1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
I am working as a finance business partner, which involves the reviewing of budgets and forecasts, looking at actual spends and comparing to forecasts, going through reports to see where anomolies have come from, and working with work force plans to ensure that headcounts are correct. I discuss my finding with others, and challenge their spend to ensure is correct and accurate.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
Yes, I have developed my excel skills to a higher level and am able to do come complex formulas with the help from Lync courses and from the help and support from the colleagues. I have attened booster training days to get me ready to start my level 4 qualifacation, giving us a better foundation knowledge to allow direct entry. I have become more confident and ask for honest feedback, good or bad, so I can improve my work.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I enjoy the programme alot. I did not enjoy going to my previous job, however now I love going to work and cannot wait to be able to make a difference. I work with some of the most supportive people and I have ever met, with my direct line manager being amazing. She is there for me whenever I have a problem or if i need help. Anyone on my team would be extremely happy to help me if i had a problem. I am so happy with the the scheme and would recommend it to anyone.
4. How valued do you feel by Civil Service?
I feel appreciated by the members on my team that I work with everyday, and they made me feel valued and a member of the team from the day I started. I have only met my actual line manager once, and he has only phoned me 3 times since I started. He has no input in my development and passed the responsibility of me on to someone else. Luckily, the person I was passed on to has been amazing and should receive a lot of recognition for the help and support she has given me.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
It took almost a year from applying to starting my role. The website stated that we would start in the August, however I didn't even know if I had been sucsessful by then, and started in the January. Once I had started, I was missed on the email list for my apprenticeship group so was not aware that study dates had even changed. The induction was long and tedious, it was a lot of reading. My apprenticeship mentor is nice, and provides a lot of support when she is here to be able to help me compelte my work. I am given a fair amount of work to complete, and my team hierarchy is structured and correct to the chart I was provided with when I started. I am given a fair amount of time to study and compelte my training.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
When my assessor is here, I receive a lot of support to be able to complete my work. Work that is submitted is not always reviewed with any sort of speed, so you do not know if what you have done is correct and needs changing. She seems like she wants us to do well and that she will go above and beyond to help us complete out apprenticeship.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
I receive a lot of support from the employer and it is a lot more than I thought I would. My manager is happy to help me with my portfolio work, which is not something which she has to do. She is extremely happy for me to do anything which will help me evidence my learning and which will be useful for my development along the apprenticehip.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
The salary is fair and is higher than a lot of apprenticeships for the same role. I am able to afford my mortgage, my travel and all my living costs and not be worried that I will not have enough income to be able to support myself.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
I have attended two work events since I have started, and that is in 10 weeks. There have been opportunites to socialise outside of work and to make friends. When I am not working, I am able to spend time with my friends and family. The work life balance is a good split.
9. Would you recommend Civil Service to a friend?
Becuase the opportunities which I have received have been amazing. I have alrady recommened it and some of my friends have applied for it. They have seen how far I have come and the opportunites which are available to me.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Civil Service?
I would avdice future applicants to prepare for the online tests. I had left education 8 years before, and did not expect how hard it would be. If I had just left school, all of the algrebra would still be fresh in my mind, so I would adivce them to brush up on it. I would have liked to have known how long the actual application process would take, as the one we were provided with was 5 months out.
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