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A Day in the Life – Gail Brook, Senior Navigator

Infographic of Gails day featuring headphones, virtual team meetings, to do lists and targets

“I get into work around 8:30am and have just under half an hour before the rest of the team arrives.  I use this time to check my emails and make a to-do list for the day.  As soon as the team starts coming in the office is full of conversation so the quiet time before hand helps me get to grips with what my day will look like and means I have more time to answer questions and get involved in the discussions of the day.

At 9am I email a couple of training providers for updates on our participants, one was of the request of a Navigator who escalated with me that a participant has been referred but hasn’t heard back.  Turns out the training provider was going through a particular busy period and hadn’t been able to respond to emails within their usual SLA.  I also wanted to check in and see how some of our other participants are getting on and get some feedback from the provider that we could use as part of the participants development.

One of my responsibilities to my team is that of our working environment.

I like to make sure the office is warm, welcoming and functional at all times.

Any issues are raised to me and I have a couple of things I need to talk to Premises about this morning – so that’s the next task!

At 10am it’s time for the Programme Catch Up meeting.  This monthly get together is a chance for all the Seniors of MOTW to meet with the Programme Team.  We follow a set agenda every month where we get a Programme Update from the Programme Manager as well as Quality and Performance, Finance and Marketing updates.  We’re given the option to ask any questions about upcoming Programme activity and I take notes of any actions we’re required to complete and any bits of information that would be of interest to my team.  At the end of the meeting, each of the Seniors give an update on what is happening in their area.  If we have any concerns, issues, or problems we can raise them here and the Programme Team can help us to solve them.  It’s a great opportunity to learn what’s going on in the other areas of the Programme and shout about the successes of our team too.

The meeting finishes at 11:30 and I spend time completing any of the actions that I can do immediately and putting the rest on my to-do list.

At 12 noon I’m back in another meeting, this time with Movement to Work.  We met with the Head of Regional Development for the North East who talked through the programme, the work placements on offer and how we can work together going forward.  It sounds like a great initiative for our younger participants, and hopefully will change the way big corporate organisations manage their apprenticeships and employ those furthest away from the job market going forward. Following the meeting we’re sent all the links and documentation we need, and I send this onto the team so they can familiarise themselves with the offer and bare it in mind for their participants.

Just after 1pm I stop for lunch and a much-needed break from the computer screen (all my meetings have been held via TEAMs today!)  I have about half an hour away from my desk and when I get back I ring a couple of my participants to discuss their journey and plan their next steps. I also start up a new referral.

I don’t normally have my own caseload, however due to staff shortages I have taken on a couple of participants and it’s a nice change to go back to this element of our work and step away from the management side if only for a while.

The next task is the scorecards.  These are used as an audit tool for HumanKind and I need to do two files for each Navigator every month, ensuring they are compliant and up the HumanKind standard.  The task involves checking the files match, the evidence is scanned and uploaded, any receipts are scanned and all tasks are up to date.  I make a start and get through a couple of files which I’m really pleased with.

It’s now late afternoon, and I address some finance queries that need resolving and check up on the progress of our targets, starts and referrals in order to make a plan to boost referrals into the team.  I spend time booking in supervisions and case management with Navigators and our South Tyneside volunteer Karen.  These regular meetings are a chance for staff to chat through the case with me, raise any questions or shout about how proud they are!  It’s also a good opportunity for me to check everything is on track and at the point I’d expect and to make any suggestions for going forward.

Gail Brook

Gail Brook, Senior Navigator for South Tyneside

It’s approaching 5pm, and my home time.  One last email to our HR department to chase when our new team members will be joining us so I can give the team an update the following day and I’m done.  Out of Office switched on and I leave feeling like I’ve accomplished a lot, but knowing there is still a lot to do the next day.”

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