Fairer Scotland

Young lad going into the world of work in Scottish Government

April 4, 2017 by 1 Comment | Category Children and Young People, Employability, Get involved, Work Experience

Hopes for my work experience week

This week I am going to be working in the Scottish Government, mostly in the social justice and social security divisions. I hope to gain an understanding of what working in the government is actually like and apply my new skills from the ‘Communicating Effectively’ training course I attended. This work experience will also be very useful later in life and hope it will make it easier to get a job if I have this experience on my CV. Scottish Government is a very prestigious organisation and having this on my CV would be good and show that I already have an experience in the world of work.

Before I started the work experience I was very excited and lucky to have got this opportunity as it was very rare for a person of my age to work in the Scottish Government. I also knew that it was a very impressive thing to have on my CV. The day before I started the work experience I was very excited but nervous at the same time.

Before I walked into the building I was quite intimidated and wondered if I would be doing something like photocopying or just sitting at a computer all day. While I was waiting in the waiting area I was surprised because I thought that everyone would be very formal and that everything would be very serious and strict. As I was getting escorted to my desk for the week I could see the vast amount of different departments and all of the people were already heads down and working away furiously. After I settled in I discovered that everything is not what it seemed. Everyone was more laid back than I imagined, it wasn’t as formal as I expected it to be and they were also really friendly.

Getting started and finding out the week has in store for me

First off me and my fellow student had an induction where we were welcomed and given an insight to what we would be doing over the course of the week.

Throughout the week I started to realise that working for the government was not what it it perceived to be. I expected it to be very repetitive and I expected to be in the office all day everyday doing boring work on the computer or photocopying. I realised this wasn’t the case because on the first day I went on a few meetings to learn about the different departments and discover the different ways on how you can work in government.

Tuesday’s training and realisations

On Tuesday myself and my ‘colleague’ Shona went on a training course, ‘Effective Communication’ which was really fun and very useful. On the course I found out what type of communication style that I was. The course leader also taught us how to speak to people using different communication styles. For example, someone with a direct style would communicate very differently with others to those who are more systematic. I also learned how to read different body languages and adapt the conversation to suit that situation.

Thursday fun and Snapchat

Thursday we travelled through to Edinburgh to meet the Elections team and Young Scot. The elections meeting was really informative and now I know more about voting for the near future when I am eligible to vote.

When we went to the Young Scot we learned about what they’re hoping to accomplish in the future for all young people and that there are a lot of things that you can do with your Young Scots Card from getting cheaper bus fares to getting discounts in restaurants, high street and online retailers.

They gave me and my fellow student the opportunity to design and feature in our own Snapchat video on behalf of Young Scot. That was so much fun. You can check it out via this link – https://we.tl/mu78Aj93Qt

Finally Friday

The different resilience division units and teams are:

  • Critical Infrastructure Resilience Unit, who deal with: Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (Explosives) (CBRN) issues;
  • Community Resilience Unit;
  • Response and Communications team;
  • Business Management and finance;
  • Development Service (SCoRDS).

I really enjoyed this aspect of my week. I thought it was really interesting to learn about how they plan for these events and the fact that plans are already in place. It is definitely somewhere I could see myself working.

Towards the end of the week I learned that there were different pathway into how to start working in Scottish Government including Modern Apprentice or as a Post Graduate programs. I was amazed at the broad range of departments within the Scottish Government and more surprised to learn that you can move freely throughout them need a change or want to work on something different.

Final thoughts

All in all, my work experience exceeded my expectations. I never thought working in the Scottish Government was possible but now it I am keeping my options opened for when I leave school and may even consider applying for a Modern Apprentice. My intention was to become a lawyer but this week has taught me not to be so hasty with my choices.

The team I worked with during the week was excellent. They were friendly and went out their way to put me in touch with what I was most interested in. I would recommend work experience in Scottish Government to anyone, especially in Social Justice.

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  • Lesley Fraser says:

    Thanks for the great blog, Leon! Really glad you enjoyed the week in the government, and I hope it’s helped you decide about your future career.

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