ODPA mentor programme success

Published: 19 September 2019

The Office of the Data Protection Authority’s (ODPA) inaugural summer mentor programme saw a local student make a successful contribution to the regulator’s activities.

Brailen Carey, who is studying a BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Business at Guernsey’s College of Further Education, spent eight weeks with the Office of the Data Protection Authority. Her role over the period included translating aspects of the Bailiwick’s Data Protection Law into a more visual and understandable format and participating in a behavioural assessment activity as part of staff training.

Emma Martins, the Bailiwick’s Data Protection Commissioner, highlighted the mutual benefit of the programme and how important it is for islanders to take an interest in protecting their data.
‘The opportunity to have a student working with us over the summer was hugely positive for both Brailen and the office. We are all generating more data than ever before and the younger generation is often portrayed as uninterested and disengaged with questions of data privacy. Brailen proved that to be very far from the truth; she was able to contribute meaningfully to discussions around what good regulation looks like and how we can work to improve awareness of rights and responsibilities across our whole community.’

'We learnt as much from her as she did from us. Data protection is increasingly important for all sectors and generations and how we ensure our jurisdiction is well regulated is not just a matter for us as the regulator, it is a matter for us all.’
Brailen found her experience at the ODPA educational and full of opportunity.
‘I was given numerous tasks to complete over the summer and the behavioural assessment was particularly interesting; it explained the different aspects of your personality and behaviours and the best way of using your traits within the workplace. I feel that all the experience and training gained during my time with the ODPA will be beneficial to my studies and future career.’
The ODPA’s mentor programme allows the regulator to gain a better understanding of the younger generation’s views and habits regarding privacy and their data while also fulfilling an important role in providing training and employment. It is also committed to connecting with all the Bailiwick’s residents and is embarking on an outreach programme aimed at engaging young people, to listen to them and learn from their views and experiences.

Louise Misselke, Principal of Guernsey’s College of Further Education, emphasised the importance of schemes including the ODPA’s mentoring programme.
‘Work placement is vital for our full-time students as it enables them to gain specific skills related to their course which really support assessment and achievement in their qualifications. Placement is central to enabling students to gain confidence and can support progression on to their chosen career. I am so pleased that the ODPA was able to offer a placement opportunity, a really interesting experience which is relevant to every area of employment.’