As part of National Apprenticeship Week, we have done a question and answers interview with CMA apprentice Ayesha Natha about what it is like to do an apprenticeship in government.
Tell me about your apprenticeship
I am currently doing a Level 4 PR & Communications Apprenticeship. It is an 18 month course and is structured to be 80% work with 20% training. This allows me to balance my studies and work. Towards the end of the apprenticeship, there is an ‘End Point’ assessment where I work on a project that involves presenting my work to a judging panel. In this particular role I have developed skills in press relations, social media, online campaigns and internal communications.
What was the deciding factor that drove you to think ‘I want to do an apprenticeship’?
While most of my friends were going to university, I wasn’t sure about the career path I wanted to take. I started to think about doing an apprenticeship as it would give me hands on experience to develop my skills and allow me to figure out which area of work was right for me.
Did you have preconceptions before your first day?
When I first started I was worried about being thrown into work immediately without understanding what was going on or what to do. The prospect of meeting new people and starting a job for the first time was daunting. Thankfully I had an understanding team who helped me to come out of my shell and settle in.
Describe your relationship with your manager.
My line manager has been incredibly supportive throughout my time at the CMA. She has encouraged me to learn and develop my skills helping me to become a better communicator and graphic designer. She has taught me technical skills, for example how to use Photoshop and Illustrator with best practice and how to create animations on PowerPoint. Her supportive nature has given me courage to take on new responsibility at work.
Why do you think National Apprenticeship Week is important?
I think it is good for people to understand that there is more than one route to building a successful career. It is hard for anyone to figure out where they would like to be and what they would like to be do in 5 to 10 years’ time. National Apprenticeship Week is important because both apprentices and employers from across the country can talk about apprenticeships and how to get involved.
Has your apprenticeship been worth it?
I have enjoyed my time as an apprentice. I have been supported by my colleagues and gained valuable experience working for a government organisation. It has been insightful and given me a step into the world of communications work that I would like to succeed in. I look forward to seeing where it takes me.
If you are like me and you are considering doing an apprenticeship you can search for existing opportunities in government here.