1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
As a Project Management Apprentice my tasks include writing bespoke business documents, liaising with stakeholders and analysing data. However work can sometimes be very mundane, or often non-existant.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I'm now far more confident in my work than I was upon joining and many of my skills such as stakeholder management have improved. There's also the opportunity to gain professional qualifications; such as APMP.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
The people where I work are mostly good; the apprentice community are very supportive and as are most of the line management. However the scheme is very disorganised and the scheme sometimes fails to meet expectations. In general it is relatively enjoyable.
4. How valued do you feel by Civil Service?
As a 'Fast Track Apprentice' I feel very under valued. Management do not push you to progress or give you challenging work. The 'Fast Track' scheme often feels very similar to a bulk recruitment campaign than a genuine head-start to your career.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The training is has been persistently poorly delivered from the start. My NVQ tutor provides never-ending amounts of support; yet the HNC fails to deliver. There is a lack of coherency across the organisation of the amount of 'study-time' required and support for any problems/issues is generally unheard of.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
The NVQ tutor is overwhelmingly helpful in all circumstances, yet the HNC tutor fails to deliver to a good standard. Assignment submissions take months to be marked; yet there is only a two week turn-around time for ourselves.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
Support is generally left down to line management, and as such there is varying levels of support across the organisation. However in general the support is their should you need it.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
The salary is great in meeting costs. It is one of the best paying apprenticeships available, and can be a key motivator during difficult times.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
There are a few organised events, however these can be infrequent. A lot of time outside of work is spent studying as the study leave provided often isn't sufficient.
9. Would you recommend Civil Service to a friend?
The only reason I can consider recommending the Civil Service Fast Track Apprenticeship is because of the salary it pays, and the grade you join the Civil Service at.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Civil Service?
The application process is long and drawn out, try to stick with it. Ensure you practice answering competency questions before attending an interview.
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