What are your main responsibilities?

Having recently moved into Human Resources at Skills Funding Agency, I support the HR team with arranging meetings, booking rooms, organising papers for heads of HR and our department director. I complete computer based tasks to create presentations, drafting papers for my manager and heads of HR – creating papers for meetings. I also arrange travel and hotel accommodation when it is required for the HR team.

In my more specific Learning & Development role I assist with and arrange the bookings for larger events as well as workshops for the staff – I organise and take minutes for the National Organisational Development Group meetings. I also support with other development activities for the organisation. One of my first tasks in my new role was to draft an article for the Chief Executive’s blog.

Pathway Selected

I went through School and Sixth form College and went on to study at University. Following 18 months at University, I took the decision to leave and look elsewhere for work. I began looking for office based work in September 2011 and volunteered at the Birmingham office for a charity.

I looked at the courses available with Protocol Consultancy Services and started an Access to Apprenticeship Business Administration course. Level 2 and had some interviews for apprenticeship placements found by Protocol in December 2011.

What is your working environment like?

I now work in the Skills Funding Agency’s largest office in Coventry, working in the HR office. There is a possibility I will come into contact with any member of staff within the building for work. Within the far less complicated set up at Coventry, all teams have to use central systems in order to improve the efficiency of working in a large building. I find the environment itself to be hard working, fast paced and rewarding.

Who do you work with? (Departments, Work colleagues)

Within the HR team I work with my Manager, the head of Learning & Development for the Skills Funding Agency. I also work with the HR Teams that manage HR support across the organisation; Heads of these teams manage Business Partners who support the teams and manage the HR Consultants. The Payroll team are also based in the HR team along with the Executive Director for People and her PA.

Flexible working arrangements mean that people work from home sometimes or elsewhere, so the office is not always full. I will also have contact with other staff across the agency. For example I recently looked at how well a workshop had reached its target audience. Along with internal staff, I engage with external trainers and bookings managers at venues we may look to use for events.

What do you like about your job?

Across the agency, there is a feeling that everyone is willing to support you, this helps with my personal development – I like learning from other people’s experience. Also, being based predominantly in Learning & Development, there is always an opportunity to pick up something new or find out about the organisation through supporting events or workshops which is part of my full time role. A third thing I enjoy about working for the Skills Funding Agency in Coventry comes from the connections to the whole organisation. I can see, mainly through the feedback received, what impact the work of my team has on staff and I feel that my opinion and challenges I raise are listened to within the meetings that I attend and questions answered helpfully.

What are the main challenges you face on a daily basis?

With the speed of the work coming in at times, time management can both be a challenge and create challenges for me. In any role there is always a degree of reactive working, I believe that there can be more of this in an administrators role as a lot of problems require urgent attention and affect the business cycle by affecting specific teams or members of staff until they are resolved.

How do you overcome these challenges, should you require assistance?

In the past, I have felt these issues can mount up and take over my workload; there is no solution to this, other than to deal with these things as quickly and effectively as possible.

Owen Ralph Jobcentre Plus Applicant
Learner Details:

Age: 20

Employer: Skills Funding Agency

Job Role: Admin Assistant

Qualification: Business Administration Level 3

Skills & Qualities
Future Goals

Moving across to Learning & Development I see the number of opportunities for further development daily and can see progression through the organisation.

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