00:00:02 My name is Elizabeth B and I’m a Procurement Officer at the Scottish Parliament.
00:00:08 It involves putting in place contracts for the whole of the Scottish Parliament to buy products and services, mainly to get best value for money for the Scottish Parliament which isn’t always necessarily the cheapest price.
00:00:22 I really enjoy it, there’s a lot of variation in what we do and, you’re not only just writing documents all day and writing reports you’re also getting out there and speaking to people, meeting people and doing a varied amount of work as well.
00:00:36 Initially I worked with Strathclyde Fire and Rescue where I started off as a clerical assistant undertaking admin in a procurement office. I then was upgraded to procurement assistant and that was mainly done by on the job training, gaining knowledge and experience on the job.
00:00:55 I undertook level 3 in supply chain management, that’s one of the starting points in a procurement career. Usually you could start at level 2, if you didn’t have any experience but it was level 3 if you’ve got a little bit of experience on the job.
00:01:12 First one the level 3 in supply chain management, that was an SVQ so that was on the job and that was really, really helpful because I hadn’t been in procurement for a long time, so doing it on the job allowed me to actually carry out the role as well as taking examples from the work and writing up reports on it. So that was really useful for me, and the level 4 that I’ll be going on to do next year that will be done at college, so that will probably be day release and I think that’ll be better now that I’ve got more experience in procurement.
00:01:44 I didn’t know what procurement was at school. I always knew I wanted to work in an office, I always thought that it was glamorous. So I always knew I wanted to work there, but I didn’t know anything about procurement until I started working with the fire brigade.
00:01:58 I was encouraged to take administration. IT I took the subjects like French and art because I enjoyed them and English as well, but the funny thing was that I never actually made my administration exam because I got the dates mixed up. So I thought from then on that, my career in office work and that was it. So it was quite funny how I actually ended up doing what I wanted to do.
00:02:23 I had a lot of friends at school I had a big social circle that reduces a bit when you leave school but that was, that was the main, I loved school because of the social circle.
00:02:34 So I’m not very active used to go to the gym some, it’s not something that I do quite regularly. Going to dinners with my partner and cleaning up after him in the house, so, not very exciting.
00:02:48 Even when I worked for Strathclyde Fire and Rescue never thought I could work for the Scottish parliament, so when I actually got invited for an interview that was, I was really proud and then actually when I left the interview I never thought I did very well and, completely thought I’d lost my chance so, then a week later I was offered the job. So that, not in my wildest dreams.
00:03:10 In the parliament there’s loads of scope for movement you’ve got purchasing officers to managers, to senior managers, so there’s always loads of scope to move up and it’s quite a big department as well. So I’ll either keep climbing the ladder in the Scottish parliament or I’ll stay here for a few years and, see what else is out there, there’s so many organisations and so much chance in private sector and public sector to go and do procurement.
00:03:40 Turning point for me would probably have been when I was working in the procurement section in Strathclyde Fire and Rescue and went from clerical assistant to senior clerical assistant. And at that point that’s when I started realising that procurement is what I wanted to do, and I started to ask about the qualifications and get more involved with the contact work and, that’s when I started moving away from admin duties to more contractual work. So that was probably the biggest turning point for me in terms of where I decided that was the career I wanted to choose.