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New joiners to our Communications and People Services teams share their experiences of the Gambling Commission

Posted 26 October 2021 by People Services


With a busy recruitment market at the moment and a huge amount of competition for talent, we wanted to share some stories of our newest joiners to explore what attracted them to the Gambling Commission as an employer and how they are finding their new roles.

Two women sitting at a desk

As a small regulator with a large remit (we regulate both the Gambling Industry and the National Lottery) our work is both interesting and sometimes fairly specialised but we are really open to people with transferrable skills and a genuine interest in what we do. We also have teams that have roles that are not focussed on our regulatory work and most organisations have these or similar roles in their Head Offices functions.

Today we are talking to Chelsea Davies who joined the Commission in June 2021 as a Communications Executive and Karen Burrows who joined in October 2020 as the Workforce Development Manager (this role is often called a Learning and Development Manager in other organisations).

What attracted you the Commission in the first place?

Chelsea: I liked the idea of working for an arms-length body, in that you are working very closely with government, but also work in a smaller organisation that provides closer relationships with colleagues and more agility in your working style and environment. I was also attracted by the fast-paced nature of the gambling industry, working at a regulator for such a rapidly changing and growing sector was not likely to be boring!

Karen: All my previous career history has been in the private sector and I was keen to experience the public sector to see what it was like and if it was somewhere I could be suited to. My previous organisation genuinely cared about its customers and colleagues and I found the work meaningful and rewarding. This is something really important to me and so I was determined that I would only work in the public sector if it was for something I could really believe in. When I saw the advert and researched the work of the Commission I felt like this could be a place where I could add value and be proud to work.

Is flexible working important to you?

Chelsea: Flexible working is hugely important to me. Life is full of change, we change as individuals, external pressures on us change and develop over time. A workplace that allows for your professional life to adapt alongside this is hugely important in today’s unpredictable world. Flexible working allows for a healthy work-life balance which I think results it much higher levels of engagement and productivity.

Karen: Definitely! I work four days a week and I love it. Being flexible with where we work is also important to me. Our current arrangements allow me to have the perfect balance of building relationships and collaborating on projects in the office and then being productive at home followed by time for me and my family. It has lots of practical benefits for both parties, but I also think that flexible working says a lot about the culture of an organisation. It tells you that people are not only valued but also trusted.

Did the benefits play a role in why you applied?

Chelsea: Definitely! Gambling Commission employees are eligible for a Civil Service Pension and flexible working arrangements – both played a significant part in my choice to apply.

Karen: Providing the salary is fair for the work I do; it tends not to be a deciding factor. Saying that, I was really pleased with the generous pension scheme! Doing the work I do, personal development is hugely important to me and so when I heard that the Commission was part of a coaching and mentoring pool, where you can access professionals in Public Sector organisations across the West Midlands, that was definitely something that appealed to me.

Now you have been with us for a few months is that job what you expected?

Chelsea: It’s what I expected but also so much more. In Communications especially, our work is so varied. I work across so many different projects both internal and external, there is never a dull day. The sheer number of things we’re across is greater than I expected, and I’ve relished the chance to hone my skills and develop in-depth knowledge of the sector. The gambling industry is very technical, therefore establishing strong relationships with wider colleagues has been essential to getting to grips with how the industry operates.

Karen: It was tricky joining a new company in lockdown when you couldn’t meet people face to face. Saying that, everyone here has been incredibly supportive and generous with their time and knowledge. I don’t really know what I expected my role to be like, but it’s fast paced, meaningful, varied and challenging. I work closely with the L&D Specialist and Head of Organisational Development and Transformation to create and then deliver the development strategy for the Commission. In essence, this is working with the business to ensure that all colleagues have the knowledge, skills and behaviours to fulfil their roles and support the Commission in achieving its priorities. I work with talented people and learn something new every day. What’s not to love!

For more information on the Civil Service Pension please see Civil Service Pensions: Contribution Rates (opens in a new tab)

If you are interested in joining the Gambling Commission either in our Communications or People Services team or any other area please email recruitment@gamblingcommission.gov.uk for an initial chat.

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