1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
I have worked as a lead investigator for data related incidents and a security analyst within a CSOC function over the last two years.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I gained a level 4 city and guilds in Information Security and also expanded on existing skills like penetration testing, risk management, python scripting, open source intelligence and digital forensics.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
The people I have worked with were great and I have gained some fantastic skills along with the qualification I have worked towards. I m very happy with the overall experience.
4. How valued do you feel by Home Office?
I feel that sometimes people can assume you are not up to certain tasks because you are an apprentice and still learning. not everyone feels like this and some people are willing to give you the chance to prove yourself. I have felt valued within my teams and feel that I have contributed to some important work/projects.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
I think the structure of the programme was not very well organised, the teams I have worked with had no idea about the work I needed to complete and a lot of the time I had to use my own initiative to get involved with work I wanted/needed to complete. this wasn't necessarily a bad thing but in the beginning I would have preferred it to be more structured with set goals for me to complete.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
The training provider was not that good, the individual training course I attended were not planned very well and there was little communication before hand. My first advisor was not helpful at all and I didn't get a new one until a year into my apprenticeship.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
I was given a mentor and a buddy from my first day, my line manager and management team have all been very supportive and helped a lot with guidance and general problems. I also have a very good apprenticeship team who are very supportive.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
I think there could be more done to help apprentices with costs, I am on a decent wage but travel a long distance to get to work so petrol/train costs have used up a lot of my salary.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
There are lots of opportunities to get involved in things that you are interested in or can help your career. over the last two years some events that I have attended include the security and policing events in Farnborough, company away days, team meals and nights out, gym classes and I also got the opportunity for job shadowing on a covert surveillance mission and with the open source immigration intelligence team.
9. Would you recommend Home Office to a friend?
This has been a fantastic opportunity to gain experience and a qualification that has allowed me to completely change my career path. Before this I didn't know exactly what type of job that I wanted and now I have a better idea and the skills and knowledge I need to get jobs in that field of work.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Home Office?
Be prepared to be challenged for the entire duration of the scheme, the application process was very long but stick with it because its worth it in the end, always ask questions and learn from the people around you.
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