The Takeover Challenge puts children and young people into real-life decision-making positions in organisations. Children gain a valuable insight and gain experience of a workplace, while organisations benefit from a fresh perspective on their work.

I recently got the opportunity to visit the Department for Education and take over the role of Emran Mian, the Director General for higher education. After meeting with Emran in the morning, which I really enjoyed, I then got to meet with the apprenticeships team. I really liked this as I found it very informative and relevant.

Afterwards I got to have a tour of the building. I was surprised by how similar each floor looked and felt like I would get easily lost if I worked there!

I then got to be part of the Christmas party planning meeting, where I found that they were very interested in my opinion and wanted my input on lots of things.

My favourite part of the day was lunch with the Director General of social care, I really enjoyed our chat, she was a really nice person.

After lunch I was very lucky to be taken on a tour of Parliament, I was really impressed by how quickly I got through security because I was with Emran. I loved the tour, even though there was a lot of walking.

When I met with the Permanent Secretary I was really interested to know more about his job title and its origins. I asked why the job title called them permanent, when no job is forever, and why their job wasn’t like a traditional secretarial job. This wasn’t something that the Permanent Secretary had been asked before, so he had to find out and then emailed me the answer later that day. I was really impressed that I got an answer and that the permanent secretary would send me an email.

Michael

Michael participated in the 2018 Whitehall Takeover Challenge