Kick-starting my career with a GCS Apprenticeship 

The Government Communications Service (GCS) offers a Level 4 Public Relations and Communications Apprenticeship Standard that gives young people the opportunity to immerse themselves into the world of work straight after school whilst simultaneously working towards a qualification.

I started in the Government Legal Department (GLD) in November 2023 as a Communications Assistant as part of the GCS Apprenticeship. This means I am working at GLD whilst simultaneously carrying out a Level 4 Public Relations and Communications qualification. 

What attracted me to an apprenticeship, rather than a degree, was the prospect of kick-starting my career whilst earning a salary and still gaining a qualification at the end. The work and learning balances out to be four days a week in the workplace and one designated day to carry out my assignments and studying.

My role as a Communications Assistant is to support the communications team, specifically the Press Office, to promote and raise the profile of GLD. This includes making sure the work GLD does is recognised and making it an attractive place for future potential employees. 

I have been able to build upon my confidence, teamwork, and organisational skills by working on different projects with colleagues across the communications team. These have included pitching articles to legal outlets, scheduling social media posts and media monitoring. I enjoy working with my team who are all very supportive and will assist with anything I need help with!

In my role, I have the flexibility to work both in the London office and from the comfort of my own home. At the moment, I do three days from home and two in the office. Office days are always lovely as you get to see the beautiful views of Westminster, with my view even looking out onto the London Eye!

I absolutely love the professional freedom that comes with the role, something that you may not be able to experience with a permanent role or even as a university student! It really is down to you on how much you want to expand upon your knowledge and skills.

I have really enjoyed my time so far as a Communications and Public Relations apprentice and am looking forward to future career paths and opportunities that this may lead to.

– Sarah Baxendale, GCS Apprentice, Government Legal Department