1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
I shadow skilled developers and learn on the job about the programming language the team/project uses, as well as the business hierarchy and processes.
I also keep in contact with my other apprentices across the country to study, and help raise issues or celebrate when someone succeeds
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I have learned a new programming language to a practitioners level, and had the opportunity to complete exams to be a member of the British Computing Society. It has also helped me learn what I want to study towards, and what role I would want in a software development career.
There have been continuous issues with our training provider, who can give unhelpful tutorials, place immense emphasis on self-study videos or books rather than give formal tuition.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
This is a changing apprenticeship, where it only began a few short years ago. I understand that we are part of a better cohort, and we benefit from a lot of positive changes. But it is felt by apprentices how far the program has to go to be a resourceful, successful opportunity.
With the lack of understanding over the training materials, or a lack of communication between the departments and the training provider, it can feel burdensome.
4. How valued do you feel by Civil Service?
I feel like my department care about not just me passing my scheme, but what happens after. I feel like they are investing in keeping me, as a long term colleague.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
Not very structured. We have an overall timescale of when to complete the program by, but the training itself does not have completely coherent indicators of when you will be enrolled in the class. This means our program is subject to change, or amend poorly run tutorials by adding additional training.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
Not as much as I expected. I have had multiple coaches leave and each new one has to adjust to my specific progress within the program, and support the unique issues each apprentice has.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
All of my success on the program is because of my department and team. Without their support, I would not be able to complete this apprenticeship
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
Very much so. I'm being paid the same as a junior developer who has just left university. So, for this being a degree apprenticeship where I have not yet earned my junior status, I am very happy.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
Yes. Each department has their own social clubs, and each location has special events in and out of work
9. Would you recommend Civil Service to a friend?
For an introduction to a workplace, and for experience alongside an opportunity to study your chosen profession, there is not many options for all three and be paid a very reasonable amount.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Civil Service?
To be patient. There are many processes which are part of an upheaval to modernise. This means that, at points, you will have to be understanding - just because some things are a little slow to change does not mean that they are not changing to reflect a younger, more inclusive civil service.
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