Hello PPMA members and friends

As we have just launched the search for our 2015 HR Rising Star at a prestigious event at The House Of Lords, our blog post this week has been written by Alice Rees, one of the participants of the 2014 PPMA Apprentice of the Year. Alice, who attended the event, tells us what it was like and also how much she has gained from taking part in the competition.

‘My name is Alice Rees, I currently work at Warwickshire County Council as a HR Higher level apprentice, studying for my intermediate CIPD qualification, whilst working in 3 teams doing placements within our HR department.

I was invited to the PPMA event at the House of Lords as I took part in the PPMA Apprentice of The Year 2014 competition. I received such valuable feedback after attending an assessment centre during the competition and it hasn’t stopped there. I was excited to hear from them about attending an event to recognise the contribution that emerging talent can play in the delivery of public service. It was also a bonus to see some of the other apprentices I met along the way, as well as meeting some of the rising stars and how they have progressed in HR.

Once I arrived at the House of Lords, there was a chance to network and I was introduced to the other Rising Stars and people of key influence. As an apprentice I was then partnered with Ellie Goddard, a previous Rising Star winner to join a group of other attendees. In these groups were some MDs, Assistant Directors and other key people of influence. We were asked to talk about a four possible topics for Rising Stars 2015. After listening to the views of the group we were all on mutual ground as to what topic we were in favour of. The topic we selected was collaborative working; our discussion focused on the importance of sharing talent not only with our own organisations, but within the whole of the public sector. To gain new talent you may need to transfer existing talent to another local authority, the importance comes in keeping it within the sector. Each group were then asked to feed back to all attendees the result of their discussion. Although daunting at the thought of presenting in the House of Lords at my age and to people that were a lot more advanced in their career than myself, I found this a really effective way of building my confidence and on the spot presentation skills, particularly as in the other groups the Rising Star was the presenter of the discussions they had, not the apprentice. I am very thankful of the support I received from Ellie before having to speak, making sure I had captured all the points we had mentioned, I probably would have been a lot more nervous without her support and encouragement.

Although it was only a short event, the impact it has had on me so far is huge. It gave me an opportunity to show other people outside my organisation my ideas and thoughts, and allowed me to network with people I would never thought I could of spoken to so early on in my career. PPMA have been an incredible body of support and I believe that they are partly responsible for my current and future success. They make me excited for my future and what is in store next for me with them. The overall experience has also inspired me into looking to apply for the Rising Stars Competition once I have completed my apprenticeship and CIPD.’

If you are an HR Rising Star, or there is someone in your organisation who you think is a future HR Leader and influencer, then all of the details on how to enter the 2015 competition can be found here.

Alice Rees, HR Higher Level Apprentice