This year’s Patchwork Masterclass programme kicked off with an inspirational session with the Ministry of Justice’s Permanent Secretary, Sir Richard Heaton. Having been fortunate enough to be selected as a future Patchworker I was really looking forward to the first session and getting to know my fellow Patchworkers better. As an Apprentice working in the transport Industry, I have been surprised by the amount of political interest in current developments such as HS2 and look forward to understanding more about the political processes which shape and govern such complex infrastructure projects throughout my time on the Masterclass programme. Having done research before the session I found out that Sir Richard is a keen advocate of promoting diversity and inclusion in the Civil Service, an ideal Patchwork mentor.
The session took place in the KMPG offices in Mayfair, which only added to the sense of the occasion. We had some time before the session to get acquainted with each other and go over the questions we had prepared in advanced and I was one of those selected to put forward a question to Sir Richard. Before Sir Richard arrived, we were briefed on the correct way to address titled individuals, definitely something which I needed a lesson in!
During the session Sir Richard spoke to us about his career journey, barriers he had faced in pursuing his ambitions and ways we could develop to enable us the best chance of succeeding in our desired careers. It was inspiring to hear from such a senior figure that background and circumstances are no stumbling block to achieving career goals. It was also especially interesting hearing about the Ministry of Justice and the role of Civil Servants in working with politicians to drive through policy change: an area I hope to gain better understanding of as I progress through the Masterclass programme.
After the session we were fortunate enough to have the space available for networking and socialising which provided an excellent opportunity to get to know fellow Patchworkers better. It was great to meet people like myself who are keen to drive real community change and transformation.
My thanks go to the Permanent Secretary for giving up his time to speak at our first session, the Patchwork team for organising it and the KPMG team who provided such fantastic facilities and service. I look forward to seeing where my Patchwork journey will take me in the future.
By Andrew Wolckenhaar