Last week saw Ahmed visit Marvin Rees’ office for a week of work experience. Read his blog post below.
My name is Ahmed, and I had an astonishing week of work experience in the Mayor of Bristol's Office. I secured this work placement after I told one of 1625 Independent People's (1625ip) staff that I have an interest in Politics and Law.
During my time in the Mayor's Office, I met very nice people. The first day at the office was amazing and the team welcomed me well. Hayley was the first person I met and she gave me all the equipment that I needed, such as a security pass, laptop, and notebook. During this time, I also completed E-learning training on Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion. After that, I attended an apprenticeship talk which gave me the chance to know there is an opportunity to do an apprenticeship in Bristol City Council. Then I met my WEX organizer Usha. We had an informal chat and then we went for lunch. After lunch, I started my daily activities in the office which was the first time I sat in an office and did some work.
During the week, I completed tasks and shadowed the Mayor and the Deputy Mayor. I helped the team with diary management and inbox responses. I then did a news analysis, where I read a couple of local and international newspapers and then made a summary. I also helped the team to update the Mayor's diary. What's more, I spent time in the Labour Party's Office. I met Stephen who took me to the Chamber and explained to me how the councillors work and where the Labour Party and Opposition Parties sit. I also learnt about the history of the council and City Hall.
On Wednesday, I joined the Deputy Mayor Asher Craig for cabinet shadowing. Whilst I was there, I learnt how some of the Cabinet discuss issues and work. Additionally, what was more interesting was the task that they were discussing at that time. It was a program called Going for Gold which is about making Bristol a sustainable food city and a national programme that celebrates and supports communities that are making positive changes to their food system. They not only discussed food, but also, education, homelessness and more. I then met more of the team individually and they explained to me what their roles are such as Advising on Inclusion and Advising on Economics. This was an interesting and good experience. I also spent time with a Youth and community worker. I learnt how they help the Mayor in different parts of the Council, such as economy and policy.
When I shadowed the Mayor, it was an astonishing moment. On Thursday, I shadowed him at a meeting with a business group. I was having the best time - traveling with the mayor to his meeting, sitting next to him and watching the group explain their business to us, and what they're selling. I also watched the Mayor speaking and the staff ask him some questions. It was one of the best highly ranked meetings I've ever been in. During that day, I also shadowed him while he had a meeting with some Somali community organizations. They were discussing about the situation of Mogadishu and youngsters who have been there and came back, may have some mental health issues so, they discussed how will these young people would get enough health support.
All in all, I really enjoyed my placement and liked being here.
I am thanking the Mayor and also his team.
Part of the Bristol WORKS offer is the facilitation of work experience (WEX) placements for young people who attend WORKS schools. In addition to this, we also facilitate placements for a wide range of individuals across the city to ensure there is access to work experience at Bristol City Council. We are determined to provide this opportunity as a stepping stone for people to gain confidence and experience that may help them enter paid employment.
During the placement, we offer a variety of supported opportunities. These include: interview and application advice; a careers meeting and next-steps discussion; an apprenticeships session with the Apprenticeships Manager where there is a platform to discuss live apprenticeship opportunities; a real work challenge which can involve training on social media, writing a blog that may be published on the website, or a task that is directly related to the objectives of the team. In addition, there is provision for the person on placement to undertake relevant E-Learning, providing them with the opportunity to develop their skills and employability for free. Our commitment to WEX means that anyone who completes a work experience placement with us, and then applies for an apprenticeship and meets the essential criteria, is guaranteed an interview.
Across the summer months alone WORKS has facilitated 51 placements and would welcome all future applications. If you, or someone you know, is interested in applying, please email WEX@bristol.gov.uk and the team will send you an application form.