From education to employment

Award-winning apprenticeship scheme offers experience at heart of government

The award-winning Government Communication Service Apprenticeship scheme has opened for applications, offering an exciting opportunity to work at the heart of government.

The programme is part of a wider drive to develop a more diverse pipeline of people entering the Civil Service, ensuring that government better reflects the communities it serves, with 88% of apprentices on the last round of the scheme being retained by the Government Communication Service.

Placements for the scheme are available across England, dovetailing with the Places for Growth strategy to move Civil Service jobs outside of London and ensure young people who want to take up the opportunity for a Civil Service apprenticeship can stay in their local area.

Those accepted will gain experience in a range of communications disciplines over 18 months, earning a competitive salary while they learn on the job. These include working in press offices, campaigns and internal communications teams across government departments.

Successful candidates have been involved in work on issues of global importance, including  the pandemic, Brexit negotiations and currently, the UK response to the situation in Ukraine. 

Apprentices on the scheme study a Level 4 PR and Communications apprenticeship, rapidly equipping them with the skills needed to thrive in a communications career.

The programme builds an early pipeline into government, with 88% of apprentices on the last round of the scheme retained by the Government Communication Service.

Government Communication Service Chief Executive Simon Baugh said:

“The GCS apprenticeship scheme offers a unique opportunity to work on the key issues of the day, and help communicate the government’s response.

“With more than 80% of apprentices being retained, this is a brilliant launchpad for a successful career in the Civil Service.”

Josie Partridge, who started on the scheme in 2020 aged 19, is a good example of how the apprenticeship scheme can lead to a communications career. While most of her friends are in their final year of university, she has carved out a future in the Civil Service, having secured a promotional role as a GCS Communications & Membership Services Manager.

Current apprentice, Leon Soyinka Sinden, who has already spent time in the GCS Professional Standards team and the Cabinet Office press team, said the scheme had set him up for success: 

“Going straight from school to the heart of government is daunting at first, but it’s given me so much confidence in myself. 

“After only four months, I’ve had so many incredible experiences and opportunities – working on large scale national projects at this stage in my career is a privilege. I know I’ll leave this apprenticeship with the skills needed to have an amazing career.”

More than 40,000 apprentices have been recruited by the Civil Service across multiple locations, departments and professions since 2015.

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