A year of work in progress – day 88

Day 88 – 16 May 2014

I believe the children are our future, teach them well and let them lead the way. How does the song go? When I was at #Dynamo14 Bob Paton, MD of Accenture in the North East (there are a lot of Bobs) lead a session on skills and development. He is very passionate about the development of young people and the role that apprentices will play in the future of our industry. He told us that if ever he is asked can he take someone on work experience he said yes. No questions, just yes.

What he said resonated with me. A week ago or so we had a request to take on a couple of placements and so in true Bob fashion I said yes. What I would normally do is ask that they went into operations or applications where they would be able to fiddle around with the computers or programmes but this time I decided that one of them could work alongside me. What better way to gain an insight into the wide variety of ways in which ICT plays a part in our organisation? Of course there are going to be parts of the week where it will be difficult but it’s all arranged for the middle of July and I hope I can enthuse this young man into considering a career in my field.

My first meeting was at Digital Durham world headquarters where we talked about our next digital inclusion event. It’s going to be a non-conference and I’m looking forward to finding out what one of these is. Ashley and Alli are doing a great job in organising it, they have some good speakers lined up and over thirty delegates have signed up already. It’s on the tenth of June.

I followed this with my weekly catch up with Tony which we manage to get round to about every fortnight with one thing and another. We talk most days and so it was more of a touchstone than anything else.

Next up was Michael, one of the tier 4 managers. I don’t know if he counts as a new one however as he has replaced Norman, the Count y Fleet Manager, who retired soon after we got together. I’m not claiming any credit. He is based out one of our depots at Chilton just south of Spennymoor and today was the first time that I had ever visited that site.

Rather than cover the same old groundwe talked about the plan to replace the Fleet Management System to manage the workshops, finance and vehicle replacements from cradle to grave. There is a lot of manual work going on within Michael’s area and a new system would drive through efficiencies. They produce twenty six thousand job tickets a year and so there is a lot to go for.

Michael is a lifer. He started as an apprentice at Sedgefield Council back in 1976 and like so many others in the public sector he wants to make a difference.

Learning points for today: Sometimes the Lion has to roar; Chilton looks nice in the sun; everywhere looks nice in the sun and; I should be careful not to make glib promises I can’t keep.

Today’s enjoyment rating 9/10 – It was sunny in Chilton.

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