Aaron, Equality Diversity and Inclusion lead

Aaron tells us about his career journey so far, from starting as an apprentice to becoming the Equality Diversity and Inclusion lead.

Could you give us a timeline of your roles since joining the council and dates you started in those roles?

I started in September 2010, so about 12 years ago. In my time at WSCC I have had many roles and undertaken a number of different qualifications. I joined as an admin assistant in the Transport team. It was an apprenticeship, so whilst doing this role I worked towards a Level 2 NVQ in Business Administration. Once I’d completed my apprenticeship, I successfully applied for a Project Support Officer role and WSCC supported me whilst in this role to achieve a Level 3 NVQ in Business Administration.

As I was nearing the end of my apprenticeship, I successfully applied for the role of HR apprentice, which enabled me to obtain a Level 5 NVQ in HR. On completion of my Level 5, I successfully applied for a HR graduate trainee role and, whilst in this role, the organisation supported me to work towards a Level 7 NVQ in HR. Once I had finished my fourth apprenticeship, I moved to a HR advisor role and then after a year I successfully applied for the role of HR policy consultant.

I have had many great opportunities in my time at WSCC and the variety of experiences has enabled me to identify what areas I liked and had a passion for, and therefore the type of role I would like to do and the career I would like to have.

Undertaking my qualifications as an apprentice was fantastic as it enabled me to put in practice immediately what I was learning at college and university. I learnt so much from my more experienced colleagues and they were so supportive when it came to me writing assignments or preparing for exams.

What qualifications did you have and work towards?

I joined WSCC with GCSEs and whilst employed by WSCC worked towards qualifications up to and including the equivalent to a Post Graduate Degree.

Could you tell us about training and development opportunities you’ve had, including mentoring, coaching and managers support?

It would be impossible to share with you all the learning and development opportunities I have had, but the offer at WSCC is fantastic. I haven’t stopped learning or undertaking training from the time I arrived. There's always been an opportunity to learn something new and the great thing about this organisation is that everyone is so quick to share their knowledge and experience. Obviously, college and universities helped, but the bulk of my learning has been through hands on experience, doing the job and learning from my colleagues.

During my time at WSCC I have had five mentors and a coach. This was an amazing source of support and enabled me to progress within the organisation.

Has the learning and development portal been helpful during your time here?

Certainly! There are so many courses you can go on, I couldn’t list them all. Some that I’ve done include courses like, presentation skills, facilitation, influencing and persuading and project management. I must have done over a hundred in my time at WSCC.

What support have you been given by WSCC?

It really has been so supportive, I've just been given so much time and freedom to learn and develop and colleagues were incredibly patient with me. West Sussex has always supported me with time to study, prepare for exams and have purchased endless textbooks as required by college and university. I have been supported by everyone, not just my direct manager, everyone who has been involved with me has supported me.

What initially attracted you to West Sussex and what has made you stay?

Although I knew I wanted to do an apprenticeship, I had no idea in what! This led me to WSCC due to the size of the organisation and the diversity in the services they provide. At that time, I remember researching WSCC and being surprised about just how much the local authority does. It gave me the opportunity to do so many different things and I started to identify what I liked, and that is what influenced the roles I applied for and the qualifications I obtained.

The development and career opportunities I have had has made me stay. The longest I have been in a role is three years and I am continuously doing something new. The people have also played a huge part and I have had some great managers.

Things have changed for me personally from joining. I now have a young family and the family friendly policies and practices enable me to achieve a great work life balance.

What has been your favourite part of your journey so far?

I would say the people. It was great coming to work and sharing with my colleagues that I had passed an exam or completed a module. They genuinely cared and always checked in with how things were going or what I was covering at college and university.

Where do you see yourself going next?

I never really set a target or goal. When I joined, I never would have thought I would be doing this, so I just try and be the best I can in the role I am in. I enjoy what I do and I have plenty to learn and achieve within this role!

If you could say something to anyone considering joining us, what would it be?

Do it! Come and experience working with us and see what it is that we have to offer.

Last updated:
15 February 2023
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