Kashif Iqbal is Head of Transport within the NHS. We were delighted to have a Q&A with Iqbal to find out about his job and what it’s like working within a key sector.
I have always been interested in Supply Chain, even from a young age during trips to, for example, the supermarket I used to look around and think that everything in the store, the stock, the shelves, the tiles and even the store itself has been on a journey from many miles away to end up in that exact location
What does a normal day look like?
I am responsible for the transport department including all staff and vehicles; it is my job to ensure that we deliver blood and products to every hospital in Scotland to meet patient needs and to also support the movement of supplies and staff to collect blood and platelets from the public across Scotland. We also deliver a 24/7 365 emergency deliveries under blue lights when needed.
Do you like living in the Lanarkshire region?
Absolutely; my role has me mainly split between Glasgow and Edinburgh so for travel its perfect and there’s plenty of parks etc for good family time
What kind of training have you done?
Prior to this role I worked with 2 other companies on their Graduate management schemes which taught me general management skills; I then completed specialist transport training
What skills have you learned?
Too many to list, but the top 3 would probably be: People management, Problem solving, Project management
Do you have any professional qualifications?
I have a Masters in Business IT Systems from Strathclyde University and I also have my Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) for Operators License holders which is requirement for most transport management roles. I am also a Blue Light qualified driver
What skills are the most important for you to do your job well?
You need to have good people skills; when you are leading a department people look to you for guidance and support, you also have to be very good at problem solving as your team will always come to you when they have an issue they can’t solve themselves. I would also say that you need to have a positive drive and good analytical skills
Was there anything about the role that surprised you?
Having previously worked in the private sector I was (and still am) amazed at the dedication shown by each and every member of the team
Anything unusual about your job?
People are always surprised when you tell them that your are involved in the transport of Blood and Tissue
Do you get a lot of support from your employer?
Absolutely; the support they give is incredible and really empowers you to get the job done
What is your favourite part of the job?
The overall job satisfaction that it gives; even on a bad day which we all have; you go home knowing that you made a difference
Did you always want to pursue a career in this industry?
I had spent a long time wanting a career in Supply Chain but I never thought I would end up in Supply chain within Blood Transfusion
What is your advice to young school leavers looking to start an apprenticeship?
Whatever opportunity you go for; give it your all and commit to it; no one lands their dream job straight away but every opportunity is step towards that goal and an opportunity to learn new skills which help you get where you want to go
What is your career goal?
Having joined the public sector my career goals have changed from chasing job titles to setting more personal goals; my ultimate career goal now is to be able to say that when I retire I will have made a lasting impact on a public service and had a positive impact on public health
How does it feel to be a Key Worker, supporting the country’s fights against Covid19?
At times it’s all a bit surreal to think that we are working through a global pandemic but at all times it’s an incredible feeling when you see the hard work and dedication of your team and to work alongside them and be part of that
What makes you proud to be a key worker?
It’s all about the people you work with, their hard work and commitment makes you proud to be work alongside them