Skip to main content

The best opportunity I ever had

I joined the Civil Service Fast Track scheme (CSFT) on 16th November 2015. Before then, I was studying for my A Levels and considering applying to university. At the time, I wanted to study Politics and knew that was the career path I wanted to go down. I then found out about CSFT scheme and knew immediately that I wanted to apply; it has been one of the best decisions I have made.

This scheme offered me the chance to pursue a higher level four apprenticeship, which is the equivalent to a foundation degree. It has also allowed me to gain confidence, experience and skills that I would not have gained at university. At school, I was quite shy and my confidence was not that high. But with the support of my line manager and colleagues, my confidence as grown so much more than I ever thought it would have.

Before I started at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), I was incredibly nervous. However, soon after I started, that feeling disappeared. Everyone I met was very welcoming, supportive and interested in learning more about the scheme I was on. From the beginning of my placement, I was given challenging work and already began to feel like I was a highly valued member of the team. I am now working on Universal Credit; my role is fast paced and no two days are ever the same. At sixth form, we covered Universal Credit when I was studying government and politics A Level. However, it is completely different when you’re involved with the project first hand. The Universal Credit Programme is incredibly interesting and it is a great experience being involved in something which is always progressing and changing.

One of the biggest challenges that I have faced so far is being brand new to the team. When I was in my first week, I felt like everyone was speaking a different language. I thought that I would never be able to understand what everyone was talking about. Slowly but surely, I began to pick up and understand all the different abbreviations and it became a whole lot easier.

This opportunity has been the best I have ever had. This experience has allowed me to begin a career in a field where I have always wanted to work and I am looking forward to all the opportunities and experiences it will bring me.

The application window for the Fast Track apprenticeship is now open! Please click here for more information

Sharing and comments

Share this page


  1. Comment by Dom lane posted on

    Excellent blog - real good news story for the FT apprenticeship scheme.

  2. Comment by Jenny Ellis posted on

    Really enjoyed reading about your journey to date Scarlett. Wishing you all the very best with your career.

  3. Comment by Natalie Mills posted on

    Lovely blog Scarlett, so positive. Thank you for sharing your personal experience.