Student Policy and Research Officer placement with Hackney Council

Arzu Pirbudak, Social Sciences student, chats about her work placement

During my placement I worked as a Student Policy and Research officer in the London Borough of Hackney. Hackney is one of London’s most culturally diverse areas and as a result majority of my role revolved around bringing equality to its community.

Hackney Councils pursuit of social justice has at its heart the elimination of discrimination and inequality. The Council will do this through consulting and working with all stakeholders: staff, contracted workers, partner agencies, residents, service users and visitors to the area. It operates as an active member within the borough’s key partnerships and works with local stakeholder and neighbourhood forums in order to engage all communities in its work and involve them in building a truly cohesive community.

I worked within the Policy and Partnerships team which includes strategic policy, equalities, voluntary sector support, strategic partnership working and scrutiny.

My role consisted of several different tasks such as service user data analysis for the Hackney’s Community and Voluntary Sector Grants Programme, 2010 census data analysis for Social Grade and NS-SeC and a report on Hackney’s community networks to better inform policy which involved interviews and primary and secondary data analysis.

Other work included running seminar sessions for Hackney’s Faith Network on topical issues such as Universal Credit, Emergency Response to Homelessness and Gun & Knife crime. A vast majority of my time involved assisting Hackney’s Single Equality Scheme which fulfils the 2010 Equality Acts’ Local Government Duty to eliminate discrimination.

As a part of my role for the Single Equality Scheme I provided administrative support in the two-day evaluation of the Equality Framework for Local Government (EFLG) in which Hackney was recredited ‘excellent’. My placement provided an invaluable experience of the policy working world and helped pave my future career. As a result of my placement, I was able to select an interesting dissertation topic for my final year.

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