1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
Worked a 'hub operations manager' - this involves managing the flow of people and teams through the North West digital hub as they progress through their project lifecycle. I also lead on communications, this involves developing and distributing written and verbal communications to about 700 people. I work along graphic designers and comms professionals to do this.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
Learned a whole host of new skills.Firstly; communication - I've learnt to adapt my writing style to influence and engage people. My leadership skills have also improved massively. Civil Service have also put me on Agile project methodology courses and also more general courses such as how to influence people.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I've loved it. The people are amazing, they understood in the early days that it was all new to me and I wasn't going to pick things up straightaway. As I grew, they gave me more and more rewarding and challenging tasks to meet my development needs. They also were understanding that the apprenticeship was a lot of work, and gave me study time when I needed it.
4. How valued do you feel by Civil Service?
I feel very appreciated. The fast track apprenticeship is supplying a new wave of top Civil Servants and I really felt like that. My colleagues, DWP and wider Civil Service have made me feel incredibly valued.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
very well. There is a set training course schedule and the NVQ and HNC were ran by Capita pretty well.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
Capita gave me great support when I needed it. My assessor was always at the other end of the phone
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
a lot. My manager and team were great. I was allocated 1 study day every 2 weeks and that felt like the right amount. I was also given a great mentor and they've also been great.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
Flexi time, 23 days holiday (+ bank hols), 23k salary... what more could you want. When I travelled and stayed over night all my expenses were paid etc. The Civil Service is second to none in this section.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
lots and lots. I'm in HASSRA which is our sport and social club and they have so much going on! I've done archery and clay pigeon shooting for a very good price.
9. Would you recommend Civil Service to a friend?
salary/benefits - opportunities once you're inside the Civil Service (there are hundreds of new jobs available to internal candidates only)are the 2 main reasons
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Civil Service?
Online tests are pretty basic, but take yourself to a quiet space to complete them. Interview, prepare well for the competencies; know the 'standard' answers inside out. The interviews are there to get the best out of you, take in some notes (it looks like you're dedicated and prepared). Group exercise is like any other, just get stuck in and but don't be bossy and take over. Also be assertive and let the quiet people have a voice, you'll look incredible for that.
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