Alex L.

Head of Capabilty
Happy to mentor
Happy to be contacted

About me

Alex L.
Economics and Related Studies
Education / Sociology
United Kingdom

My employment

Head of Capabilty
Department for International Trade
United Kingdom
Government and civil service
Large business (250+ employees)

More about Alex

Has a disability
Low Income Household

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A day in the life of a Head of Capabilty in the United Kingdom

I focus on ensuring that all our staff (~4500) have the right skills and training to have the department run effectively.

Briefly describe the organisation you work for

I currently work for the Department for International Trade - we focus on the UKs future trading and economic partnerships and strengthening our existing ones as well!

But at heart, I am a Civil Servant and have worked in various departments up until now!

What do you do?

(When I’m not working on Covid-19 related projects) I focus on ensuring that all our staff (~4500) have the right skills and training to have the department run effectively. I’m also increasingly looking at future technology and it’s impact on building skills and what skills will be needed

Reflecting upon your past employment and education, what led you to your current career choice?

I’ve had a varied career up until now but my current role brings together aspects of my degree (Education), the Skills I learnt in societies at York (managing groups and technical skills with URY) and my previous jobs the most effectively

Is your current job sector different from what you thought you would enter when you graduated?

Not really - I think I knew it’s be public sector all the way for me!

Describe your most memorable day at work

I got to look after Angelina Jolie for a while. Won’t forget that in a hurry!

Are there any challenges associated with your job?

Tonnes! Pace, ambiguity, location (not everyone who loves government wants to be in London, especially me!) and the technology in government could always be better.

What’s your work environment and culture like?

It’s very flexible - that’s always been my takeaway!

What extracurricular activities did you undertake at university and what transferable skills did you develop through these?

I think I did more of these than my degree....but I put so much of my success down to them and the skills I gained. I was station manager and also a presenter on University Radio York which taught me so much I won’t be able to fit it in this box! I was also the male welfare representative on my JCRC, Media Chair and always a proud moment when I say I founded LegoSoc

What would you like to do next with your career?

Who knows!

What top tips do you have for York students preparing for today’s job market and life after graduation?

Really focus on what sells you as an individual. Skills and ability do nothing but bore me when interviewing- but being able to express how you work with people to get the best out of yourself and then is always a massive tick!

What topics from students are you happy to answer questions on?

Anything and everything

Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?

Previous departments:
Foreign and Commonwealth Office 2106-18
HMPPS, London and High Security Prison Groups 18-19

Next steps...

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