Ellen Blakemore

The support structure at Kent County Council is great.

Age: 22

University: University of Sussex.

I studied a BA Hons in Politics with a year abroad, which I spent in the Netherlands.

My first placement was with Libraries, Registration and Archives (LRA), a division of Growth, Environment and Transport, which has a diverse remit that operates all over Kent. LRA provides a statutory and highly valued public service which is delivered through a network of 99 libraries, 6 Register Offices, 5 mobile libraries and an archive centre. On this placement I took part in a range of strategic and operational projects from future visioning, composing strategy reviews, to a contract management refresh, to developing service specification monitoring reports to income generation development. I really enjoyed working alongside the LRA team and the wide range of valuable experience that the placement brought me.

I am currently placed within Flood and Water Management within the Strategic Planning and Policy division of Environment, Planning and Enforcement. The team principally provides wide ranging work which includes providing strategic overview for drainage and water management in order to reduce flood risk. The team also acts to promote sustainable drainage, encourage efficient water use and to protect the water environment. My main remit in this placement is scoping and delivering a new digital channel which will provide up to date information and services about flooding and flood risk management in Kent.

As the lead local flood authority for Kent we are required to maintain an asset register that is publically available throughout the county, so as part of my placement I am tasked with leading on the scoping and delivering of this asset register. The nature of this placement means that I am able to work alongside a variety of partners (Southern Water, the Environment Agency and other areas of KCC) to deliver this project which provides me with fantastic experience. I’m looking forward to building upon my project management skills and the knowledge that I have gained in my first placement whilst delivering this new digital channel for Kent County Council’s customers.

Why did you apply for the Kent Graduate Programme - Management Stream?

I applied because I knew that I wanted to work in Local Government but I didn’t know what areas in particular, so I thought this scheme would give me the flexibility to try out different departments and learn new skills in the process. I knew the support structure here was great and it seemed like the ideal opportunity to pursue my career in the public sector. The opportunity to work for such a great local authority as Kent County Council was also a factor in my application.

Current placement:

SPP Flood and Water Management

You should apply if you…

  • want the challenge of multiple placements, across multiple departments and to engage with people from all over Kent
  • are someone who likes to hit the ground running and make the most of the opportunities you are given.  It is a bit of a cliché, but this scheme really is what you make of it and the support structure here is such that you will be guided at every stage of your development
  • are an innovative thinker who is able to solve problems creatively - local government is facing increasing pressures and needs people who will look at issues in new ways, while still being able to deliver the services that 1.5 million local people expect.