1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
I'm a Cyber-security Analyst working in a Government Department. My job is to monitor online services and assets on the Estate to ensure they are protected from third-parties. When I identify an incident, it is my job to fully investigate through analyzing logs and implementing the necessary mitigation actions to ensure the incident does not occur again.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
Yes I have learnt new skills and developed existing skills. I receive training from my training provider which has helped improve my overall knowledge on Cyber-security. I also gain training from my workplace on tools I use in my day to day job. I have also improved my professional skills such as teamwork, as I work with colleagues on incidents, and time-keeping as incidents are time sensitive.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I do thoroughly enjoy my apprenticeship. It's given me the opportunity to experience what it's like to work in a real job, whilst providing me with the training and the skills to help me move up in the Civil Service. I've also managed to make loads of new friends in the workplace and other apprentices on my training course.
4. How valued do you feel by Home Office?
I do feel valued working in my Team. I do feel like I make an impact in my role on the Team and to user's my work is having an impact on. My Line Manager is very supportive and provides feedback on all areas of my work. Whenever I complete a good piece of work my Line Manager points it out to ensure I get recognition for my achievement.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
My 2 year apprenticeship is very well organised. At the start of my apprenticeship I received a time table clearly outlining when my training weeks were and what I would be learning that week. This allowed me to do some pre-reading before each training week to allow me to get the most out of each training week.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
Support for my training weeks in the classroom has been very good from my training provider. Each tutor is well versed in the area they are teaching and it's usually their day job. However, my Assessor, who marks my coursework, left the organisation which I did not find out about until several weeks later. This meant I was several weeks behind in my coursework.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
I receive great support from my employer. My Line Manager and the rest of my team are support me in all aspects of my work. Whenever I need help with a task one of my Colleagues is more than willing to help out. My Line Manager supports me in applying for other jobs to help me gain a wider experience in the Civil Service.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
The pay is very good for a first job, it is almost on-par with graduate pay. It was definitely an incentive to join the apprenticeship. It covers my living costs and travel costs to and from work and still allows me to save for the future. There's also still money left for me to enjoy social events at my leisure.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
There aren't that many opportunities outside of work. It's normally down to me organize a social event with all Team Members. I try to organize a social event once a month, usually a movie or going bowling. It's good for team building and doing something else with the team that's not work related.
9. Would you recommend Home Office to a friend?
It's a great apprenticeship. It's allowed me to experience what it is like having a day job whilst getting the training needed to help me improve my job role. Also working in cyber-security is very interesting as it's an emerging industry and it's good to know I'm making a difference to people's lives every day working in the Civil Service.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Home Office?
I'd advise you do as many practice tests as possible as it makes the actual tests easier. I'd advise you prepare plenty of competency examples for the interview stage and practice them with a friend as that's a big part of the interview stage. Finally, I'd advise you're patient with your application, the Civil Service may take a while to respond to your application.