Programme Manager
Lewisham County Council

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Andy K

00:00:03 My name’s Andy K, and I’m a Programme Manager at Lewisham Council. A Programme Manager is somebody that brings together everybody involved in big projects, and lots of different projects that fit together. And those projects could be anything from building a new swimming pool or a school, to putting a new IT system into a company, to anything, really.

00:00:26 You get to work with lots of different people from a huge variety of backgrounds, and depends what sort of project you work on, really, as to – as to where those people come from. But I mean if you take, for example, a recent swimming pool that I’ve been working on up in Forest Hill, we’ve worked with Architects from Central London, we’ve worked with legal advisors who are international financial advisors who come from all over the place, and of course wherever you’re working on your project, you deal with the local politics of the politicians involved if you’re working in the public sector. And probably much more importantly, the local people that are going to benefit from what you’re doing, in that area.

00:01:50 Yeah, I would say I’ve always liked to see the results of what I’m doing, you know. I mean I enjoyed subjects like DT and Science and subjects that had a practical element at school, but I wasn’t kind of obsessed with them. I was actually a linguist and I studied Spanish and Italian at University. And I think I’d always kind of imagined that I would go into a profession like translating or interpreting, and sort of travel the world that way, you know. After University I went to South America, and I volunteered in Ecuador for three months. I taught English there, and also worked on some social – some very small social regeneration projects in the village that I lived in. It was diverting a road, and building a new playground. Which kind of gave me an initial taste for what I eventually went in to. I decided that I didn’t really want to be specifically an interpreter or a translator, or something directly to do with language. And I think the reason for that was because I actually wanted to deliver something. So being able to deliver these projects, I hope I’ll be able to do on an international level, and still use the stuff that I’ve studied for formally, at some point.

00:02:23 Is there a moment that really sticks in my mind. Probably building my first school actually, in this job was – was a great moment for me. And I remember talking to the Head Teacher of that school, he was saying that when the kids come in these days, on a mucky, rainy day – when they’d normally be really rowdy and they wouldn’t concentrate on lessons – that this new space actually really calmed them down, and he felt they were actually getting a lot more out of their learning from it. So that was a – an excellent moment for me. Emotional man! It made me feel like the work I’d been doing had some real results, and that was probably the first time that I’d had that – having moved from such a kind of strategic job before, into something that was building things, and we’re building it now, kind of thing.

00:03:18 I think there are a lot of jobs out there where you can sit in an office, and end up with a report on a shelf. So for me, being able to walk around and see a school that I helped to build, or hopefully in the future, you know, a new town centre, or an Olympic village or whatever it may be, is I find very satisfying. Yeah, absolutely, leaving my mark on the world, I hope in a positive way, and I hope we’re not going to look back and think – Oh God that was worse than the 1960s concrete blocks. But I’m sure we’re not. I think design quality’s very important, and that’s an important part of my job, to make sure that we get that right. But I’m confident that we’re doing that.

00:03:55 ENDS

Andy K, is a Programme Manager at Lewisham Council. Helping build a playground in Ecuador on a gap year changed his mind about using his languages degree as a translator. Now he brings everybody together on a building project – like building a school or swimming pool. He gets to work with alot of different people; architects, lawyers engineers as well as politicians and the community. He hopes the buildings he puts up make people happy.

More information about Local government administrative occupations

average salary

The UK average salary is £29,813

average weekly hours

There are 37.5 hours in the average working week

24%  male 
76%  female 

The UK workforce is 47% female and 53% male

Future employment

Future employment?

? Job holders in this unit group undertake a variety of administrative and clerical duties in local government offices and departments.
Entry is most common with GCSEs/S grades. Evidence of keyboard skills may also be required in some posts. Off- and on-the-job training is provided. NVQs/SVQs in Administration are available at Levels 2 and 3.
  • Computes cost of product/services and maintains and balances records of financial transactions;
  • Prepares and checks invoices and verifies accuracy of records;
  • Receives and pays out cash and cheques and performs closely related clerical duties;
  • Updates and maintains data, correspondence and other records for storage or despatch;
  • Arranges, classifies and indexes publications, correspondence and other material in libraries and offices;
  • Performs other clerical duties not elsewhere classified including preparing financial information for management, proof reading printed material and drafting letters in reply to correspondence or telephone enquiries.
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