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Social Mobility: Apprenticeships are just for plumbers and electricians, right?

Category: testimonial, Graduates and Apprentices, Career and Talent Development, Learning and Development, Apprentiships, Apprentices, Staff Testimonial, Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, apprentice, Apprentiship, DCMS, apprentice project

Career and Talent Development

three dcms employees talking

In this post, James Richardson, a Policy Adviser at DCMS, talks about his experience as an apprentice in the Civil Service.

Last spring, I was offered a Direct Appointee Policy Apprenticeship at DCMS on the back of my Fast Stream application. On getting the news, I wasn’t exactly jumping for joy. I’d completed an Economic History degree, drudged through months of situational judgement tests, video interviews, and an assessment centre in a business park on the outskirts of Newcastle – all for an apprenticeship..? To tell you the truth, I was gutted. 

What I hadn’t appreciated right away was that Policy Apprenticeships in the Civil Service have a brilliant L&D offer. 20% of the working week is devoted to your development in the Policy Profession, with seminars and coaching from experienced and engaging ex-SCS staff. There is no bar to a substantive promotion, nor a move to another Department. For my career, this actually seemed to be a really decent offer.

This is important to me. Growing up I had no familial links to ‘the professions’, and was the first of my family to stay in post-16 education. This does not mean people like me want lower entry requirements, easier rides, or preferential treatment. What it means is that if the Civil Service is to truly be a modern employer and the world’s best public service, then it needs to continue to promote and expand schemes which widen the pool of talent. 

You can find out more about Civil Service apprenticeship opportunities, including opportunities with DCMS, here.

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