HR Private Office Support at Civil Service

Start Date:
Central London & City
Programme Type:
Apprenticeship - Higher Level (Level 4/5)
Review Date:
January 2015

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1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:


- HMRC, Human resources, HR Private office support role. - Admin tasks, director's diary, inbox and daily pack, finance tasks including budgets, communicating with our team, team updates, organising meetings/booking rooms/creating agenda and writing minutes. - I communicate daily with my team who are based all over England, I also work closely with many people within my building - Sometimes I communicate with hotels and event managers to organise an event for our team and wider teams - I am responsible for the director's diary a few days a week, I also monitor the inbox all day. I am responsible for supporting the office as a whole and meeting my own personal deadlines for my own work - I have worked on a big events project, presentations, grievance casework, development opportunities and a forward planning project. - Every day I mainly work in my office in London, sometimes I travel to Birmingham or Manchester. I attend some meetings during the day and when I am not in a meeting/shadowing I am at my desk checking and responding to emails and working on my projects. I also ensure I always try to look for opportunities I can get involved in in order to develop myself.

2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?


- After 2 years I will have gained a Level 4 Higher qualification in business and administration. - I have attended a face to face course on effective business and administration support. - No external training courses. - I have build on my confidence so much, before I started I was very shy even though I worked before I didn't enjoy the job I did and within the first few weeks I had so much confidence. I now love to network and socialise professionally. I have built on my skills on excel spreadsheets and also on finance. I have also built on my presentation skills. - I have learnt that even though I am young people will still take me seriously and listen to my opinion, if I don't agree with something then I am now keen to put my point of view accross. I have also learnt the importance of networking in a business environment and not only networking in HMRC but outside of work and cross government.

3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?


- My workload on the first few weeks was VERY quiet, the only thing I was doing was e-learning and I think that it could have been more organised before I started. When I was given tasks I don't feel they were challenging enough, I prefer to work in a fast-paced environment and some days have been like that but there are also days where it can be very boring and slow-moving. - My team are great. they are very supportive and we all get along very well. If ever I don't understand something or I need a bit of help everyone is happy to give up their time and help! I also found that because I am an apprentice people are always willing to help even my team who aren't based in my office - they are always an email away! - I like the company culture in HMRC, I have a great work/life balance which I have never had before this job and I am proud to say I work for HMRC. There are always things going on and I am keen to get more involved in the sports that they offer here. - It did meet my expectations well, it is only the fact that I feel it should have been more organised to begin with - and be given more challenging work.

4. How valued do you feel by Civil Service?


I feel very valued by my team; however by the civil service I am not sure. I have heard a lot of senior people praise apprentices and say how amazing that this opportunity is, and I agree it is a great opportunity. However I feel that compared to the fast stream we are under-valued because we haven't gone to university. I also think that a lot of civil servants aren't even aware that there are apprentices. - My manager does value me as an apprentice and she does take interest in the scheme however I do feel that she could look at development opportunities more for me. - I haven't had to much external recognition that I can comment on - When I have been involved in tasks and projects apprentices have been picked out in a positive way as being so young and new to the company and doing so well on a particular project

5. How well organised/structured is your programme?


- The induction was very organised, I found it useful and very much enjoyed meeting all 200 apprentices - wish we could all do it more often. - The training was to a minimum, I don't think there is much to train for it is more about getting to grips with who everyone is and the different computer system. - The support I have from my team is great - even from senior management. - In terms of my apprenticeship there has been a very negative experience so far with Capita, I have complained about my experience I feel it is very disorganised and I felt very demotivated about starting my course. I hope this does change in the future. - I have a weekly meeting with my manager to keep her in the loop which is useful. I have met my mentor once but we haven't been in contact since and I am not sure it is something I am going to persue as I have worked with another senior manager who I have found very inspiring who I have asked to be my menor. - Delegation is fairly organised - Team hierarchy is very organised, we have a clear organisational structure. - My work is well organised - just not my level 4 apprenticeship so far, but as I said hopefully this changes.

6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?


- I met my tutor, he was over an hour late with no explanation and I had to meet him with another apprentice and their manager which was very awkward. I know there have been breaches in confidentiality with other apprentices and I will not be telling my tutor anything personal in regards to my work/personal situations. - I know where to go if I need support but I wouldn't want to - I know where I can get guidance from but I wouldn't want to - I haven't enjoyed my experience so far with my training provider.

6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?


- I recieve a lot of support from my manager - I work in HR therefore I do receive support from the HR team (my team) and I also find shared services very helpful! - As mentioned previously I have approached someone else to be my mentor. - I always know where to go for support - Guidance can all be found online but my team are happy to help - I know that if I ever had an issue personally or professionally my manager and team will always offer their support and guidance so I feel the general attitude towards me is very positive.

7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?


- Living costs - Perfect - Would prefer travel to be cheaper, I am hoping to get an apprentice oyster card soon to reduce this but my salary is good enough to cover - Daily costs - Perfect Social costs - Perfect - Location - Fine

8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?


- There are 6 monthly events which I attend which I guess are still part of work but still helpful - We don't have many company activities - I haven't volunteered outside of work but I am looking to do so in the near future. - I have volunteered to share my experiences with other young people to promote the scheme. - No classes outside of work. - There are many things to do around Westminster, I'm in the heart of London - so I love it. - I do attend gym classes sometimes and the gym downstairs. - Before this job I was working in surgery, and I didn't really do much outside of work as I worked unsocial hours so it has been a great change.

9. Would you recommend Civil Service to a friend?


9b. Why?

It is a great place to work, there are so many opportunities in the Civil Service, you are not just stuck to one department you can go out and see so many different things and meet so many different people with varied job roles. It is very interesting, you learn so much and in the future there is potential to make a difference frontline to the public.

10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Civil Service?

- Be yourself - Practice, practice, practice and remember their only human so don't let your nerves show! - Be prepared, it is a draining day but well worth it and such good experience regardless of the outcome. - Take every opportunity that comes your way, develop all of your skills and make sure you take every opportunity to network. - I don't think I would have liked to be told anything, I enjoyed learning my own experiences and taking each day as it comes!

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