Welcome to the latest instalment of our “A Day in the Life” series, in which we interview colleagues from across the entire CEIS Group and ask them to reflect on their career, their role and their experiences within the group.
Keith has been with CEIS Ayrshire since July 2015 and has had various roles during his time with the business. When he first started with the organisation, he worked as a Recruitment Officer, working with local employers by supporting them with temporary and permanent recruitment needs. He then moved into the Employability Team, working as a Job Broker supporting clients into sustainable employment. He was promoted from this role to Job Broker Team Leader, supporting the team while still helping clients in to work, and in May 2020 he was moved into the Management Team in Ayrshire, overseeing the Business Services Team.
What do you enjoy most about working at CEIS Ayrshire?
The most enjoyable part of my role is that no two days are the same. I like the variety in my job because my role is split in to two: supporting and driving the Business Services Team forward and working towards lowering the unemployment rates in the areas that we work. I am also part of CEIS Ayrshire’s Development Team with Joan Gibson, and I work closely with our General Manager, Stephen Hamill to bring in new opportunities that arise or any new tenders that come up.
What does a typical day look like for you?
As the Business Services Manager, the first thing I do is check in with my Team Leader Rachael and make sure everything is on track and the team is ok. If they have any issues, I’ll help and generally offer support and advice when needed to help them deliver the best support and outcomes they can. Alongside that, I do a lot of work with our Development Team. We work together on business development opportunities, develop and create programmes of support for the various client groups we work with, so if there are any new opportunities that arise or any new projects that come up, we’ll meet to discuss them and our approach to them.
We currently deliver several contracts, mainly with North Ayrshire Council and East Ayrshire Council, but over the last few years we’ve worked throughout Southwest Scotland. Today, I had a meeting with DWP from South Lanarkshire to see if we can look at pieces of work in that council area, followed by a meeting with North Ayrshire Council to discuss a programme of support for clients aged 25+ who have been unemployed for more than 12 months. Then later today, I have another meeting with North Ayrshire Council to create a training programme for their Streetscene Operatives. I have a marketing meeting with a member of our board in the afternoon and then I have a meeting for the Operational Delivery Working Group for Inclusive Growth that I sit on . This is an external group made up of partner organisations such as North Ayrshire Council, DWP and Skills Development Scotland where we look at gaps in local provision and then look at programmes of support to fill these gaps. As you can see there is plenty of variety in my working days!
How has the role changed since the pandemic?
Before the pandemic my role was Job Broker Team Leader, where I supported the team while helping our clients gain sustainable employment. During the pandemic this role was extremely challenging, we had clients looking for employment, but no employers were open or hiring!
In May 2020 my role completely changed when I was promoted into the Management Team in Ayrshire. My new job title is Business Services & Development Manager, managing the Business Services Team and working with the Development Team and General Manager on development opportunities for the organisation, so I have seen a huge personal change , having had to adapt to new ways of working and taking on a lot more responsibility with an increased workload and overall responsibility for my team.
Following the pandemic, my role has changed as I am now able to go out and meet with clients, employers and stakeholder organisations in person. However, we are still operating a hybrid model with a couple of days in the office and a couple of days working from home . Personally I like the hybrid model of working, I enjoy the face-to-face meetings but also really benefit from home working as I seem to get a lot more work done!
What excites you the most about work?
The variety of the job. No two days are the same and we’re always looking at new projects and programmes of support.
What advice would you give people looking to pursue a similar career?
To have a can-do attitude and being a team player is essential. The ability to be flexible, multitask and be available at the drop of a hat is also required as the job is so diverse you can be asked to do multiple things at the same time!
Thanks to Keith for freeing up some time in his business schedule to chat with us. We enjoyed finding out more about his role and the wider work the Business Services team do in Ayrshire, and we hope you did too.
If you’d like to learn more about CEIS Ayrshire, or are interested in improving your own, or your employees’ skills through one-to-one or online training, then get in touch with them now to discuss your requirements.