Public Procurement and Property

#NoWrongPath to discover a procurement career

August 8, 2023 by No Comments | Category Scottish Procurement

Today is #NoWrongPath day, which provides inspiration and reassurance to young people receiving their results. We asked our staff to reflect on their career so far and their own paths to procurement.

Angus, one of our portfolio specialists and Kirsty, a senior change manager, have not had straight or obvious paths to their procurement career, but both have very interesting roles now and explain a bit about how this came to be:

When you left school what did you think your future job would be?

Kirsty – I had no idea what I wanted to do when I left school. So much so I chose the subject I enjoyed most in my last years of study to go and study at University, which was Philosophy. I thought a degree would help me, and with no real focus on any one career, I thought this was a good idea. I learned a lot of transferable skills!

Angus – I had no idea what my future job would be. I was hoping it would be in the Scottish Government as I’d applied for a modern apprenticeship which I thankfully got. If I hadn’t, I think I would have just kept trying to get a modern apprenticeship as I felt it was the right career choice for me. Like most people I “fell into procurement”.

What is your current role, what do you enjoy about it?

Kirsty – My current Role is Senior Change Manager. I’ve had the opportunity to work with representatives from across the sectors to deliver the Public Procurement Strategy for Scotland: 2023 to 2028 ( I enjoyed this a lot, working with all of the great working group members and being able achieve what we did was brilliant.

Within my team we have responsibility for engagement with the Public Procurement Group (PPG) and the Procurement Supply Group (PSG). We are undertaking a review of PSG at present, to make sure it’s as effective and efficient as it can be. We manage the Grant for the Supplier Development programme (SPD) and support the partnership arrangements we have with SPD for the Meet the Buyer events. We also run and support roundtable and webinar events that focus on key topics for two way conversation between Scottish Government and Suppliers. Currently we are also developing an SME and Third Sector Action plan with all of the related Impact Assessments.

I also coordinate our input for the Resource Spending Review (RSR) and the Public Service Review (PSR) as well as undertake the regular PMO reporting for SPPD to populate the Directorate Projects Register.

Angus – Currently I’m working in the Rural Payments and Vessels team. My role is more focused on the payment systems for ARE which ensures farmers are paid government subsidies. I really enjoy working on complex, higher value procurements. The other main project the team is working on is procuring two new vessels for Marine Scotland which is a really interesting project.

Have you had any unusual or unexpected pit stops on your path?

Kirsty – The move that was very unexpected, was when I transferred into UK Government to delivery technical projects. I’m not the greatest day to day with technology, but it certainly tuned out to be a really great change of direction!

Angus – Nothing that I could think of. I’ve always had great support networks in SG that have helped me through my career and made it as smooth as possible and supported me whenever challenges have arisen.

What advice would you give to anyone considering starting a career in procurement?

Kirsty – There is a lot to Procurement, learn the skills that fundamentally underpin the profession, but also take the opportunity to branch out into the other interesting areas that Procurement reaches into. For example sustainability and climate, technology and AI or organised crime eradication in the supply chains!

Angus – Get involved in as much as you can, speak to as many different people as you can. Just be active and do things outside your comfort zone. Lots of the learning in procurement will come informally and through experience.

Interested in a career in procurement? Click here to read more about the Procurement People of Tomorrow programme

You could change the world with the #PowerOfProcurement…

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