GCS Apprenticeship: two sides of a coin

This week is National apprenticeship week, apprenticeships provide an invaluable opportunity to get on the job learning whilst earning a salary. What better way to understand the benefits of an apprenticeship than by hearing from our very own Poppy who after finishing her GCS Apprenticeship was able to secure a permanent role at Home Office.

Poppy, Government Communications Service (GCS) apprenticeship graduate from 2019 cohort:

I’ve really enjoyed my whole apprenticeship experience and would always recommend the GCS apprenticeship for anyone looking to try a new career. I’ve been exposed to a range of amazing opportunities and have worked on significant external Government campaigns and announcements.

It’s been great to grow and develop; from a school leaver with little knowledge about Government communications, to being a confident Communications Officer at the Home Office. My fellow apprentices and I have obtained a well-rounded wealth of knowledge across the various communications disciplines, including press, internal, and external strategic communications.

Applying a growth mindset, which was instilled in me during school, throughout my apprenticeship has meant that I’ve been open to trying different tasks and projects, which there is an abundance of in Government communications. My team have also always been extremely supportive. It’s been really empowering to have colleagues, and in particular a manager who regularly put me forward for big and exciting tasks during my apprenticeship, knowing that they trust me to carry it out effectively.

Having the opportunity to manage an apprentice feels like a pivotal moment, as I’m now experiencing the GCS apprenticeship from a different perspective. It’s been great to see our new apprentice develop so quickly already in their first few months with us. I’m excited for us both to be exposed to even more opportunities and see how we progress in our careers.

Kelsey, Poppy’s line manager:

I’ve had the privilege of managing Poppy throughout her GCS apprenticeship and since she secured a permanent role in my team.

It was a very cool moment in my career to see Poppy recently become a manager to our new apprentice – I’m so excited for them both!

GCS apprentices come from diverse backgrounds and bring fresh thinking, ideas and creativity. They’re catapulted into an immersive course in communicating major Government priorities to audiences across the UK and internationally.

It’s fair to say that at the Home Office we stretch our apprentices but with a wrap-around of trust and the support they need to do their work to the best of their ability.

Poppy joined us without experience of working in communications and over two years later, is now skilled in a variety of comms disciplines, works for one of Whitehall’s busiest departmental comms teams, and is shortly managing the launch of a new marketing campaign across England.

I’m incredibly proud that the three other apprentices in Poppy’s cohort chose to stay with the Home Office after they graduated from their apprenticeships and have since progressed to become an accomplished Ministerial Visits and Events Manager and Communications Officers at the Home Office.

If you’re thinking about becoming a GCS apprentice or hiring one – it’s a no brainer!