An update on my journey within the GCS Flex Team

Blog post by Camilla Jones

Tuesday 24 January 2017

I am now five months into my role on the GCS Flex Team. My first posting was at the Department of Education, where I got to work with a great team on the Safety and Wellbeing desk for three months.

It was my first experience of working in the MCOM environment and I could really see the benefits of working with the media and digital team at all times – it meant that all the campaigns were integrated and things got done quickly. Another thing that positively struck me was DfE’s vast array of skills under one roof- for example video editors, videography and consumer press specialists, to name a few things.

After three months at DfE, I then moved on to my second post at the Foreign and Commonwealth office (FCO).  Once again I’ve been really impressed, everyone is so passionate about comms and in the short time that I’ve been here. I’ve already seen the team win two “Campaign of the Month” awards – this is testament to the great work that they are doing and I’ve learnt so much.

I am currently working in the Strategic Comms team on the long term comms strategy for the Gulf – it’s such an interesting opportunity and I can’t wait to see where we can take this project over the coming months. One of the highlights had to be the chance to represent the FCO Comms team at a COBR meeting – I never thought I would get to do something like that! Here is some feedback from Jeff Wilson – Head of Strategic Communications at FCO:

“For a few years now the FCO has run its Project Tasks Force to surge staff into short term demands where there is a need to deliver a specific, and measurable project.   This works well, but is largely aimed at policy and corporate delivery.  I was surprised to see that the Government Communication Service ran a similar scheme, but to provide short term communications expertise through its Cabinet Office Flex Team. I needed help to start up two campaigns for the Gulf Strategy communications effort while we waited for permanent staff to be recruited, and so I wrote to Michelle Cupples at the CO who responded straight away. 

Within a few weeks Camilla arrived, complete all the specialist skills, and Cabinet Office IT.  Camilla hit the ground running and was able to use her previous experience to great effect.    As we reflect on her three months with us, and as we are about to issue the contracts for our two major campaigns, I can directly see the benefit of using the Cabinet Office Flex Team.  I’m sorry to see Camilla move onto her new assignment, but I highly recommend this scheme.   I know I plan to bid again”!

Working in the GCS Flex Team is hard work and fast paced – you need to step into some high profile campaigns very quickly. It’s good fun and really interesting so if you would like to apply for one of our SIOs roles, please apply here.

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