Wigan Council

Joe Nanson – Team Leader Apprentice

What is your job title?

When I started the course I was Principal Planning Officer.  During the course I was successful in my application for a more senior role at Wigan Council and I am now Deputy Team Leader in the Development Management Team.

How has the apprenticeship impacted on you?

The apprenticeship has given me much better leadership skills.  One particular aspect of the course which I believe has had a noticeable impact is having better knowledge of myself to know what my own strengths are and to understand my own emotional intelligence to ensure I can manage my emotions and try to remain consistent for my team.  This has helped me in my own work to remain calm in stressful situations and improved my own problem-solving abilities in these situations.

How will the apprenticeship training continue to impact on you in the future?

Some of the motivation, time management and feedback skills are things I regularly incorporate into my day-to-day working life and will continue to do this in future.  The grow model and coaching skills I have learnt will continue to benefit me and my team.  I believe the main impact from the apprenticeship course is that is has pushed me to learn new skills and try new things in the workplace which I wouldn’t have done otherwise.  This has given me guidance and support to take on these challenges and the confidence to continue with these new skills and take on challenges in future.

How has the apprenticeship impacted on your organisation?

I believe the apprenticeship course has had a positive impact on my organisation.  Firstly, by ensuring I have better leadership skills to help develop the employees in my team, but also by giving me the opportunity to undertake a project outside my normal day-to-day work which benefits my organisation.  In my case this was developing a new more efficient proves process for the production, review and publication of reports for delegated planning decisions.

How has Damar’s approach to training contributed to the impact of the apprenticeship on you and your organisation?

The Damar team has give me a lot of support through the course, helping me manage my time and balance this with my own workload.  The team has also give me feedback on areas I can improve in my work on the course.  The Damar Open Learning website has set out the learning materials in a clear and logical manner with recorded presentations, learning packages and links to additional materials.  Damar Open Learning and Onefile website took a little getting used to at first but were quite easy to use once I had gotten used to them.  If I were to give feedback I think future apprentices would benefit from more training and guidance on Onefile and Damar Open Learning at the outset of the course.

Why did you decide to do an apprenticeship?

In my role I mentored members of my team and wanted to progress into a more senior team leader or deputy team leader role.  However, I didn’t have any formal training or knowledge on management and leadership skills.  I thought the course would be a good way for me to get these skills to be a better leader for the members of my team and help me progress in my career in future.

What activities do you do in your day-to-day role?

In my day-to-day job I work on major planning applications for large scale commercial and residential developments.  I mentor less senior members of my team, to give them advice and support on their applications to help them learn and develop.  I interact with members of my team, the public, planning agents and developers and councillors.

In my new role I will be working more regularly on service improvements such as implementing new, and formalising existing, processes in the team.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I like to learn new things. Development management is a challenging environment which requires a wide range of skills and regularly presents new challenges and learning opportunities.  I like interacting with members of my team and helping them learn and develop in the planning profession to progress their careers.

I like the challenge of improving and delivering large scale developments with complex planning issues to balance and resolve.

What are your future career plans?

I enjoy working in planning in a local authority.  In the next 12-18 months I would like to progress into a development management team leader role.  In the more long-term future I may want to progress further into senior management in a local authority but that will be dependent on if/when I progress into a team leader role and how well that fits with my skills.