My name is Katharine Rutherford, I joined the Fast Track programme in February 2017 as a People and Business Support Officer for HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).
I was a ‘young’ (or at least that’s how I like to consider myself!) mother of two working in a job that I was far from enjoying when I came across the Fast Track apprenticeship. I was desperately looking for a career change, one with good prospects for the future but this was proving extremely difficult without the need to start at the bottom somewhere or go back into education. The opportunities and salary that the Fast Track Apprenticeship offered was the attraction and almost seemed too good to be true. Without any hesitation I applied and I cannot begin to explain the relief and excitement I felt when I found out I had been successful. Don’t get me wrong, the application process was tough and the waiting for my results was tough but it has been completely worth it. As the old saying goes, good things come to those who wait!
I was very nervous when I started the programme, I had concerns I would be so much older than the other apprentices and would possibly feel out of place. My worries and misconceptions were unfounded and as I fit right in as though I have been an employee of HMRC for years. My team and managers are also incredibly supportive of my apprenticeship and encourage me to get the balance right between study, work and family.
As for the work side of things, I love my role as a People and Business Support Officer, no two days are the same and I am very fortunate to have been involved in some great projects. My office was an official call centre for BBC’s Children in Need in November 2017 and my team and I co-ordinated the event which was a great success having taken over £36,000 in donation calls for the charity. I am the Awards Lead for East Kilbride which has involved me in producing and promoting East Kilbride’s first Awards timeline, co-ordinating creative writers and facilitating creative writing sessions, reviewing local successes to match against future award criteria and issuing regular updates to promote the up and coming award campaigns.
I highly recommend the Fast Track Apprenticeship to anyone considering it, it’s a fantastic opportunity to gain new skills both on the job and via external learning all whilst earning a salary. Regardless of what stage of life you are at, go for it. If I can do it, anyone can!