DYW Key Workers – Jacqui Semple

Jacqui Semple has worked at Angus Council for 21 years! Working in a variety of different posts before being promoted to Manager, Risk, Resilience & Safety. She also has a national role as Chair of the Emergency Planning Society and has been key in organising the councils response to Covid-19.

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NameJacqui Semple
Age53
HometownKirriemuir
Job TitleManager, Risk, Resilience & Safety
Previous JobsI commenced work in social care, including care homes, care management and community work. After a short time working with British Red Cross, I returned to Angus Council, as Emergency Planning Officer and have had various changes of titles. My current role is as a result of promoted post giving me responsibility for other service areas.

What attracted you to the industry you are in?

Change of career. I was working in social services, then had a short time working in the voluntary sector, which included working with emergency services and local authorities on dealing with emergencies locally.  A job was advertised, and I applied, and the rest is history.


How long have you been with the company?

21 years.


Describe your day-to-day role

I have responsibility for:

  • Risk management and Insurance – this means, making sure that the Council can identify any risks and that we address them as best we can.  We also require to have insurance in place to protect our employees and our communities.
  • Resilience – making sure that council is prepared for responding to any emergencies, such as the Covid-19 pandemic, that we can continue to deliver all the services that are essential, and that we keep people safe.
  • Safety – ensuring that we have health and safety polices and procedures in place for all the services that the council delivers; making sure we keep people safe.

We must adhere to the legal requirements.


What kind of training have you done?

I have undertaken a range of continuous professional development training to keep my knowledge up to date:

  • Leadership
  • Management
  • Dealing with Crisis
  • Coaching
  • Specialist training – safety, risk, insurance, emergency planning, safe events and different types of incidents, such as severe weather, flooding, terrorism, pandemic, media, high risk sites etc.

As well as training for specialist areas, I also take part in many exercises with partners, such as the emergency services, NHS, other local authorities etc, to ensure we have tested our plans and procedures ahead of any emergency occurring.


What skills have you learned?

Oh a range of skills, far too many to list, but the most meaningful and important is communication, listening, understanding, being respectful and having integrity.


Have you completed any professional qualifications?

I have undertaken a Degree in Emergency Management, at Coventry University and a Master of Science in Health, Safety & Risk, at Robert Gordon’s University, Aberdeen.


Do you like living and working in Dundee and Angus?

Yes, I love Angus; beautiful scenery, local attractions, businesses. I was born and raised here and have pride in everything I do as a citizen and working for public sector.


What skills are the most important for you to do your job well?

Keeping my knowledge current, leading by example, dealing with crisis, communication, being organised, analysing information, providing advice and guidance.


Was there anything about the job that surprised you?

Yes, every day I continue to learn something new.


Is there anything unusual about your role?

I can be dealing with so many different topics in one day; care for people issues, making sure we can cope with additional deaths, that there is enough personal protective equipment, that we are communicating with all other agencies, that reassurance is provided to the public, working with Scottish Government and so much more.


Do you get a lot of support from your company?

Absolutely.  Angus Council is a great place, to work, and Angus is a great place to live.


What’s your favourite part of the job?

Working with so many great people and making a difference.


Did you always want to pursue a career in this industry?

No.  I wanted to be a police officer. However, due to height restrictions at that time I did not meet the requirement; I was gutted.


What is your advice for young school leavers looking to start an apprenticeship?

Take every opportunity you can to learn and be all that you can be.  The world is at your feet and you can be anything you want to be.


What is your career goal?

To keep making a difference in everything that I do.


How does it feel to be a KeyWorker on the frontline, supporting the Country’s fight against Covid-19

It is a huge responsibility, but I am honoured and privileged to be able to do the job I do and work with so many other amazing people.  We all want to make sure we keep everyone safe. I also have a national role, as Chair of the Emergency Planning Society, the leading professional body for all those working in the resilience profession within the UK.  I have been asked to do a number of interviews, Sky, BBC, ITV, Radio etc to provide expert opinion on a range of topics related to the pandemic.


Tell us what makes you proud to be a Keyworker

Knowing that the role I have makes a difference to others and the support I can offer.