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Meet Our Staff

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For all recruitment queries contact:

 

Michelle Allan

Tel. 01506 282012

Email IS Recruitment

Here, some of our staff share their stories of working at the Improvement Service.

 

 

Hannah DerbyshireHannah Derbyshire

Research Manager

 

I joined the Improvement Service in 2012 as a Graduate Assistant in the Research team. My interest in research and social policy began while studying Criminology and Sociology at the University of Stirling and I was keen to enter a career in research outwith a university context.

 

Working as a Graduate Assistant, my skills developed as I gained first-hand experience in conducting and supporting a wide range of projects,  involving use of a variety of in-depth statistical analyses. My role included leading a study into inequalities in Scotland, supporting the development of online tools, working with Scottish Government working groups, as well as assisting colleagues internally with research-related tasks. I benefited from working closely with senior management on several projects and attending meetings with external stakeholders, including ministerial working groups.

 

My career and skills development continued after beginning the role of Research Officer. Working here, I have continuously gained new experiences, learning from senior colleagues ‘on-the-job’, attending workshops and seminars, as well as through formal training. As Research Manager I am now responsible for leading the research team. This involves managing analytical support for both internal and external projects, as well as the delivery of independent studies and the development of data tools. The Improvement Service offers many opportunities to work in the Scottish local public sector and social research.  It is a great environment to work in with supportive colleagues encouraging participation and valuing involvement at all levels.

hannah youngHannah Young

Project Manager, Economic Outcomes Programme

 

I graduated with an honours degree in Business Management from Edinburgh Napier University in June 2012 and began to look for relevant graduate positions. I was keen to work in the public sector so when I saw the Improvement Service advert it seemed perfect. At the time the organisation was looking for a number of graduates in various roles, but business support seemed most relevant to my degree.

 

My graduate role involved supporting the Business Manager and the wider Business Support team with day to day tasks. This included a range of tasks in areas including finance, HR, recruitment and general administration. A large part of my role involved supporting all of the teams within the Improvement Service as required. Although this work gave me a lot of opportunities to develop my skills and experience, I was looking for a more challenging role and applied for the Economic Outcomes Project Officer role when it came up in February 2013.

 

My favourite aspects of the Graduate Pathway Programme and working at the IS are;

 

  • Learning from people with a wide range of skills and experience;
  • Responsibility and being trusted to use your own initiative;
  • Ideas welcomed and opinions valued by management;
  • Opportunities for development and promotion;
  • Networking opportunities;
  • Flexible working practices.

nicholas cassidyNicholas Cassidy

Research Officer

 

I joined the Improvement Service in January 2015. After graduating I worked on a graduate scheme with a marketing and merchandising company for just over a year. I was attracted to the Improvement Service by the opportunity to work with local government, and especially by the organisations dedication to making a difference to the lives of the most vulnerable people in Scotland. In addition, the organisation offers a huge range of opportunities for career development both within the IS and in the future. This comes not only from the training that is available, but the opportunity to meet and work on a variety of projects and with a variety of people at all levels.

 

Working in the research team, my role involves providing support to all the teams across the IS on any research work that they require, as well as working on research projects for partners outside the IS. This gives me the opportunity to work with a wide range of stakeholders, and to take part in a diverse set of projects. For example, I have carried out research on relationships between a range of inequalities such as income deprivation and educational attainment, as well as research into councils’ governance structures. My position allows me to undertake all aspects of the research process from collecting, tidying and analysing data, through to writing up and presenting the findings. I really enjoy this variety, and the opportunity to develop my skills at every stage of the process, whether this is working with statistical software or helping produce a written report.

 

In addition to the research work that I do, the IS also offers the opportunity to attend events and travel to councils and hear about some of the inspiring work that is taking place to help improve the lives of people and their communities throughout Scotland. Additionally, I am really grateful to the IS for providing the support and freedom to learn new skills, and to identify and take development opportunities that not only allow me to succeed in my role in the IS, but that can develop my career more broadly. Finally, the IS offers a lot of flexibility and responsibility for setting the direction for your work, as well as providing the support that makes it easy to get the most of the opportunities that come from working here.

Tanya Kilgower, Violence Against Women Project OfficerTanya Kilgower

Violence Against Women Project Officer

 

After graduating from a Bachelor Degree in 2008, I began working for the Victorian Government in Australia where I supported the Project Coordinator of a state-wide sector reform project within the homelessness sector. I moved from State Government into the not-for-profit/third sector at the end of my contract, initially working for an alcohol and other drugs organisation.

 

In 2012, I moved into a health promotion role at a women’s health organisation where I remained until moving from Australia to Scotland in 2016. During my time in women’s health, my main focus was in the primary prevention of men’s violence against women and their children, and gender equality.

 

I started at the Improvement Service as Violence Against Women Project Officer in 2016. My role included working with the multi-agency violence against women partnerships in each local authority area of Scotland. I have now moved into the role of National Cedar Coordinator, where I support the Cedar (Children experiencing domestic abuse recovery) projects operating in 11 local authorities across Scotland.

 

I enjoy working for an organisation that covers all of Scotland as it provides the opportunity to learn about the wider service sector and different partnership approaches. The IS has fantastic flexible working policies which enable working from home and flexible hours.

 

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