Explore: Human resources

HR Administrator
PPG Industries

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Gemma F

My name is Gemma F, I work as an HR administrator here at PPG. So we work alongside HR managers, looking after the employees, anything from recruitment to maternity, to leavers, redundancies, just the wide spectrum of, you know, that HR work that is today. I basically worked in HR for a company called Willis for three years and I was just looking for a change, a change in environment. To come to PPG it was more of a sidestep, but I could see the opportunities here.

00:00:35 It’s a growing HR department, and I will really be able to develop my career here. I’ve started my CIPD, which is my career qualifications for HR. Once I’ve done that, I will hopefully be able to move up the ladder here at PPG. When I was eleven my dad got a job in America. We lived outside of New York in a suburb of New Jersey, so that was a big jump for me to… you know, I was eleven years old, and I’d just started high school in the UK, and I was moved out to high school in the US, which was just completely different – a real different culture shock. You know, definitely it kind of opened me up and stuff, so I think it was definitely a good move for my parents to make for me.

00:01:16 I always wanted to be a doctor. I never thought that I’d be working in HR. I was going to uni to become a nurse. I was enrolled in Kings College in London, and I thought to myself ‘Actually, no, I don’t want to do nursing anymore. I want to do something different.’ That’s when I decided that psychology was the path that I wanted to go down. I initially thought that I wanted to become a child psychiatrist, but while doing the degree I did some modules in HR management, and that kind of gave me a bit more insight into what human resources is and made me realise that that would be quite a good career path.

00:01:52 Being at university was just the most amazing three years of my life. It really opened me up to the wide world. I don’t think when you’re at university you quite appreciate how free and how flexible things are until you start your career and realise. I finished at university and I found a job after about three or four months of just temping at Suffolk County Council, in the HR department, which is where my career basically started. I was there for about eight months, and then found my job at Willis and my HR career progressed from there.

00:02:33 My mum and dad are living in Gibraltar so they’re not too far away now. Them not being around the corner from me is hard at times because I do sometimes just want to go and see my mum, but I think over the years I’ve got used to them not being around and you just make the most of the time that you have with them. My dad has inspired me in terms of career, you know, to follow your heart, follow your dreams. He has never really told me what to do. He just lets me make up my own mind. I think that’s what has really helped me and really developed me as a person. I think I’m quite strong willed, as well. I’ve got lots of determination, which was brought up in his wedding speech about how determined I was as an individual, and how if there’s a goal I want to achieve, I will get there.

00:03:16 My husband bought this a few years ago. He brought it home and put up places in the world he’d like us to visit. We got to visit quite a few places on our honeymoon and just over the course of our time being together. We’ve been in Asia, around Europe, the Caribbean, America, so I think Australia and New Zealand, hopefully, at some point over the next two years are next on our agenda to go to.

00:03:40 The next five to ten years for me, I think I’ll definitely progress in my career in HR. I’d like to progress up to HR manager level and maybe even HR director level. If I can get that far in the next five to ten years, that would be a good achievement for me. In, you know, maybe in years to come, like my friends say ‘If you ever won the lottery what would you do,’ and if I ever won the lottery I would go back to uni, and I would study, get my Masters and my PhD, and become a Dr in psychology. Children and child psychology is definitely an area I would like to go into, so, you never know, one day I might be able to. Ends


Gemma loved university and studied modules in Human Resources as part of her Psychology degree. This pushed earlier dreams of medicine, nursing and child psychiatry aside. Determined, independent and driven Gemma is relishing her responsibilities as HR administrator with PPG. She has a clear idea of how she might progress. A move to the States for her secondary education, provided Gemma with a stimulating culture shock and left her with a passion for travel.

More information about Human resources administrative occupations

average salary

The UK average salary is £29,813

average weekly hours

There are 37.5 hours in the average working week

25%  male 
75%  female 

The UK workforce is 47% female and 53% male

Future employment

Future employment?

? Job holders in this unit group provide administrative support for the human resources (HR) operations within organisations.
No formal educational qualifications are required for entry, although most entrants will possess GCSE/S grades. Certification from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development is available, along with relevant NVQs/SVQs at various levels.
  • Supports senior HR staff in the development and implementation of HR and industrial relations policies;
  • Arranges advertisements for jobs in the relevant media;
  • Provides practical support for recruitment and selection procedures such as checking application forms, arranging interviews of candidates and ensuring the interview panel receive all relevant documentation;
  • Provides administrative support for training courses, work placements etc.;
  • Implements and maintains HR records systems.
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Employment status

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