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DfT: Commercial Development Programme - Interview with Amaan

Category: Interview, Government, Career Development, placement, department of transport, business study

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We spoke with Amaan - member of the Department for Transport’s Commercial Development Programme.

Amaan studied Business Studies at the University of Westminster and worked in the Home Office within the Border Force Directorate before joining the Commercial Development Programme (CDP) in 2016.

Why did you decide to apply for the Commercial Development Programme

I have always had an interest in the commercial world and as a graduate in Business Studies I wanted to do something more closely linked to my degree. The Government spends billions on purchasing goods and services from their suppliers and I wanted to be involved in the process of ensuring that we drive value from these contracts and save the taxpayer money.

What did your first placement involve?

My first placement has been in Group Procurement as an Assistant Commercial Relationship Manager. I have worked closely with three different Commercial Relationship Managers (CRMs) supporting them with their procurements. This has been across the Roads, Aviation, Property, HR and International Security and Environment areas.

My main role involves me getting to know what the customer wants in order to help draft their Invitation to Tender (ITT). This makes suppliers understand what the Department wants to buy. I then look to seek an appropriate route to market where I encourage the customer to compete the requirement as opposed to directly awarding the contract to a single supplier. This involves selecting the appropriate framework (essentially a pre-selected list of suppliers to tender the opportunity) or open market via the Government Contracts Finder portal. We then work with the customer to assess and evaluate bids before making the final award.  

Where will your second placement be?

I’ll be going into Rail Franchise. This division leads on the continuous improvement of rail franchising: investigating innovative commercial arrangements and financing models to deliver services that work for passengers and add value.

What do you enjoy most about being a CDP Associate?

So far, being on the CDP Associate Programme has given me the opportunity to engage and meet with a wide range of colleagues across the DfT. I feel that this has enabled me to understand our key priorities across the Department. Initially when joining DfT, I always thought that High Speed 2 was our only major concern but there are many other interesting pieces of work that are happening in other spaces and this excites me going forward.

What do you enjoy the most about working for the Department for Transport?

I have enjoyed being part of the modernisation programme for the International Maritime Organization building. Here I have been involved in running campaigns to find different suppliers for various works at this site. The work has been very insightful, from understanding different water treatment coatings for flooring to understanding the type of non-mineral based oils that go into Transformers. It has been a very interesting to learn about the different types of work and costs associated with maintaining & managing a building. I have also worked on interesting campaigns for sourcing research for Road Projects such as Low emission studies and connectivity where I have worked with world leading experts.

Any advice for those applying?

I would say be prepared for new challenges every day, there are new issues to deal with and as an associate you’re seen as the future. There are plenty of opportunities for further learning at DfT, as well as staff networks to get involved in.  The additional benefit of rotating every year will give you an opportunity to develop a strong skill set so you are ready to apply for a senior role at the end of the programme.

If you’re interested in the Commercial Development Programme, you can find out more here.

Are you interested in a career at Department for Transport? Please click here.

VERCIDA works with over one hundred clients who are committed to creating an inclusive work environment. If you are an employer and interested in working with VERCIDA to promote your diversity and inclusion initiatives and attract the best candidates, please call 02037405973 or email [email protected] for more information.

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VERCIDA works with over one hundred clients who are committed to creating an inclusive work environment. If you are an employer and interested in working with VERCIDA to promote your diversity and inclusion initiatives and attract the best candidates, please email [email protected] for more information.

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