SOCITM (Society of Information Technology Management)
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Socitm travel award 2009 (the Graham Williamson Challenge) goes to Scott Mansfield from Leeds City Council

IT Assistant Scott Mansfield (22), a member of the web team at Leeds City Council, has been named winner of this year’s Graham Williamson Challenge Award by Socitm.

The announcement of Scott’s win was made by Socitm Membership Board chair Rose Crozier at the Society's annual conference, held this year in Edinburgh 11-13 October. The learning-through-travel award was set up in memory of the former Head of IT at Argyll and Bute Council, Graham Williamson, who was passionate about mentoring people starting out in their career in IT.

Scott, who has a degree in Information Systems, has been working at Leeds City Council for the last four months, having previously held a student placement there.

Within his current role Scott supports schools with the use of their online learning environments, which are built on Microsoft SharePoint, and are designed to support 21st Century teaching and learning across Leeds . This involves him working with products such as Microsoft SilverLight and InfoPath forms.

Scott won the award on the basis of the submission he made describing how he would use the opportunity were he to win. In his submission he said “The experience will give me an understanding of a new culture, the uses of ICT to improve people’s skills and knowledge, as well as a deeper understanding of how technology impacts upon education and the curriculum within another country. It will also allow me to acquire knowledge on the changing dynamics within ICT and how it is evolving. This will help me to expand my skill set which I hope to use throughout my career for the benefit of our service users.”

Scott says “This is a great opportunity for me to fulfil my dream of working abroad and allows me to put into practice skills from University and my experiences working for Leeds City Council. I will be able to share my knowledge and ideas with the overseas organisation and then return more experienced, ready to apply my new capabilities within my own organisation. This is a good opportunity to establish links and share knowledge across organisations”.

Scott’s boss says ”Scott has demonstrated that he is capable of responding to new technologies and the challenges associated with them, but has also shown great enthusiasm for helping our customers get the most of the services we offer. All of Scott’s colleagues at Leeds City Council are very proud that he has won this opportunity and are looking forward to hearing about his success and experiences abroad. ”

Rose Crozier of Socitm adds: 'Graham Williamson was a huge supporter of the initiative and enthusiasm of young people. He would have been delighted to know that Scott will be able to have this experience thanks to the Award set up in his name.'

Socitm will be using its international connections to help Scott identify contacts in central and local government bodies to support his plans, and will mentor him throughout his involvement in the scheme by a senior member of Socitm.

Following his return to the UK , Scott will be invited to make a series of presentations to Socitm audiences about his experiences and what he has learned. He will also be invited to become an adviser to the Socitm Board focussing on membership matters.

A report from last year's GWC winner, Frances Kettleday of Cambridgeshire County Council, will be available on the Socitm website shortly.

Notes for editors:

You can view a photo of Scott receiving his prize from Rose Crozier, Chair of Socitm’s membership board on the Socitm09 blogsite at .

Copies of the photo can be obtained from in the Socitm Press Office.

The GWC was created in 2004 to enable a person starting out in ICT to undertake a short work placement in a local authority abroad, in order to broaden their understanding and knowledge of ICT in a wider public sector context. The award provides a budget of up to £5000 to cover travel, accommodation, and associated costs, with the expectation that the successful candidate is granted one month's paid leave of absence from work to fulfill the placement. Host authorities are identified through the links Socitm has with similar professional associations all over the world.

Further information:

Vicky Sargent, Socitm Press Office Tel: 07726 601 139

Scott Mansfield, Leeds City Council. Tel: 07841481923 







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