Get to Know Mike Heelas, Health and Training Category Lead, Crown Commercial Service

The ‘Get to Know’ series showcases staff from around the NHS Workforce Alliance to give you a glimpse of the variety of roles in our organisation, and the people who perform them.

This month, we’re pleased to introduce Mike Heelas, Health and Education Category Lead at Crown Commercial Service.

Q: What is your background?

For the last 16 years I’ve worked in the recruitment industry, the vast majority in roles delivering contingent recruitment services. I started out in a traditional recruitment agency before moving into an RPO role at Virgin Media, then spent 3 years in financial services with a large pension provider. Most recently I worked for an international engineering, design and project management company called Atkins, managing their contingent workforce. 

Q: What is your role within the NHS Workforce Alliance, and what does it involve?

I work as a Category Lead for Crown Commercial Service within the Health and Education team. My part of the team focuses on category strategy and will also look after the Permanent, Workforce Improvement Services and Insourcing frameworks once they are all live.

Q: Why are you passionate about this?

The NHS has always been regarded as a national treasure in my family but over the last couple of years they’ve really been propelled back to the forefront of the public’s consciousness. It provides a fantastic and often thankless service under incredibly challenging conditions. If we can play a part in helping the NHS find solutions to make their jobs easier or help their budgets stretch further then that should be something we can all be proud of.   

Q: What is the greatest challenge you face at work?    

At the moment my biggest challenge is getting to grips with not only how the public sector operates but also with the NHS, CCS and the NHS Workforce Alliance. My previous experience is in the private sector, and there are a lot of moving parts to all of these organisations which can sometimes be challenging to navigate. I expect as I become more comfortable in my surroundings that my challenges will shift too! 

Q: What was your first job, and how has it impacted your career?       

My first job was as a pot-wash in a local pub. I’m not sure it’s had a particularly strong influence on my career, other than me realising that I absolutely didn’t want to work in a kitchen under any circumstances.

Q: How would you spend a perfect day off?

Doing a bit of DIY, playing with the kids, watching endless amounts of sport (away from the kids) and a BBQ in the sun, sounds like a pretty perfect day.

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