New joiners to the Gambling Commission Policy Teams
Posted 6 October 2021 by People Services
At the moment, the recruitment market is busy and there is a huge amount of competition for talent. We wanted to share some stories of our newest joiners and explore what attracted them to the Gambling Commission as an employer, and how they are finding their new roles.
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 always open to people with transferrable skills and a genuine interest in what we do.
Our Policy work is hugely important to us as an organisation. We thought we’d share the experiences of two of our newest Policy professionals. They are Iain Mckie, who joined us in June as a Policy Manager whose role is specific to the Gambling Act Review and works on the Powers and Resources thread; and Mark Collins who joined us in February as a Senior Policy Manager in the 4th National Lottery Competition programme, with lead responsibility on Trust and increasingly other Licence and related issues.
We started off by asking them the following questions:
What attracted you to the Commission?
I have worked at several Government departments: the Pensions Regulator, the Scottish Government, DfT, and DHSC in senior policy roles. I was looking for a new department which would enable me to broaden my horizons. Much of the work I had been doing was Brexit and Covid related, so it was appealing to work on a policy project which would have lasting results.
In previous Head of Policy roles at other more specialist regulators I’d had a lot of meetings with the Commission over the years, and always enjoyed my visits to Victoria Square House. That and the opportunity to exercise existing policy skills whilst learning completely new subjects (which Trust was), and the fact that there might be wider opportunities within the Commission later along the line.
Is flexible working important to you?
Without a shadow of a doubt, flexible working is a key issue. It enables organisations to get the best talent, and let’s people sacrifice less of their day (and disposable income) to the commute and enhance family life, although I fully accept that there will be times when real face time is required.
I think it is now. Like a lot of people I’ve enjoyed some aspects of lockdown and not others. Ultimately, it’s easier to get people together or ask quick questions when you’re in the office, but working from home does give you time to focus on any drafting or presentations you have to do, without so much interruption. Ideally, I’d work two days a week in the office, with three if there was a particular identified need in some weeks.
Did the benefits play a role in why you applied?
I am always more motivated by the type of work that I do, but I expected to be paid market rates, the Commission’s benefit package was within my range of expectations, but the potential uplift to my career from the nature of the work – an invisible benefit, if you will – was certainly a contributing factor.
Not at first. My initial contract was only for a year following a generous, managed redundancy from a former employer who didn’t need the role anymore, so I was just on the lookout for a suitable role that let me retain most of that payout. There’s now the prospect that I’ll move into a slightly different but longer-term position at the end of the first year, and assuming that happens benefits will become more important.
Now you have been with us for a few months is that job what you expected?
The work is as interesting and challenging as I had hoped. Colleagues are super helpful, and I genuinely have no complaints.
I hadn’t realised the extent to which a lot of the initial structural thinking would have been done by the time I arrived, so in that sense having to take on a Trust that was already partially developed and see it through to final delivery was unexpected. With that said it’s required me to use a slightly different set of policy muscles, and that’s been a good challenge to rise to. With everything else I can’t say I wasn’t warned. It’s a good, collaborative atmosphere with very few egos. But you do tend to find that half of what you thought you were going to accomplish that week is superseded by events, which can sometimes knock-on into evenings.
If you are interested in joining the Gambling Commission either in Policy, or any other area, contact us for an initial chat.