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Experts matter: why developing your skills makes sense

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Jennie Granger
Jennie Granger

What do countering the spread of Ebola, delivering the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, digitising National Insurance in Newcastle, helping vulnerable users in the North West and battling bovine TB in Bristol have in common? Not much on the face of it, apart from the fact that all have called upon the different expertise of civil servants in providing solutions which worked. And I’m delighted that many of these experts will be joining me to talk about their career paths at this year’s Civil Service Live events taking place around the country in September and October.

I joined the UK Civil Service in 2012 as Director General, Enforcement and Compliance, HMRC from the Australia Tax Office. I was thrilled in February of this year when I was asked to lead one of the four themes for Civil Service Live on Skills and the Professions. I’m really passionate about the chance to show off the wide range of talented experts who work in our Civil Service – and not just in the obvious professions like policy making, lawyers and diplomats.

The complex issues we work on in the Civil Service means we often have to put together teams of people, with different expert backgrounds to offer solutions and deliver projects, sometimes quickly, at other times over many years. Success is down not just to the quality of the experts we can call upon, but also on their ability to work together effectively, collaborate with and learn from each other. At CS Live, you’ll get the chance to put questions to the teams who have delivered some great projects and find out from them what worked and what didn’t. We call this flexing our 'T' you'll hear more about that if you join John Manzoni and I at the 'Skills and the professions' session.

Taster sessions

If you like a more formal approach to learning new skills, we’ve also got a range of really high quality taster sessions from some of the best training companies around. If you’re interested in leading change, sessions by MindGym and Aston University will help you inspire your teams through choppy waters with increased confidence. Commercial skills are also on the menu with sessions aimed at commercial specialists as well as those new to managing contracts and digital, project delivery and communication skills are all covered.

There’s a focus on some of the softer skills too with sessions on inclusion and unconscious bias designed to be thought provoking and challenging. A career planning workshop will encourage you to think about your career journey and provide inspiring stories from some of the participants in the Civil Service talent programmes.

Whatever you want to learn, spending some time at CS Live is a great first step to growing your skills. I hope you can take something from our programme at CS Live and look forward to seeing you there.

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