From education to employment

Forging the Path: Joseph Lennox’s Advocacy for Apprenticeships

At OneFile’s recent User Conference, Joseph Lennox, a Senior Strategy advisor at HMRC, delivered a session on his journey through completing a Policy Level 4 apprenticeship scheme in 2024. He spends much of his time advocating for further education and apprenticeships for all, driven strongly by his personal experiences and beliefs. 

Joseph Lennox is an advocate for apprenticeships and understands their value both for employers and apprentices. Starting his career at 18, Joseph discovered Civil Service policy apprenticeships and chose this path over university, becoming a policy officer at HMRC. 

Joseph’s apprenticeship has been a gateway to impactful work, including leading VAT policy input for significant initiatives such as the Chancellor’s zero-rate for energy materials and contributing to Brexit projects. Currently, Joseph serves as a senior strategy advisor, shaping HMRC’s future through effective strategies. 

Joseph is passionate about breaking down barriers and inspiring others to consider apprenticeships as a viable career path. He has been recognised for his dedication, named HMRC’s Apprentice Ambassador of the Year and awarded the Accounting and Finance Apprentice of the Year and overall Apprentice of the Year by the Multicultural Apprenticeship Awards. 

Actively involved in various projects promoting apprenticeships, Joseph uses his own journey to inspire young people to explore alternative routes to a successful career. His mission is to see more young individuals in leadership roles, seizing control of their careers through apprenticeships. 

Embracing Apprenticeships: 

Joseph chose an apprenticeship because he recognised that traditional academic learning wasn’t his most effective path to education. He sought an opportunity to apply knowledge to real-life scenarios, making apprenticeships an ideal fit for his learning style. Despite facing some resistance, including suggestions to pursue a traditional university route, Joseph persisted, encouraging others to do the same. Joseph advises prospective apprentices to pursue opportunities without hesitation, as the worst outcome is often just a simple “no.”  

Advocacy and Action: 

Joseph leverages his platform to address issues of equality, diversity, and inclusion within apprenticeship programmes. He aims to create more opportunities for young talent to thrive in their careers, using his own experiences to drive positive change. 

Reflecting on his personal achievements, Joseph acknowledges the significance of his accolades, using them as reminders of his journey’s impact. He highlights the transformative nature of apprenticeships in a rapidly changing world, where technology integration and fresh perspectives are essential for progress. 

Navigating Challenges: 

Addressing challenges within apprenticeship programmes, Joseph highlights the importance of keeping communication channels open between apprentices, employers, and learning providers. He gives emphasis to the need for tailored support, particularly for older apprentices and those from diverse cultural backgrounds, to ensure a positive and inclusive learning experience. Joseph challenges traditional attitudes towards apprenticeships, advocating for fair pay and recognition of apprentices’ value within organisations.  

Grounded in his personal journey and fuelled by a passion for progress, Joseph stands as a testament to the transformative power of apprenticeships in shaping lives and fostering inclusive prosperity. 

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