Category: apprenticeships, Government, Career and Talent Development, Jobs in Government, Apprentices, UK Government, army, ministry of defence, MOD, Apprentiship, Apprenticeship Programme, Early Careers, National Apprenticeship Week, Armed Forces community, British Armed Forces, The Army Civil Service
I’m Victoria, and I’ve been in the Ministry of Defence (MOD) for 23 years, and in the role of Apprenticeship Lead for Army Civil Servants for a year. Before that I was in diversity and inclusion, where I worked on raising the MOD’s profile as an inclusive employer.
As an army civil servant, I provide support to the British Army to assist them in delivering all that they need to do to protect our nation. Both the army and the army civil service offer apprenticeships to help our people develop their skills and gain nationally recognised qualifications.
Learning and development opportunities are constantly available throughout people’s careers, and it’s my job to raise awareness of the apprenticeship opportunities, and make sure people know we’re 100% behind them if they undertake the training. We’ll give them the time and support they need to upskill.
National Apprenticeship Week
During National Apprenticeship Week 2022, 7-11 February, we have several presentations and workshops planned.
We’ve invited apprentices from different areas like data, cyber, HR and business admin to talk to staff about how they’ve found it and what they’re doing with their learning.
We’re bringing all our apprentices together to get them to think about where they might go next in their careers. We’re also having a virtual graduation ceremony for all those who graduated in 2021. We're not leaving line managers out, either. We’ll be talking to them about what they get out of hiring an apprentice and how to go about it.
VERCIDA gives us a new platform
During Apprenticeship Week we will highlight the benefits of our Vercida membership. Previously all MOD jobs were advertised through Civil Service Jobs. Many people won’t look there unless they are specifically looking for an MOD or civil service position. VERCIDA is providing us with a new platform, so we can reach a greater diversity of applicants - the MOD is an inclusive place to work, and we want to get that message out.
All levels and subjects are on offer
The MOD currently offers 34 different apprenticeships. Levels vary across the organisation - for example in HR we offer level three, five and seven.
We take people from all backgrounds and can help to develop their skillset. The apprenticeships can help people with their functional Maths and English, and we also recruit people with a specific interest but perhaps no professional qualifications and we train them as part of their apprenticeship.
What does an apprenticeship entail?
In my case, I work four days a week in my main role, then I get one day a week to work on my apprenticeship. I’m doing a Level 5 HR consultant apprenticeship over two years.
Apprentices work with a learning provider. I’m learning about the latest theories and trends that apply to HR, writing about them and then applying my new knowledge in the workplace. In my case I get to find out about new ideas in HR and discuss what I’ve learned with my line manager later.
Apprentices are given assignments throughout their course. There’s also reflective learning work throughout; you look at the work you’ve done, what you’ve learned, and then think about anything you might have done differently. It works well - I'm learning all the time, then taking what I’ve learned back to my day job.
Promoting diversity at the MOD
The MOD has good diversity policies in place, with plenty of staff networks available to support people and ensure diversity is recognised and embraced. We can offer flexible working options too.
There are so many development opportunities within the civil service and National Apprenticeship Week highlights just one of these.
Encouraging people to achieve their potential
The army is keen to raise the profile of the range of apprenticeships available in the MOD all year round, not just for National Apprenticeship Week.
We run development, coaching and mentoring opportunities all year round, too. There's just a lot going on, all the time!
Many people assume an apprenticeship is only for 16 to 24 year olds, but I’m living proof that this isn’t the case. Every day is a learning day! I will get my professional CIPD qualification by June 2022 and finish the apprenticeship in early 2023.
I really enjoy the fact that I get to help people realise their potential and even become experts in their field. And I love learning new things; that’s why I'm an apprentice myself!
Whatever you do and wherever you work, a career in the civil service is an opportunity to make a difference.
Victoria | Civilian Workforce Team