Since I re-joined the Civil Service in June 2015, the talk of ‘Fast Track Apprenticeships’ has always been knocking round the office. I re-joined as an Operational Delivery Profession apprentice, similar to the Fast Track apprenticeship, but at an AO grade. I really liked the idea of gaining qualifications whilst working a full-time job, and experiencing all the benefits that came with it.
A few colleagues from my old department left for the Fast Track scheme in summer 2015, and it had me wondering. Could I get myself onto this scheme? What is it like? Is it different to the one that I’m on now? A quick look online allowed me (very easily) to gain an insight into the life of a Fast Track apprentice, through social media groups, online blogs, and much more.
I decided in spring 2016 to apply for the Fast Track scheme. I completed my online tests and waited patiently for the results. I passed! I was invited to an assessment centre in Westminster in late August. The sheer location of the assessment centre put it into perspective for me that this opportunity couldn’t be wasted. The assessment centre consisted of a written assessment, a group task, and an hour long interview. The assessors were very professional and guided all the candidates through the process very smoothly. By the end of the 4 hour assessment day, it was time to go home. During the train journey back to Newcastle, I began to realise that was what I wanted to do in the Civil Service, and it seemed like the candidates I interacted with on that day felt the same way too.
During a meal with family on a Friday night in September, I received an email. I was successful! I had passed the assessment centre and was told I’d be allocated a place in due course.
I began my Fast Track Apprenticeship in December 2016 working for HMRC Building our Future Locations as a Project Delivery Officer on the Project Delivery scheme. After settling into my new role, I’m looking forward to the learning aspect of the course and seeing what the future entails!