DfTc, Lauren, Delivery Lead, Accessible and Inclusive Travel Division

Hear from a G7 based in the Birmingham office 

Originally from Wolverhampton, I’ve been a Civil Servant for over 6 years with the majority of this time spent in the West Midlands. I have never been based in the London office. I joined the Civil Service graduate programme (the Fast Stream) in 2017 and then was recruited to DfT through the same route as this campaign (Grade 7 Senior Policy Advisors) in 2020. In this time, I have built my confidence massively by having the opportunity to work on three very different and interesting policy areas: 

  • Union connectivity – examining the strategic connections between the four parts of the UK; England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and what changes might be needed to improve them 
  • Skills and the labour market – working directly with experts from business and education to tackle some longstanding skills and employment issues facing the entire transport sector, for example boosting the diversity of the workforce, improving transport’s “image” to highlight the types of careers people can have, and understanding the types of roles that will be needed in the future, especially in the context of the climate crisis 
  • Disabled people’s access to transport – working in the team that supports the Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee, ensuring that policymakers in DfT understand the perspectives of disabled people and factor this into the services they deliver. 

DfT’s Birmingham office is a fantastic place to work. My colleagues and I moved into a new office space in early 2023 that has been carefully designed – with our input – by an immensely dedicated team. The office is spacious and bright, with floor-to-ceiling windows letting in an impressive amount of daylight! There are lots of types of workstations, from your traditional desks (half of these can become “standing desks” with the touch of a button), meeting rooms of all sizes, informal spaces for quick meetings and private conversations, a “quiet carriage” where no calls are allowed, and more. And the community is fantastic as well; a really warm group of people working in a huge range of transport roles. There are many additional things to get involved with too: 

  • The Midlands Network – run by DfT Birmingham colleagues who put on socials, cultural outings, sessions to have lunch together and more 
  • Birmingham Community Champions – raising the profile of Birmingham across DfT and making it an even better place to work 
  • Birmingham Mental Health First Aiders – a group of trained colleagues who can be approached any time to talk about mental health and any issues you might be having 
  • Birmingham Clubs – too many to mention including book club, board game club, running club and more.