Julia Meakin, 36, HR consultant (training and development) of the Wrekin
Housing Trust, explains why she feels her job will require business skills in
How long have you been in this job?
I have been in this particular role for one year, since the organisation
underwent a major restructure.
What does your role involve?
Managing a training centre, a training team, having responsibility for the
training budget and ensuring implementation of the training and development
strategy, and training and development plan.
What is your current major training project or strategic push?
We are currently striving to gain Investors In People status and will be ready
for assessment next April. Pivotal to gaining this standard is having a fully
implemented performance development scheme.
What did you want to do for a living when you were at school?
I wanted to work in a zoo.
How and why did you become a trainer?
I enjoy performing to an audience and gain satisfaction from helping people
How do you think your job will have changed in five years’ time?
This is a new role as HR Consultant (Training & Development), and in the
next five years’ I expect that the ‘consultant’ role will develop in terms of
winning external contracts and expanding business outside of the organisation.
I expect to be responsible for the contracts, overseeing services rather than
What do you think will be the core skills for your job in the future?
Interpersonal skills, people management skills and business skills,
including budgeting and managing contracts.
What advice would you give to someone starting out in training and development?
Set an example to others and never assume you know enough or know it all –
there is always room for improvement. Be open to new ideas, fresh perspectives
and opportunities to learn.
What are your favourite buzz words?
‘World class’, ‘think positive’, ‘customer first’.
What self-development have you undertaken in the past 12 months?
I’ve just completed the ILM Management Diploma and have been taking French
conversation evening classes for my holiday.
How do you network?
Through attending conferences and following up contacts recommended to me. I
am also chair of the Housing Training Circle, which is made up of
representatives from a number of local housing providers.
If you could have any job in the world, what would it be?
Chat show host – maybe I could be the next Parkie.
How do you hope your colleagues see you?
As an effective manager who put the interests of her team first and always
strove for continuous improvement in services and people.
Which is the best management book you have ever read?
Fish!: A Remarkable Way to Boost Morale and Improve Results – Stephen C
Lundin, Harry Paul, John Christensen. Coronet (ISBN: 0340819804).