1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
In my current role, I am a finance business partner supporting an operations workforce with their day to day expenditure. The role is varied with many ad hoc challenges and with many stakeholders to liaise with. My main job is to help scrutinise and mange staffing costs amounting to around £170million. Alongside my 'day job' I am currently undertaking professional accountancy qualifications.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
As mentioned above I am undertaking accountancy qualifications that will hopefully be a prelude to further study resulting in an end goal of full chartered accountancy. Funding has been provided by my employer to support me in both my training and exams.
I have learnt a lot within my job role about how the civil service and business functions. I have also been exposed to a vast array of stakeholders and been given lot's of opportunity to develop.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
My team are excellent. They were very welcoming when I joined and have supported me in everything I've tried to achieve.
The work has been challenging and has forced me to develop skills I didn't posses or were perhaps weaker in others such as using Excel.
The Civil Service culture is brilliant but there are challenging conditions to operate under.
Overall I definitely enjoy working within the civil service.
4. How valued do you feel by Civil Service?
My manager is top notch providing me with regular feedback and providing many checkpoints for positives and also thing that require work or improvement.
I have also received internal recognition and have been involved with task and projects which has exposed me to higher level work.
I have been valued by external stakeholders whom have commented on my performance.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The programme is very bottom heavy. While I have been given plenty of time to adjust and fit in, there has been a bit more pressure on the back end of the programme as hard deadlines approach and more exams arrive.
I have however been given ample support to achieve my goals and have been given the opportunity to study in work.
I also have a network of support through managers and assesses whom are all keen to see me succeed.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
Tutors have been friendly but not as readily accessible. The classroom training has been top notch. However the external assesses have not been able to provide as much personal support as I would have liked.
However, I think this may be a staffing / funding issue rather than attitude, seeing as the assessor is lovely and genuinely wants me to succeed.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
I receive a tremendous amount of direct support from my manager whom is very understanding of being in position of day job plus study. My mentor has been great at keeping in contact and developing and cultivating a relationship. The general attitude of everyone who has been around me has been excellent and no one has ever suggested me ever being a burden.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
The salary is great for an 'apprenticeship' and sets a standard that other large companies should follow.
There is a great work/life balance and a focus on wellbeing too which would be hard to follow in certain sectors.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
There are company opportunities outside of work but many of these are limited by geographical location.
There is a great option to support charity five days a year and also an opportunity to engage in sporting activities also.
Voluntary initiatives are encouraged and there is a positive response to new ideas so there is nothing stopping someone implementing something that perhaps already isn't offered.
9. Would you recommend Civil Service to a friend?
The Civil Service is a rewarding place to work. Great atmosphere and culture and it is a place where real learning and development can take place.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Civil Service?
If you are looking for a great place to work with a rewarding career you should check out the opportunities available via the website. Attend open days and if possible try to gain experience via work experience.
Be yourself and be confident when applying or attending assessments and most of all, try to enjoy it!
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