Back in November we welcomed out first intake of Digital apprentices. Four months on we thought we’d catch up with them to find out a bit more about them and what they think of the experience so far. So, it’s over to our ‘Digi squad’ to tell you more.
Being a Digital Apprentice
We are part of the Welsh Government’s apprentices scheme, but we get to work on some cool digital and data projects… as well as attend special ‘Digi squad’ training sessions. That means we get additional digital training, digital mentorship, community digital inclusion volunteering opportunities and much more!
As the digital cohort of apprentices we get to communicate with every department via a multitude of different formats, meaning that we meet different people from all levels and gain a broad view of the Welsh Government and its commitments to the Welsh public. It’s great because we’re able to communicate our knowledge about all things digital and help people understand how to get the best out of their tech.
Who are we?
Well we’re a pretty diverse bunch, coming from all sorts of backgrounds, some with degrees, some with experience in different work environments and some straight from school. Here’s a bit more about some of our backgrounds and why we joined the apprenticeship scheme.
“I came here from studying Neuroscience at University- I saw the apprentice jobs advertised on Facebook and thought I will give it a go. It is my first full time job as I’ve only worked in bars and as a lifeguard before, but I love how I can fit what I do around my volunteering as a Taekwondo Instructor and run leader! I’m now working in the Office of the Chief Digital Officer, writing test scripts and my big project at the moment is developing a website user guide”
“I’m a BSc Psychology graduate from the Philippines. I have some experience in construction industry working on sales and marketing and I applied for the apprenticeship because a friend who had completed the apprenticeship spoke highly of it and suggested I take up the opportunity. I’m now doing some social media management, website update and events, including organisation and coordination”
“Before coming to WG I was working in a Trampoline Park. I held a number of different roles while at the business but Health and Safety, First Aid and Café were my main areas of focus. I found it near impossible to break into a new career but the apprenticeship scheme seemed like the ideal mix of training and paid work. I found out through friends and family about the program and how much better the work life balance is and decided to apply. Currently I’m running a clinic for staff enabling them to work online when they’re not in the office. I’m also helping develop new ways to make use of VC facilities.”
“I worked in a retail and pharmacy management role, where I had worked since leaving university. At university I had studied a BA (Hons) Film and Screen Studies. I fancied a change in career and a different challenge to the one I was previously working in. I knew it was a great organisation to work for and an apprenticeship would possibly be an ideal opportunity. I also liked the thought of gaining new skills and going back into education, but still wanting and needing to work, so the apprenticeship was ideal! I’m now working in Press Office-helping with journalist queries and press notices, collating press lines for the duty press officer on a daily basis”
We’ve come a long way in 4 months….
As you can see we are dispersed over several departments of the Welsh Government, from the First Ministers press office to ICT support and areas in-between, not one of us is doing the exact same job! However we all share something in common- we were all excited to take up this fantastic opportunity working for the Welsh Government.
It is surreal to think that we started out as a small group of random people stood in a room on the 1st of November, looking like teenagers at a dance party… Boys on one side, girls on the other! Fast forward to our first workshop we had found common ground and found ourselves talking too much (We had to be told to shut up…eek)!
We’re now valued members of our teams and Welsh Government, contributing to the day to day work of our teams, getting involved in some cool projects through the ‘Digi squad’ and being given opportunities to attend digital conferences.
What would we say to anyone thinking of doing this?
“Go for it! I signed up on a whim and have never been happier! I learn something new everyday and I’ve got to learn things that I’ve wanted to for years”
“Do all the training, pay attention to details, drink a lot of coffee”
“it’s a great way to join an organisation and gain skills in a role you may have never expected yourself to be in.”
We are all eager to continue our training and are looking forward to the new opportunities and challenges that we’ll face as part of the apprenticeship scheme.
If you are interested in hearing more about our experiences and the projects we’re involved in then keep an eye on the blog for future posts.