Early Careers Officer
Hillingdon Council

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Hi. My name’s Alan.

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My current position is the early careers officer at the London

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Borough of Hillingdon, which is based in West London.

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So my role in simple terms is basically looking after people in the sort of 16

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to 24 year-old category in terms of getting them into employment,

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into our business or other businesses within the area.

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So it’s looking at the career pathways that would come along with that.

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So we might be looking mainly, primarily at apprenticeships.

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It also entails T-level programmes.

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We work with local colleges who will have students coming in,

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working with us for 45 weeks of the year on a one day release basis.

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Also looking at traineeships, work experience.

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So the best thing is, is obviously

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we’re developing people of all ages, so that is really good.

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The strengths and skills

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useful in this role would be definitely communication skills and being confident

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to approach all levels of staff right up to chief exec level

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to make them aware of the programmes we’re doing.

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The networking is really key.

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Also being well organised because it’s almost like you’re project managing

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and so every day there’s different stuff coming in.

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At school I remember doing social economics, French

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maths, English, history, technical drawing –

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that was quite interesting. I think I wanted to be a civil engineer.

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That was my thing – I thought I can do drawing and become a civil engineer.

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So yeah, I left school at 16

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and signed up for a youth training scheme,

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which is a bit like apprenticeships, I guess.

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It was a civil engineering programme that I signed up for

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but I didn’t realise that it was actually working on the railways.

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So we were in a permanent way gang – working out,

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shovelling ballast, sleepers,
trains whizzing past your head.

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I did a couple of winters and it was tough.

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And then I thought,

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no, I need to go in an office where it’s nice and warm.

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Because I didn’t do very well at school as in terms of exams,

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I then went back to college and I studied at the local college,

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which is here in Uxbridge. Did sort of like BTEC finance, business studies, marketing,

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so I think they were sort HNC-type level qualifications and included accountancy.

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I went to uni and finally graduated in personnel management.

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That took me down that sort of direction in terms of my career.

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I was always very people-focused –
I guess from school days –

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sport and wanting to be around people and networking and socialising.

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So it seemed a good fit.

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And that’s where most of my career has ended up really is around the sort of HR,

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personnel-type roles, whether it’s recruitment, employee relations

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and that’s now led to where I am now in terms of my current role.

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You do have to put yourself out there.

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Things don’t necessarily just come to you and lots

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of careers advisors and people you talk to – your parents etc. –

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they’ll probably say get work experience.

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And that is a massive thing.

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If you’re looking at a candidate

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who’s got work experience, one who hasn’t, you’re more likely to favour

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that person who’s got the work experience, not necessarily all the time.

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I would say volunteer – volunteering is massive –

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if you can.

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That often gets your foot in the door. Try things out.

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I would say do something that you enjoy, you’re passionate about.

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Maybe it is a hobby, but sometimes there’s a bit of a crossover

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between the two, but something that’s going to make

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you want to get up in the morning, go to work and do something

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you enjoy.

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Don’t just go to work because it’s paying the bills.

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I would never stay in a job that I don’t enjoy.

 

“You do have to put yourself out there. Things don’t necessarily just come to you.”

Alan started work on the railways but after a couple of winters outside, decided he wanted to work in an office. Having not done well at school, he went back to college and then on to university, leading to a career in HR.

More information about Human resources and industrial relations officers

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£34,320
average salary

The UK average salary is £28,758

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38
average weekly hours

There are 37.5 hours in the average working week

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44%  male 
56%  female 

The UK workforce is 47% female and 53% male

Future employment

Future employment?

Description
? Human resources and industrial relations officers conduct research and advise on recruitment, training, staff appraisal and industrial relations policies and assist specialist managers with negotiations on behalf of a commercial enterprise, trade union or other organisation.
Qualifications
There are no formal academic requirements although most entrants possess a degree or equivalent qualification and/or relevant experience. Many employers expect staff to gain membership of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development through study for professional qualifications. NVQs/SVQs in this area are available at Levels 3 and 4.
Tasks
  • Undertakes research into pay differentials, productivity and efficiency bonuses and other payments;
  • Develops and recommends personnel and industrial relations policies, assists with their implementation and drafts staff handbooks;
  • Assists with negotiations between management and employees or trades unions concerning pay and conditions of employment;
  • Interviews candidates for jobs;
  • Advises on training and recruitment, negotiating procedures, salary agreements and other personnel and industrial relations issues;
  • Deals with grievance and disciplinary procedures, and with staff welfare and counselling provision.
Employment by region
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Top 10 industries for this job
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Employment activities 83097
Public admin. & defence 9563
Head offices, etc 8391
Retail trade 6799
Health 5580
Services to buildings 3704
Financial services 3394
Education 3267
Legal & accounting 3236
Residential care 3136
Employment status
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Skill importance
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