1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
My day to day role is to be an executive assistant to a deputy director as well as monitor and process all HR related queries for 3 teams across the Cabinet Office. On a daily basis this involves general recruitment, processing loans and extensions as well as sensitive issues such as workforce planning, grievances and payroll.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I have developed HR knowledge and understanding and am now known for my expertise and experience in the field as well as a detailed understanding of Cabinet Office policies and procedures. I have developed skills such as organisation and collaborating and parterning, as well as understanding of when to be sensitive with HR related matters.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I really enjoy my programme and the opportunity it has given me to develop my understanding of the Civil Service. However, the work of the apprenticeship is quite repetitive and seems irrelevant to many of the areas we work in. There has been poor organization and we are now significant ly behind schedule.
4. How valued do you feel by Civil Service?
I feel very valued by the Civil Service. I am often recognised and thanked for what I do on a daily basis because without me there would not be anyone to help recruit and build our workforce to meet deliverables set by the ministers.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
Very poor - I have had 5 talent coaches since I began the programme. There was little communication around this nor was there any contingency plans for when one may leave at short notice. The HNC is repetitive and often feedback is not provided for 8-10 weeks which at that point it ks difficult to recollect the exact assignment brief to make changes, if necessary.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
Now I have a talent coach who has worked with me for 5 months, I am provided with a significant amount of support. Although, sometimes it is difficult to get hold of them. Our HNC tutor provides additional support in their own time to ensure we are meeting deadlines and not falling behind.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
My emloyer is very supportive of my apprenticeship and allow me half a day of a week to complete assignments. I have many members of my team who have contributed towards witness testimonies to ensure I meet my NVQ work.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
My salary is reflective of my job role and is very competitive. I feel equal to those of the same grade and it exceeds my expectations, particularly at my current age.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
Yes - there have been opportunities to visit no.10, Houses of Parliament and provide support to the new cohort as buddies. There are often team drinks which are outside of work. I have also been involved with promoting the apprenticeship to other young teenagers which was at a 6th form college away from work.
9. Would you recommend Civil Service to a friend?
Because it is a very interesting place to work, you get to see first hand policies that will affect current ans future generations and be apart of their development and implementation. It is a diverse workplace which is not limited to specific genders, disabilities or ethnicity. The pay is reflective of many departments workload and there are opportunities to always develop your career through job shadowing or swapping roles. It is an amazing opportunity to network and meet new people and it is always changing.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Civil Service?
That it is very much competency based so it is important to have sight of this and a general understanding in order to exceed.
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