GCS talent schemes win national recognition
The Government Communication Service (GCS) has been recognised as the Best Apprentice Employer by the Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA), the world’s largest professional PR body.
GCS was also shortlisted in two other PRCA categories: Apprentice of the Year and Internship scheme of the Year. The 18 month GCS Apprenticeship is a paid scheme open to school leavers and those considering a career move into government communication.
Kohinoor Meghji, Head of HR and Workforce Strategy for the GCS, said:
“The Professional Standards team are passionate about developing our future leaders, and this award recognises their brilliant work. We’re very proud of being recognised as the best employer for PR apprentices in Britain. A huge well done and thank you to everyone who champions these programmes year on year. It makes a huge impact to many, some of whom may have never dreamt of a career as a civil servant and are now fulfilling vital roles in public service.”
Over 100 interviews will take place next week, with a new cohort of GCS apprentices arriving this autumn for the 6th time. Since its inception the number of apprentices has increased from 19 in 12 departments to a record-breaking 40 apprentices across 24 departments in 2019. Last year, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the Professional Standards team quickly adapted the programme to ensure virtual recruitment and selection through to remote programme delivery, and offered employment to 35 apprentices across 18 departments.
The GCS Apprenticeship scheme is one of the key initiatives in the GCS Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) strategy to strengthen representation in our early talent pipeline, along with the GCS Internship scheme, which was also shortlisted for a PRCA Award.
This year’s summer interns are, over the next few weeks, starting their placements across government. The GCS internship gives interns from diverse backgrounds the opportunity to begin a career in government communications and gain paid experience across a range of communication disciplines.
Alex Aiken, Executive Director of Government Communications, recently welcomed the new interns at a virtual induction session:
“I’m delighted to welcome the 6th cohort of GCS interns to the GCS community. As our strategic work during the COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated, innovative government communications can really save lives. Not surprisingly, we have discovered that there is huge interest in the successful practice of government communications in this country and beyond.
“A lesson I experienced applying for the Fast Stream was the need to support people to succeed. That’s why we have the GCS internship and apprenticeship schemes, which bring people’s enthusiasm, digital skills and perspectives into government service in a way that makes us all stronger.”