Case study

My journey as a Cabinet Office apprentice

Kelly Dunlea discusses her experience in moving to a permanent role in the Cabinet Office from an apprenticeship in the civil service.

Kelly Dunlea sitting at desk
Kelly Dunlea, now a permanent member of staff at Cabinet Office. Photo: Crown Copyright.

So it’s been 1 year since I wrote about my experience as an apprentice last, and what a year it’s been! I’ve gained so much more confidence, developed a variety of new skills and participated in some exciting events.

Back in March 2013 I had been an apprentice for just over 3 months and was still adjusting to working in the civil service. This was originally an 18-month placement so I wanted to ensure I made the most of my time in government before it would all come to an end.

Find out more about National Apprenticeship Week and visit Made by Apprentices to see the work of apprentices all around the UK.

At this point I had no idea I was to complete my studies 7 months ahead of schedule in December 2013 and gain permanency within the Cabinet Office. I am now writing this as a recently graduated apprentice who has been a permanent civil servant for the past 6 weeks.

Just as I initially had to adjust to being an apprentice within government, I am now adjusting to being a fully-fledged civil servant kicking off my career in the public sector.

I still feel as though I am in the ‘apprentice mind-set’, expecting to receive a tutor visit or submit evidence towards my unit modules.

Although I no longer to need to do these tasks I won’t forget my journey into the civil service and will continue to promote and support apprenticeships within government. I’ve already started doing this since becoming a permanent member of staff - for instance, I organised a networking event for apprentices across government in January 2014 and showcased government work to students at a careers fair in London. I look forward to organising and participating in events like these in the future.

A degree is not the only ticket to become a civil servant and I am proof of this.

Published 7 March 2014