From education to employment

Government communications apprentices set the Standard

Ben Dance, Cabinet Office

The first group of apprentices in the country to complete a newly-designed programme to develop their public relations and communications skills have graduated from their 18-month course. 

Twenty-six apprentices were chosen by the Government Communications Service (GCS) through a rigorous recruitment process. Outsource Vocational Learning, part of the Seetec Group, worked with GCS to choose the final group from more than 150 applicants, with the successful candidates making it through a phone interview and assessment centre.

Sophie Fey, one of seven of the apprentices receiving a distinction, said her exposure to the workings of government had been a unique experience, giving her an in-depth understanding of communication and its value to both the public and private sectors.

“I knew from the start that I didn’t want to go to university, I wanted to get out in the world and start earning. Having studied A Levels in Business and Economics, I was really keen to find a role within government.

“I saw the apprenticeship as a great opportunity to develop both my professional skills and my personal confidence. I’m so happy I chose an apprenticeship as it has set up my contacts and knowledge to really get my government career started.”    

Sophie, who has already been promoted to a role as a Business Manager with the Ministry of Defence, was among the apprentices receiving their certificates and warm congratulations from Alex Aiken, Executive Director for Government Communications.    

Alex said: “Our brilliant apprentices benefit from learning communication skills alongside real job experience in challenging roles across government. I’m proud that our apprentices come from all parts of society and are the first in the country to complete the Level 4 PR & Communication Standard. I look forward to seeing them in leadership roles in the near future. Nearly 90% have secured roles in the civil service following their apprenticeship.”

Nikki Bardsley, Seetec’s Director of Apprenticeship Operations, said: “Seetec has 35 years’ experience of delivering professional apprenticeships and there has never been a better time for individuals to kick start or change their career by developing new, relevant skills through an apprenticeship. They are a great way for businesses to develop homegrown talent to meet their current and future needs.”

Demi Merchant, Client Relationship Coordinator from Outsource, said: “I have seen these incredible apprentices through from the recruitment process all the way through to completion.

“They have had some amazing opportunities but the programme was not without its challenges, not least because of the change in qualification. This cohort are the first apprentices to undergo this apprenticeship standard and the end point assessment and we are delighted to celebrate their success.”

Related Articles