A recent celebration event recognised the achievements of those who’ve taken part, including current apprentice Jacky McKenzie and Janie Birchall, who completed the course last year.
The course is split into three parts: an NVQ diploma competence qualification; a diploma knowledge qualification; and a module on employment rights and responsibilities.
The diploma elements are assignments developed in conjunction with Civil Service Local and the learning providers to suit the needs of front- line, middle and senior managers.
Jacky McKenzie from the Department for Work and Pensions said: “I joined the Civil Service 24 years ago and have had a varied career. However, despite all the training and all the work I’ve put in. I don’t have a qualification to show for it. I wanted a qualification that would be recognised outside the Civil Service, so I decided to do the NVQ.
It’s not easy. When I began my first assignment, I realised just how long it was since I’d left formal education (the words old dog and new tricks came to mind!). But, I carried on and I’m half way through the course now. I have gained new skills and new techniques for dealing with situations, increased confidence and found renewed enthusiasm for my career. I am also more pro-active, more productive and more enthusiastic, and I understand my strengths and weaknesses better.
The contacts I have made across different departments have helped me to understand the bigger picture and, I have made new friends. And, since I started the NVQ, I have applied for and gained promotion from EO to SEO. I’m not claiming a direct link between the NVQ and the promotion, but there is a clear correlation between the encouragement and support I received and my confidence in making the application!”
“It was fantastic opportunity to come and recognise the success and achievements of those who have completed their higher apprenticeship with Civil Service Local. It’s always inspiring to hear the stories of those who have completed their learning and benefited from the increased confidence and opportunities that the apprenticeships bring. I hope that all those participating continue their learning and continue to champion apprenticeships as an excellent way of progressing their careers both in and outside of the Civil Service."
Gareth Jones, from the Skills Funding Agency that administers the apprenticeships.
Janie Birchall from HM Revenue and Customs also gained so much from studying the ILM. She said:
‘I hadn't done any formal learning since my A-levels, so having to research, structure and write assignments again was daunting at first. However, the support, guidance and encouragement from my mentor was excellent, and I was soon into the swing of it.
Now, 18 months later, I've gained a nationally-recognised qualification and have developed not only myself but also my team through the practical application of the knowledge and skills I acquired. I've become so much more confident, and during my time studying for the diploma I was promoted to a completely different business stream. The apprenticeship has helped me to develop transferable skills and I've been able to employ many of them in my new role. For anyone thinking of applying, I couldn't recommend it highly enough.’