Longstanding colleagues here at the Commission
Having recently written a series of blogs about our new joiners, here in our final blog in the series we've asked another set of long-standing colleagues what keeps them at the Commission and the types of roles that they have worked on during their time with us.
Posted 14 December 2021 by People Services
Although we are a small organisation, we work hard to ensure internal movement where possible and really value the experience that our colleagues can bring to other roles within the Commission when they decide to move.
These four interviews show the high level of consumer protection that everyone at the Gambling Commission works towards.
Today we hear from Commission colleagues Julie Parker, Bimaljit Kaur, Lewis Stewart and Andrew Brissenden.
What is your current role at the Commission and how long have you worked at the Commission?
Julie: My role focuses on regulating the National Lottery in the Compliance team, but I am a Manager too – equally as important if not more so. I’ve been here 15 years and nine months.
Bim: I am currently a Senior Manager on the 3rd National Lottery Programme and have worked for the Gambling Commission since October 2006 – yes that’s right – 15 years (plus a few weeks).
Lewis: My current role is Industry Analyst (Online) I work within the Policy department and have been at the Commission for seven years.
Andrew: I’m currently working as a Compliance Manager, and I started at the Commission in February 2007.
During you time here have you worked in a variety of roles or departments or worked on any defined projects that have taken you away from your substantive role?
Julie: I’ve been incredibly lucky with opportunities across Regulatory Delivery in Licensing Lotteries, as L&D Manager where we recruited and trained 100+ people within 6 months to regulate the industry back in 2006, a Team Leader, a Quality Assurance project team member and then a move to the National Lottery in 2012 and I am still there now. I was also seconded to a 12 month Change Lead role for the Change Programme in 2015/16.
Bim: Before you ask, no, I certainly haven’t stayed in the same role during that time. Indeed, I’ve moved round the organisation throughout taking advantage of the many opportunities that have come my way and I have contributed to a number of high-profile projects and decisions over the years. To give you a sense of the roles and projects I’ve worked across; I started off in Licensing in 2006 at the inception of the Gambling Act, regulating the entire GB gambling industry under the new regime. I then moved to the Business Strategy Team working with various Programmes and I’m very proud to say I designed and launched our Local Authority (LA) Bulletin, a key communication tool for the Commission, which achieved a readership of over 90% across all LAs. I moved to the Policy Team, where I worked with HM Treasury compiling the first National Risk Assessment of money laundering across the GB gambling industry in preparation for the 4th Money Laundering Directive- pretty high-profile stuff. I then sought a new challenge as National Lottery Licensing Manager, where I acted as project lead for the first major price change to Lotto, the NL flagship game (again high profile). More recently I was promoted to Senior Manager and will soon be taking on the role of Licensing Lead for the transition to the 4th National Lottery. Exciting times!!!
Lewis: During my time at the Commission, I have worked in three different roles: Licensing officer, Account Manager and Industry Analyst. Licensing Officer was my introductory role to the Commission, this was a good place to start due to the width of knowledge required. This position gave me great insight into many different sectors of the gambling industry, and I found myself working with a diverse set of departments allowing me to understand in detail how the Commission and the regulatory side of the industry operated. As an Account Manager, I was given the opportunity to focus on the remote side of the industry and upskill myself in new and upcoming areas of the gambling industry. This put me in a strong position to take what I enjoyed most about my role to the next stage and successfully apply for remote specialist roles within the Commission. My current role as industry analyst (online) allows me to use all the knowledge I have received during my time in the industry and apply it to protecting the consumers from potential harm. This is most notable done through Cross-departmental and stakeholder specialist support. What I enjoy most about the role is that it requires me to monitor potential harmful emerging online products or trends disseminating the information accordingly so relevant areas of the Commission are aware and understand potential issues we may face in the future.
Andrew: I started out in Licensing as a Licensing Officer and worked though the initial regulation of the industry. I worked on a wide variety of different workstreams in licensing and was part of the remote team that looked at the change from Point of Supply to Point of Consumption for the remote sector. The role changed drastically over the years as the LCCP evolved to meet the changes in the industry and our understanding of how in practice the industry functioned. Whilst I didn’t specifically go out of department to work on defined projects there was always something that came up and needed to be looked at and the job was very rarely dull.
I made the move to the Compliance team after about 10 years and after the last 4ish years I have found it to a diverse and challenging role. Compliance is a tricky subject to work though as there are so many different aspects to consider and I’ve learnt a considerable amount and developed skills and knowledge in several different fields ranging from AML, Safer Gambling, Marketing & Advertising, Financial Auditing and People skills.
What keeps you at the Commission?
Julie: Regulating the National Lottery – a fascinatingly complex operator and a national treasure. I am proud to see how the work I do impacts on Good Causes for the benefit of society. The team I work with are also fantastic.
Bim: It’s these opportunities and my passion for wanting to protect consumers that has kept me at the Commission for all this time, having already established a career in the financial sector which really didn’t give me the job satisfaction that I needed and craved.
Lewis: My role can have a direct impact on everyday consumers and knowing I am helping protect them from potential online harm is one of the most positive parts of my role. The remote gambling industry and all the grey areas surrounding its legislation is something that has always interested me. The commission has allowed me to find a role which is based on these interests, and this helps motivate me to succeed.
I signed up to the union at some point within the first two years after I joined the Commission, and my only regret is that I never joined on my first day. The union has provided me with consistent help and advice throughout my time here and it gives me confidence working at the Commission knowing that they are always there to help.
Andrew: The first is the people, I can’t say that in all my years here there has been a single person that I didn’t in some way like and get on with. There are always times when you butt heads with colleagues but in the majority of cases there is discussion and on occasion heated debate but at the end on most occasions the right course is found. It is a diverse and friendly place to work but any new staff members should be careful of the food that is usually all around the office as we are a group of feeders with some exceptional bakers. The other is job security, whilst there are massive changes ongoing there is always going to need to be in some form a regulator to keep the industry under control and to protect consumers.
Is flexible working important to you?
Julie: Absolutely. I work 4 days a week and see and feel the benefits of hybrid working. I care for my Mom too so flexible working allows me to consider her needs and move things around when I need to.
Bim: Another key factor that has also influenced my decision to stay at the Commission is its flexibility, which, I value greatly (recognising that I have an ongoing medical condition which I manage but certainly not hindered me).
Lewis: Flexible working is very important to my work life balance as it keeps me positive and healthy in my role. It provides a platform for me to better focus during work hours, leading to higher productivity and better job satisfaction. In addition, flexibility with remote working reduces travel costs helping me financially.
Andrew: Flexible working is really important for me, I’m one of those who likes to be in an office and to differentiate home from work but as a dad of two young children there are times when the ability to work from home and to manage time around sickness or other obligations is a godsend.
Are the Commission's benefits important to you?
Julie: The ones I use, yes. The Pension scheme comes to mind particularly. I don’t use My Lifestyle to any great extent and have found it a bit cumbersome.
Bim: The all-round benefits are great too, as are the people who work here, who have been integral to my success.
Lewis: In addition to the benefits, I have already outlined the Commission learning and development programme has helped me continuously improve. Most recently I attended courses on the advance uses of excel to help me better manage data tasks in my role.
Andrew: The main one I use is the childcare voucher scheme which as a tax free deduction is great for covering child care or school clubs. I did once use the Curry’s voucher discount to sort a new gaming laptop and that was a nice perk as well as getting money off my eye tests and a donation towards the glasses I use for work. There are a wide variety of benefits available and I’m sure that many colleagues use them to good effect.
If you are interested in finding out more about the Gambling Commission and the great work that we do around consumer protection please have a look at our careers page (opens in a new tab).