Working as a GCS Apprentice in DIT

Blog post by Elsie Cunnew

Thursday 14 March 2019

I’ve never really known what I wanted to be growing up. I certainly never thought I’d see myself in the Civil Service. But since starting the GCS apprenticeship in October 2017, I have been working at the heart of government in the Department for International Trade (DIT).

GCS Apprentice in front of No. 10

I didn’t want to go to university, but also had my reservations about going straight into a career. Doing an apprenticeship offered me the perfect balance – I’m learning whilst working.

I have been able to specialise in communications but have the flexibility to apply my skills to the subject matter of any government department, which is really interesting. During my time, I have rotated round the Communications and Marketing directorate, which has been great for building my skills and letting me experience a huge range of communications, and I’ve been involved with some exciting projects. I’ve been able to see how the press office works and how the branding of DIT is created and maintained. I have also had the chance to interact with overseas staff on projects for the Internal Communications team.

One of the best things I have been able to work on is assisting DIT Ministers when they brief different MPs on trade related subjects. It’s been really interesting to meet MPs from across the UK and hear what they have to say. I also got to visit No 10 on my first day!

I have also been given the opportunity to attend events that DIT have been involved in or had a presence at. In the summer, I had the chance to visit Aston Martin HQ in the Midlands. We were given a tour of the factory, which was amazing, and also saw James Bond’s one-of-a-kind Aston Martin which was used in Spectre. I also attended the Farnborough Air Show, where I got a chance to meet the Red Arrows pilots and got to witness their spectacular show. It was extraordinary.

Throughout this apprenticeship, I’ve also had the chance to meet some fantastic people and make great connections. About 20-30 apprentices are hired at the same time as you which I have found very valuable. Having a peer group in the same career as you which allows you to make close connections and find common ground.

I would highly recommend this apprenticeship to others. It is one of the best opportunities I have ever had; I have learned so much over the past year. GCS offers such a range of work, and I genuinely look forward to coming into the office every day.

Applications to the GCS Apprenticeship close 14 March. Visit the GCS Apprenticeship page.

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