GCS apprentice revisited: Amber Warne

Just over two years ago I joined the GCS, I was 18 and began my first role in strategic communications working on Covid19. Since then a lot has changed and it is motivating to reflect on where I have come and thrilling to look to the future.

Following my first blog on being a GCS apprentice, I then worked on COP26 within the Campaigns and Marketing directorate delivering a behaviour change campaign in advance of the international summit. The Together for our Planet campaign built momentum for positive action on climate change across UK society, ahead of the COP26 summit. I was responsible for partnership and stakeholder engagement and managed relationships with high profile sponsors such as SKY and the Premier League and led on ministerial visits with the COP26 spokesperson.

The campaign will showcase how individuals across the UK are making a difference in their daily lives and going #OneStepGreener. The intention of the Together for our Planet campaign was to create a mass movement of green steps across the country in the lead up to COP26, showing how small actions culminate in large collective action. Across government, departments have aligned their climate communications to boost engagement, it was great to have contributed to the success of such a historic event.

I then moved into the FCDO to work on the GREAT campaign, which aims to drive economic growth across the entire nation by encouraging an international audience to visit, study, trade, invest, live and work in the UK through unique, innovative campaigns abroad. The 10 year old campaign is active in 145 countries and I have been lucky enough to lead on huge international projects such as the World cup in Qatar, GREAT Love and this year Eurovision. An enjoyable part of the role is speaking to communications professionals across the world which is an excellent way to experience how communications land among different audiences across the globe and I have been lucky enough to travel to conferences bringing together an eclectic group of experienced marketers.

How has the GCS Apprenticeship helped you to get to where you are today? 

The apprenticeship was an exceptional opportunity to gain experience within multiple communications disciplines, I was able to develop my strategic thinking, digital communication and marketing skills. Apprenticeships enable you to do it all, it’s a great time to learn, make mistakes and say yes to everything!

I value immensely the support and advice I received when undergoing the scheme and being able to study for my foundation degree simultaneously meant I could further develop the knowledge I needed to pursue a career in this sector.

I also believe being an apprentice gave me the confidence to push and challenge myself due to the consistent desire to learn and experience more.

Would you have done anything differently?

I don’t think I would change my apprenticeship experience at all as it has enabled me to begin an exciting career at the heart of government. I made the most of every opportunity and being eager to get involved landed me in amazing situations such as an intense COBRA call with the Prime Minister at the time, or meeting David Attenborough for the screening of his Green Planet series. I would do it all over again if I could.

What would you say to anyone considering the GCS Apprenticeship?

There are very few opportunities for someone at the beginning of their career to work on communications that will impact lives of the general public. In this industry what we do matters, whether it’s tackling climate change, preventing the spread of Covid19 or generating essential return on investment for the UK economy. The GCS is a diverse community of excellent communications professionals and every day the work we do is different.

If you are keen to learn in multiple different disciplines among some of the best I strongly encourage you to give it a go!

If you are encouraged to apply for the GCS Apprenticeship, you can find out if you are eligible here and apply on the Civil Service jobs website.