1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
I have had a number of different roles while being part of my apprenticeship programme. I have began working with our communications team, delivering communications to all stakeholders that I require to. I was then placed with the technical support team where I helped with the background running of systems and services. I then worked with our local resources team, where we ensured staff were where they were supposed to be and ensured we had enough resource on the floor. I am now working as a team leader, where I am responsible for 10 members of staff.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I have learned a range of new skills. Coming straight from school, I had very little experience in a number of different areas that is involved with a team leader. I have been put through an NVQ course as well as a HNC course in business. I have also gained crucial experience in my communication skills and also managerial experience.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I enjoy working on my apprenticeship programme a lot. I feel as though working in a team does suit me but I can work as an individual. I enjoy the HNC aspect of my course as coming just from school I feel that I am used to learning, and I previously completed a higher in Business Management so I have a bit of background knowledge in this area. I enjoy the job I do as it is all very new to me so I am learning different areas every day. I do find it challenging trying to do a full time job as well as 2 course but I do manage along by doing my best to manage my time.
4. How valued do you feel by Civil Service?
I feel valued to work for HMRC. I receive appreciation from my colleagues as my general knowledge around aspects like computers and Microsoft office is very good, therefore my colleagues ask for help and I do so when I can. They are always grateful when doing this and have submitted me forward for rewards and recognition. I have been rewarded a number of times for the work I do for the business.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
I believe that initially there was a bit of confusion around my apprenticeship programme. I had started the job but had not had any information around what I would be doing and neither did my manager. We therefore gave me small tasks to complete while we tried to find out more information. Once areas did get started then it did make things a bit clearer as to what I was doing. I believe the support I have had has been ok. I came in as an apprentice on my own in Bathgate and did not have anyone else near me that was on the same course. My closest network is people from my HNC session. When my NVQ coach left for a new role, I was in the dark about what was happening and was struggling to complete some work. I did not have another NVQ coach for over 2 months and was unable to complete any work at this time as I had had no guidance as of what to do next.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
I receive a great deal of support from my training provider. They answer any questions that I have in a timely manner and with a great deal of support. they always offer to talk to me further should I still not understand. They are always helpful and do not ever judge any question that I have. I have enjoyed working with my training providers a lot and will be disappointed when the course is finished.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
I do receive some support from my employer on the apprenticeship. I feel I do not receive as much support from my employer than I do from my training provider but this is expected. I sometimes find it hard to deal with a full time job and 2 qualifications as it can be challenging to try and manage all my time effectively. I have been missing my training days where I can do work as it has been very busy in the team leader role.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
I feel very fortunate to have a good salary package at my age. I do however feel it is a bit harder to be paid the same amount as another band O in HMRC, as I am on an apprenticeship and having to do additional work compared to them. I do however do feel fortunate to have a good salary package. I was lucky enough to be placed in Bathgate Contact Centre, which is only 10 minutes away from my house. I feel that if I was placed elsewhere then I may have a different outlook to this area.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
I feel there is a number of opportunities that are available to me, but I just do not have the time to attend them. As I am an apprentice, I have been offered to attend a number of different training days for school children or people to come along as a career fair type exercise. I have not been able to attend any of these outside exercises as I feel I do not have the time on top of my job and my apprenticeship.
9. Would you recommend Civil Service to a friend?
I feel that HMRC is a very good place to work. It offers a number of different benefits that you would not get at any other company. I also feel that the salary is a very good salary, for my age. I feel that the company is very fair when it comes to shifts and they do agree to help their employees wherever they can. Overall I feel HMRC is a good place to work.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Civil Service?
I would advice people to be honest about their experiences and lifelong goals. HMRC has a great deal of opportunities once you are in the company. I would advise people to be ready when applying as it can be quite a tough application process. Most of the time people will have not faced such a hard application process compared to HMRC.
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