1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
Work on the North London District Provision team, looking after New Enterprise Allowance. This means handling the Work Coaches for the District, keeping them up to date with the release of the new contract and managing the contract effectively so that we ensure there's a quality service being provided for our claimants
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
Learnt how to use new software and developed my excel skills further to create spreadsheets that will influence the fluidity of work in the work place.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
Work has given me a sense of responsibility and i do enjoy being given responsibility of something to ensure it has been carried out as a quality service. My team make work enjoyable and a lot easier as i feel i can speak to them about any queries i have and they're always there to help. Company culture is such that it is broken into parts wherever you go however the core competencies of the civil service in practice mean that you put the customers first in terms of getting them to work and really strive to give them a service that will enable them to the labour market.
4. How valued do you feel by The Army?
My manager does a good job of making me feel appreciated as she praises me for doing a good job. She also informs her line manager and others of the quality of service i provide for others. Others in the office also value me as i have covered for people before in management information therefore have been a valued team member in the office as there are only a few maybe even one other person capable of doing this
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
Not very well organised unfortunately. There was no clear induction, line mangers were confused with what to do with us initially and it took a while before i was delegated any real responsibility as everyone was busy due to the new year. As for a mentor i have not received any information about a Mentor and my studying has only started yesterday in terms of the qualification as it was the first days of college.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
I'm unsure with this as i haven't tried to seek support from my training provider however i have been told by other apprentices that their tutors have been lacking in responding to them on time, effectively and effeciently. When it comes to the other points I guess only time will tell
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
I receive as much support as i require from my employer as my team and line manager do a good job with helping me with any enquiries i may have to do with work. they usually guide me to resources or answer my enquiries directly if they can and i agree with these methods as it helps me to understand for myself as i read the relevant information relating to my enquiry.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
My salary does well in meeting my costs, living costs travel costs daily costs social costs and location are all covered well within my salary. however it would be nice to have more as it always is haha but nevertheless it suffices to do more than just survive as i can still have a decent social life
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
I haven't really looked into opportunities outside of work however we as apprentices have created a network that we hopefully will work to keep alive as there are a few of us that can use this network to benefit from, i.e. job shadowing opportunities, opportunities to go to different job centres and gain a wider understanding of the Civil Service as a whole.
9. Would you recommend The Army to a friend?
great alternative to university as you get paid to work and get a qualification at level4 which is equivalent to the first year at uni which you can then take forward and further develop hopefully gaining access to the fast stream which will then progress you even further into the civil service so eventually you'll be able to progress to a grade 7 and there are so many positives etc.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to The Army?
Be ready for to be waiting for a long time as it took almost a year to start my role here at the DWP. And after all of that get ready to endure even more stress as they won't know what to do with you once you arrive. It's a long on boarding process and i would've appreciated if i was given my start date earlier so i could've got a job, everythings all cloak and dagger for a while so yeah some kind of communication would have been nice. Touching on this is calling them. Don't be surprised if they don't pick up your phonecalls or take a minimum of 2 weeks to reply to your emails as this seemed to be the case for me. As well as this, when you finally do get through to the people on the fast track team they will then tell you that it's confidential and will be given to you soon (start date) however soon is just another term for we don't know and we even if we do we're not going to tell you
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