Waste Regulation : On placement with teamNRW
I graduated from Bangor University with a degree in Law during the first Covid -19 lockdown and despite getting good results I was lacking in work experience that other postgraduates had to offer.
It was difficult searching for a job in a tumultuous time where work was hard to come by and COVID 19 constantly posed as a potential risk.
Unlike graduates before me, my opportunity to pursue my career was restricted and as a result, there was a huge gap in my career journey where I could not pursue anything to build up the skills I need to achieve my career goals.
In need of support and further guidance, I signed on to Universal Credit to help me enter the job market and gain the confidence I needed to pursue further studies - and I am glad I did!
I was given the opportunity to join the Kickstart scheme that offered a variety of job opportunities to young people on Universal Credit who might be struggling to find work post COVID.
After looking through the many placements the scheme had to offer, it was the advertisement of “waste team assistant” here at Natural Resources Wales (NRW) that eventually caught my eye.
Having always had a keen interest in the environment and the laws surrounding it, I was intrigued by the regulatory aspect of the job and how something as nuanced as waste can be regulated in accordance with the law.
As soon as I took on the role, I was instantly welcomed by the team and felt very much at home working alongside everyone.
Within three months, I was given countless opportunities I would not have formerly been offered prior to entering my work placement.
Relevant to my legal interests, I was invited to shadow colleagues in court to gain a better understanding of how NRW prosecute those who breach waste regulations that are in place to help protect communities and the environment.
I was also invited to sit in and listen on legal surgery calls where I saw how legal enquiries are dealt with and how relevant, statutes and regulations can be applied to particular scenarios. My line manager also regularly shared updates within the community to me regarding any current, ongoing cases, which has helped to keep me in the loop on any recent legal developments.
Not only has my placement enabled me to build up my legal knowledge, it has also enabled me to touch up on skills previously lost or have not been developed since leaving high school.
My work mostly involved creating and updating spreadsheets for the team and having not used Word Excel in so long, I was concerned I might struggle with the task.
However, the more I worked with excel and followed the guidance of my line manager and other members of the team, it all came flooding back to me. And as a result, I feel a lot more confident working with excel, a skill that has only further developed since working here.
Other tasks I was expected to take on involved various administrative duties such as recording the meeting notes during our weekly meetings, ordering PPE for the team and assisting the team wherever possible whenever deadlines needed to be met.
Working here at NRW has been an enriching experience for me that has also set me on the right track towards future endeavours.
It has given me my confidence back by enabling me to perfect skills I may have lost during the two-year gap after my graduation. And it has also given me the opportunity to work alongside a wonderful team who have been very welcoming and accommodating of my needs since day one.
To any young graduate struggling to find work, I would highly encourage they consider a placement or apprenticeship opportunity, especially for an organisation as inclusive as NRW. It has been the perfect opportunity for me to build experience, whilst also doing something meaningful.
I would also encourage them to be open to all options. To not be afraid to try anything new, even if it means stepping out of your comfort zone.
I have thoroughly enjoyed working alongside everyone here at NRW and I would like to thank the team for giving me this opportunity and wish them all the best for the future!