Pathways 2 Procurement: Meet Riley Gibson

  • 13/02/2024
  • Written by Riley Gibson

At NHS North of England Commercial Procurement Collaborative (NOE CPC) we are proud to be part of the Procurement 2 Pathways Graduate Training Scheme which gives graduates the opportunity to develop a career in NHS procurement. In September 2023, we were delighted to welcome two procurement graduates to the organisation – Riley Gibson and Kristie Gill – to provide them the chance to work at the heart of the NHS and advance their careers and skills in the procurement sphere. To discover more about their experiences with the scheme, we spoke to Riley about his procurement journey so far.

“Before starting the scheme, I was studying for a Masters in Modern History at The University of Sheffield. I've had some work experience as a student, including an internship at Sheffield Museums, but this is the first full-time job I've had.

“The main driver behind applying to the scheme was that I wanted to work in the NHS, or public sector more broadly, so I could have a job that I felt was making a positive impact. The scheme also seemed like a good opportunity to apply the research, writing, and communication skills I developed while at university, and so far, it has been.

“To sum up my role as a Procurement Graduate it would be that I help and learn. Being new to procurement and NOE CPC means I am still in a position where I’m learning the ropes when it comes to procurement and the processes that are required through our work, but through helping on as many projects as I can, and completing my CIPS qualification, means I am becoming more confident in my knowledge.

“During the scheme, I will be rotating through the different departments at NOE CPC. I am currently on my first rotation working with the procurement support team where I’ve been helping wherever I can with support desk enquiries and ongoing framework/tendering tasks whilst also shadowing on several other ongoing projects. Overall, it's been incredibly useful in helping me learn how processes in the organisation work and the ways we support our suppliers and customers.

“Coming into a new space and industry brings with it a lot of highlights, but one of the greatest must be all the new people that I've been able to meet and work with. NOE CPC is full of welcoming, knowledgeable people who are willing to help and guide you whenever anything is unclear or difficult. Even beyond NOE CPC, getting to meet and know the other graduates on the scheme across the country has been great as well.

“When I initially started the graduate scheme, I expected something new and challenging, which between the work and apprenticeship has been, but I also tried to go in with as few expectations as possible. Given that procurement was new to me, the scheme and work were something that I knew I'd need time to get to grips with. I'd say this approach has helped a lot and allowed me to work and develop as new tasks and opportunities have come.

“It's most important to remember that the scheme exists not only to get you into work but also to help you develop. Knowing where your strengths are with communication, research, and leadership is as important as knowing where your weaknesses are with them. Being eager to learn and develop, and recognising where you can learn and develop, is crucial to success anywhere, especially when it comes to the graduate scheme.”

Read about Kristie's experience with the procurement scheme. 

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