Featured Apprentice Story
Competition and Markets Authority
Rikki Holt is an Enquiries and Complaints Manager at Competition and Markets Authority. The Apprentice role is to lead the Complaints and Enquiries Contacts team, managing the CMA's public contact channel with the CMA’s customers, including managing the staff, producing reports, reviewing and refining processes, oversight of and handling complaints handling and the MPs letter process.
The team works in a dynamic environment and the role holder needs to demonstrate strong project and people management skills, organisational ability, team working, analytical, decision-making, interpersonal, and communication and strategic thinking skills. The role was particularly difficult during COVID-19, with all staff suddenly being required to work from home at short notice. The phone lines and mail services were closed due to the volume of contacts. Rikki was pivotal in ensuring his team were supported in continuing to respond to complaints and enquiries received at the time.
Rikki has made an exceptional contribution to making the CMA an inclusive, respectful and great place to work. This is alongside his day to day work in his role as Enquiries and Complaints Manager. In particular, he has personally spear-headed a number of diversity and inclusion initiatives that have made a huge practical difference within the CMA, notably helping ensure colleagues are supported and drawn together – both during the pandemic and as we move to a ‘hybrid’ working model. He has chaired the CMA’s Rainbow Network, and is an active member of the CMA’s Equality Diversity and Inclusion Working Group and the CMA’s VisAbility network (to support colleagues with disabilities and long term health conditions). Particular examples of Rikki’s contribution include:
o Organising a number of particularly high-impact speaker and panel events for the CMA’s Rainbow (LGBTQ+) Network, including individuals from across the public and private sectors. These secured some of the largest attendances we have ever had for diversity and inclusion-related meetings and have resonated particularly strongly with colleagues. They included:
§ A collaboration between the CMA’s Rainbow Network and Race Network to host a ‘Distinguished Speaker’ event with John Amaechi, who talked about ’how we empower our colleagues with protected characteristics to succeed’.
§ A 2021 ‘Pride Panel’ event, with the theme ‘Being Authentic at Work’ which drew together CMA colleagues with a number of others across the public and private sectors to talk about authenticity, identity and what it meant to bring your whole self to work, and how organisations can better support bi, trans and non-binary colleagues in particular.
§ A panel discussion featuring speakers from the CMA, FCA and Ofcom talking about LGBTQ+ visibility and allyship.
o In addition to his strong and important leadership role on CMA EDI matters, Rikki does so much at an individual level to help and support other CMA colleagues and to raise issues on their behalf. He is a particularly powerful champion for colleagues with disabilities, working to ensure a level playing field across the organisation.
Rikki has developed a number of valuable skills through this work, not least adding to his leadership, communcation and interpersonal skills, which will no doubt help him in his future career.