy this community side to my work.
My confidence has really grown in my time at the council, and I’ve been helped to develop in my roles here. I’m very excited to be starting a new face to face development course with the District Council Network, taking place over several one and two day sessions. I will have a mentor and be able to see first-hand, how national government works and network with people in other local authorities too.
What’s next? I’ve been fortunate to have had tremendous support from my manager and the council with my career development so I’m planning to stay in the public sector and continue to grow in my role.
Ella's career pathway:
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