1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
Finance business partner, management accounting. Support key reporting activities in the year and assist in their completion e.g. business planning, month-end, year-end and quarterly reporting.
assist senior members of the finance business partners in carrying out analysis and challenge of business plans to demonstrate they are value for money
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
everyday I am learning something new and performing tasks I have yet to come across. There is always opportunities for learning and development, some of the training courses I have attended is 'presenting confidently' this really helped with my confidence when presenting, not just to a large audience but even to a small crowd like in a team meeting. It helped me learn how to translate information to others how I see it.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
The apprenticeship programme has exceeded my expectations 100%, in the first few months of me starting the role, I wasn't being pushed too much and chucked a whole load of work to do. this was a big worry of mine as I have entered a whole new area of business (finance) which I had very little knowledge of. The people are also very friendly and always willing to help out when I am struggling. My line manager has also been very supportive and always wants to know any issues I have, although I am given a lot of support I am still treated like everyone else which allows me to feel valued.
4. How valued do you feel by Civil Service?
My line manager is constantly providing me with feedback on the work I do, the work I am given to complete contributes to the success and completion of the business' objectives so that lets me know what I do isn't just adhoc work and tasks that no one else wants to do.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
the organisation of the programme is executed centrally via civil service resourcing which delayed the start date for me and also there was an issue regarding my clearance which prevented me full access for the first month. I have now since started my accounting course and business diploma, I have to say I have no complaints from now on. However, I feel like I am one of the lucky ones in this programme as I have been told some people have had to wait over 6 months just for the placement to start.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
there are two different components to my programme, one is the finance element and the other is the business area. The finance part of the programme is going really well and have had no issues, the tutor is very helpful and provides support regularly. however, my 'talent coach' on the other hand is less supportive and there is not a lot of guidance on the work that is set, its more just work sheets being sent over.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
there is support not just directly from my line manager, but also from the finance training officer and there is a member from the HR team who is frequently in contact with all apprentices about upcoming opportunities. Essentially there is always someone to talk to about any problems or even to just have a chat.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
the salary exceeded my expectation. it is actually more than advertised which was a pleasant surprise.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
there are always new opportunities in other government departments e.g. conferences, personal experiences, training courses. Also volunteering is heavily encouraged throughout the department.
9. Would you recommend Civil Service to a friend?
The civil service is a great option for new people in the world of work. There is a strong emphasis on learning and development and always opportunities to progress and try new things.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Civil Service?
when the assessment days come around be sure to learn the competency framework as this is what they assess you by. I did that and I believed it helped me a lot as I did not have a great knowledge on the area I chose. You are more assessed on how you are as a person and what benefits you can bring to the civil service and not just how well you can do a job. be aware of the extensive waiting times for clearance.
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