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22 Nov 2019

My work placement experience at Peel L&P by Shaun O’Neill

I have recently undertaken a four-week work placement with Jo Holden and Laura Atkinson in the Sustainability team at Peel L&P.

Having previously worked as a Legal Costs Draftsman since leaving College in Culcheth, a few years ago I realised that I wanted a career change. Fortunately, myself and my wife were presented with the opportunity to move to China, where my wife was offered a job as a teacher at a prestigious international school, and during the three years we were living in China, I completed my degree in Environmental Science (as well as learning basic Mandarin). 

I decided to pursue a work placement with Peel L&P as I found that, whilst I had the academic qualifications and lots of experience of working within professional office environments, my lack of experience in working in the sustainability sector was proving to be a barrier to securing full-time employment. As a result, the experience I have gained during my time at Peel L&P will prove to be invaluable when it comes to attracting recruiters, and hopefully lead to a full-time job in the near future.

During my four weeks, I have been involved in a number of interesting and important projects. From assisting and contributing to a sustainable procurement project, to producing an ISO 50001 energy management system case study, all of the work I have been involved in has sparked my interest and really confirmed to me that this is the area that I wish to pursue as a career.

As well as the projects I have been involved with, I have visited a number of different Peel L&P sites including MediaCityUK, Quayside MediaCityUK, and EventCity, and have had meetings with various team members, all of whom have been very knowledgeable, down to earth, helpful, and have made me feel very welcome.

Whilst knowing a little about Peel L&P before I started, I have been surprised at the scale of projects the regeneration company is involved with and have been impressed by their forward-thinking culture and focus on employee development. I also commend their focus on the importance of integrating sustainability into their core business strategies, creating a Sustainability team to develop and implement these strategies.

A final word of thanks must go to Louise Morrissey, who gave me the opportunity to interview for the work experience, and of course to Jo Holden, who, along with developing an excellent works programme for me, has acted as a mentor, given CV advice and has been extremely generous with her time and knowledge on sustainability issues (which is vast!).      

Overall, I have really enjoyed my time at Peel L&P and will miss working with Jo and the team – I wish them all the best for the future!