It’s hard to believe that two months have already passed since I joined the Civil Service Fast Track Apprenticeship Scheme back in November 2016 on the project delivery track. I was placed in the Department for Work and Pensions, specifically working within the Labour Market Programme on the Programme Controls and Assurance Team.
I left school in 2015, having achieved the International Certificate of Christian Education at Advanced Level. At this time, I was unsure of what I really wanted to do; I just couldn’t find anything that really “clicked” with me. So, as I thought that I might possibly pursue nursing or teaching, from September 2015, I decided to take a Level 3 90-credit BTEC in Health and Social Care. However, a few months into this, after completing work experience in both of these areas, I came to the conclusion that a career in health and social care was definitely not for me. Nevertheless, I decided that I would complete the BTEC I had started, keeping my eyes open for another opportunity at the same time.
Over the coming months, I began searching online for apprenticeships. I didn’t have a desire to go to university and I wanted to get straight into work, but still have the opportunity to learn. In February 2016, I was scrolling down Facebook and suddenly came across the Fast Track Apprenticeship Scheme and my interest was immediately engaged. I began reading about the scheme and was fascinated by the opportunities that this apprenticeship could provide for me. I particularly focused my attention on the project delivery track, as my Dad is a project manager and I have always had some interest in this area.
After a few days, I decided to submit my application. Following on from this, I was asked to complete some online reasoning, numeracy, and English tests. Then, in May 2016, I attended an assessment centre in Quarry House, Leeds. I distinctly remember feeling “this is where I want to work” as soon as I walked into the building. Now, months later, after successfully passing the assessment centre and being placed in the Department for Work and Pensions, I do indeed work in Quarry House, Leeds.
I am so grateful that I was given a place on this scheme, as the opportunities I’ve had so far have been astounding. My first introduction to the work I would be undertaking took place when I attended the Labour Market Programme team event before I even started in my role. This gave me a great overview to the programme and a chance to meet the people I would be working with, as well as introduce me to the many abbreviations I realised I would have to learn. At that time, it felt like a foreign language, but now I’m nearly fluent!
Now, after just over two months, I have taken part in a huge variety of tasks and have been given responsibility in many areas of work. For example, within just a few days of starting, I attended a Programme Risk Review Board and produced the outcome note for this meeting. Also within my first week, I took part in the Supporting the Work and Health Consultation telekit with Penny Mordaunt, the Minister for Disabled People, Health, and Work. I could go on listing the wide range of activities that I have taken part in, but it would take too long!
I look forward to starting the formal learning side of my apprenticeship very soon and continuing to develop along my career path. I know that there are many more opportunities ahead of me, and through this, I hope to invest in the Civil Service, just as they are investing into my learning and development.