Public Procurement and Property

Scottish Apprenticeship Week Q&A – Alex and Angus…

March 8, 2023 by 1 Comment | Category CIPS, Procurement People of Tomorrow

It’s Scottish Apprenticeship Week. To celebrate the week, we are sharing a number of Q&A interviews with current and past apprentices within the Scottish Procurement and Property Directorate (SPPD). In this blog we speak to Alex who is just starting his procurement career, and Angus who has been working in the profession for a few years now.

Q&A with Alex Forrest…Alex Forrest

  1. What made you choose to take a Procurement Modern Apprenticeship? I was looking for work and wanted a position that was both financially stable and interesting for me. I was referred to this listing and decided it could be an excellent opportunity to get myself into the job market and see if a place in the Government was for me.
  2. What have you enjoyed doing so far in your apprenticeship? I have greatly enjoyed meeting my team and getting the time to speak with others from my division to learn more about their roles and how the wow their work fits into the wider government.
  3. What are you looking forward to doing? I’m looking forward to gaining more experience in the workplace and learning how to progress my carer further within the government. I am also looking forward to being given my own projects to work on within my division.
  4. What do you think the benefits of work-based learning in an apprenticeship are? Work Based learning has many benefits. It gives many the ability to gain valuable work skills and experience in a real working environment alongside studying to acquire further education, it really gives you a lot of freedom to choose how you want to progress.
  5. Would you encourage others to take an apprenticeship? I would wholeheartedly encourage others to take on an Apprenticeship if they think its something they could see themselves doing. Most apprenticeships provide an excellent opportunity to gain knowledge and a salary while getting into the job market. The skills learned during apprenticeships are also often transferable and can help down the line in other areas of work.

Q&A with Angus MacKenzie…Angus

  1. What role have apprenticeships played in your career journey so far? The apprenticeship programme allowed me to start my career, giving me a path into the corporate world. I joined the civil service straight from school. It’s allowed me to work in four different Procurement Divisions and given me a wide range of experience. I’m now working in the Rural Payments and Vessels team supporting quite high value and complex procurement projects.
  1. What do you think the benefits of work-based learning in an apprenticeship are? I believe there are massive benefits to work based learning. I think studying my SVQ and CIPS whilst also working allowed me to compare the theory with real world examples and really helped me retain the learning. I also think there’s a great deal of soft skills that can only be learned by working in a corporate environment that every professional needs and being able to start young with the apprenticeship programme really helped me learn these skills.
  1. Would you encourage others to take an apprenticeship? Absolutely, I have encouraged and helped lots of my friends to join the Scottish Government apprenticeship programme! I genuinely believe it’s an incredible opportunity to start your career and can lead you to so many different paths.
  1. What does the Power of Procurement mean to you? Maximising spending power and delivering value to the taxpayer. I love how in Scottish Government it’s not just about saving money. It’s about making the public purse go as far as possible whilst also achieving great outcomes for the people of Scotland and delivering Government objectives through our contract spend.
  1. What is the most unique or impactful thing you have procured in your role? Difficult to pick one but I quite enjoyed procuring a range of specialists to assist in modernising St Andrew’s House. This had a particular focus on making it more eco-friendly which is incredibly important as we have ambitious net zero targets that we must reach.
  1. What’s next, where would you like to see your career develop in Scottish Government? I’d like to continue gaining experience in the buying teams of SPPD. I would like to continue to move around and gain experience in the different teams. I do now see my long term career as a Professional Buyer and I’m grateful to be in such a great place to gain experience.
  1. What would you say to the ‘Procurement People of Tomorrow’ thinking about joining the Scottish Procurement and Property Directorate? Join! It’s a great time to do so. Also there is so much more to offer than just traditional buying roles in SPPD, there are other divisions with lots of exciting and varied work to get involved in. I’ve always felt the Directorate has a great culture. Friendly people, skilled staff to learn from and a strong focus on development.

Are you interested in a career in procurement? Discover more about the Procurement People of Tomorrow and the routes into this profession.

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  • Nikki Archer says:

    Fantastic to hear these stories and see how careers can progress from the Modern Apprenticeship in Procurement!

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