Monday 27 January 2020
Being an apprentice on the Government Communication Service (GCS) Apprenticeship scheme provides the opportunity to work on high profile campaigns that benefit citizens. Sam Hutcherson shares his experience, three months into the GCS Apprenticeship scheme.
I recently secured a communications apprenticeship role in Her Majesty’s Treasury where I work within the Communications and Engagement team for the Government Finance Function (GFF). With just a few months in, I have experienced remarkable growth both in my personal life and in my new role.
Having joined HM Treasury straight after secondary school, I found the new environment a bit daunting. However, I have been able to ease into my role comfortably as a result of the massive support I constantly receive. I have got the support of my line manager and team and they ensure that I have all I need to excel on any given task.
One of the benefits of joining the GCS Apprenticeship scheme is that you are trusted and empowered to take on tasks and deliver to a high standard. Since I joined GFF, I have had the opportunity to work on impactful projects.
One of the first tasks I was given was to film the Head of GFF, Mike Driver – who is the most senior person in the function. The short film was for Mike to explain more about the function’s new finance strategy and standards and would be played to delegates attending the function’s regional roadshows.
To deliver this, I was trained on how to use the camera as well as becoming familiar with all the different editing tools within the Adobe Creative Suite.
Another big responsibility which I have been entrusted with is delivering the new GFF social media strategy. In an increasingly digital world, it is essential that we are up to date with the latest in social media communications. I have created a communications plan to outline our strategy and proposed how GFF can use social media effectively alongside our new OneFinance platform.
Furthermore, this role has given me the opportunity to travel across the country. In the space of a few weeks I have travelled to Birmingham, Manchester, Bristol, Newcastle and Leeds to take photos of GFF events and film a number of Finance Directors explaining what the GFF strategy means for them. These will be published on our new digital platform, called OneFinance.
It has been a very busy introduction to the Civil Service; however, I have still found time to meet and socialise with my new colleagues. I recently hosted a quiz for my cohort of apprentices. The quiz had several rounds including a round on communications history, the winners were; Lauren Brown (Home Office), Poppy Tavender (Home Office) and Holly Holden (Office of Rail and Road).
As part of the GCS quiz, we raised enough money to adopt a shiver of White Sharks for the Shark Trust. This helped to fund the vital research that is being done to allow the world to understand these animals.
As well as being lots of fun, I also feel the whole process really helped my progression within my role. It introduced me to the logistics involved in setting up an event – something I am going to be able to utilise in the future with all the events our team set up, for example our annual conference and regional roadshows.
The first few months of the job have been a massive learning curve for me, but I have enjoyed all the challenges and I really feel like I have risen to the occasion. I really love the varied work that being a GCS apprentice offers, and I am looking forward to learning even more as the programme develops.