Published on Monday, August 26, 2019

Wirral Council apprentice shortlisted for regional awards 2019

Leonni Robinson is an apprentice in Children’s Services at Wirral Council. She recently made it to the regional finals for Apprentice of the Year 2019. Here in an interview produced for the Council, she explains the details of her Apprenticeship and job role.

How long have you worked for the Council?

1 Year

Tell us about your Apprenticeship

I am completing my Apprenticeship in Level 2 Business Administration with Wirral Met College.

What have you learned and what impact will it have on your role and future career?

The Apprenticeship has assisted me in my day-to-day work activities, which include managing diaries, taking minutes and other administrative tasks that are included in the units I complete for the NVQ. It has also impacted my awareness of the Wirral Council as certain units require information about the organisation's policies, values, and procedures. These need to be read and understood; which has been beneficial in expanding my knowledge of the council and what different services do and how they integrate to improve Wirral.

Tell us about your role

My role currently is Business Support Apprentice/ PA to Head of Service for Permanence in Children’s Services. As part of this role I manage diaries, take minutes and perform other administrative tasks. In addition to the duties listed, due to the role of my manager I take part in several other cross-departmental projects that take place to improve the service we provide. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to be involved in so many different projects as I find it very helpful for my development, as I've been faced with some challenging tasks but seeing the service improve has been hugely rewarding! Through my role, I have been able to become an Apprenticeship Ambassador for Liverpool City Region and have been able to visit my former high school to promote Apprenticeships and provide mentor meetings to looked-after children.

What does a typical day look like?

My typical day normally starts with coffee...! and then entails managing diaries, booking meetings, taking minutes and creating different processes for the workstreams I am involved in and attending meetings for these. Additionally, I track the progress of work and update spreadsheets daily to reflect this.

What is the favourite part of your job?

My favourite part of my job is the people. I have been hugely lucky in the fact that everyone I have met and worked alongside has been so welcoming and helpful. I think people in the workplace contribute massively to whether you enjoy the job and I’m fortunate enough that this is the case. The time and patience my manager has for me are greatly appreciated and I wouldn't have the confidence to take on new challenges (which have helped me progress) if he wasn’t as understanding and positive. I have been made to feel that my opinions and input have been considered which has made me feel very valued within the Council. Senior managers have also taken out a lot of time to ensure I have full understanding and support with whatever tasks I am taking on and I am grateful for the advice, tips, and guidance which they have provided me with.

What is the most challenging part of your job?

The most challenging part of my job is knowing who does what! Even though I have been introduced to many people and different departments, I have found it challenging at times to learn about different people’s roles and what they do. However, I have always been pointed in the right direction. Another part which I have found challenging is understanding the systems and reports which we use. Previously, I have found that small changes will eventually lead to whole forms or reports being changed! I've learned to be a lot more careful with changes and it's helped me think ahead and take into consideration what else will be changed.

How do you relax when not working?

I relax by going out with friends, and for long walks with my dog.

What is your top tip for Wirral?

Press on with the exciting plans for Birkenhead!

What do the Wirral values mean to you?

Accountable – For me this means I need to make sure I’m in on time, I try my best to ensure my work is completed in time and to a high standard and I take responsibility for my actions and any work I complete.

Ambitious – Ambitious is important to me as if people are ambitious it can inspire others to be the same, which is what I feel from Wirral. I feel ambitious to not only progress personally but also as a service. Additionally, I believe being ambitious also should involve taking risks and overcoming challenges.

Customer Focused – This is a priority to me as I believe our customers - the children/young people and families should be at the centre of everything we do and provide. Customers’ needs and requests should be listened to and acted upon to ensure they have the best possible outcome in life.

Professional – For me, this means understanding the environment and being appropriate to it and the audience, dressing smartly and most importantly to me is being approachable.

How do you know your job makes a difference?

I know my job makes a difference as the workstreams I have been involved with and the tracking of work has impacted on the progress of the service which has been reflected in performance reports.

As a service and everyone working together, I know that it improves the outcome of Children’s lives and the impact the social workers / PAs have on them and it has been rewarding to see that the service has improved since 2016 and efforts from everyone have been praised and recognised in the recent Ofsted report.


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