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My experience as a working parent and apprentice in Welsh Government

Darllenwch y dudalen hon yn Gymraeg

Picture of Sheree, a Digital Data and Technology Apprentice

In March 2019, I started my apprenticeship with the Welsh Government and my first placement is within Hwb’s Service desk team. Hwb is the National Digital Learning Platform which hosts a national collection of digital tools and resources to support learning and teaching in Wales.

Why I’m here

I worked in a call centre for over 10 year which focussed on car insurance in which I had many roles but the main responsibility was helping the customer with any queries they had or amending their policies. I really enjoyed my job but the older I was getting the more I wanted to learn something new and hopefully make a career out of my new skills.

Being a mum and working part time currently I thought to myself I have two options. I could stop working and commit to learning something new by going back to college or open university. Alternatively, I could apply for jobs that enabled me to develop new skills whilst supporting my family. The thought of having to go back to college and not be paid each month, when trying to run a house with children was a bit daunting.

I then saw an advertisement for the Digital, Data and Technology (DDaT) apprenticeship through the Welsh Government and was intrigued. I have always had an interest in ICT but have never had much exposure to it as we had limited lessons in school. At first I thought it would not be something I would be eligible for because I’m 30 and have commitments with my children. I decided to have a look anyway, I immediately went to check the ‘who can apply?’ section on the website and was happy to see that there was no upper age limit and you didn’t need any specific qualification in ICT. When reading through the application it also mentioned that I was able to work part time which would help me in balancing a new career and being a mum. Not only that the pay and benefits were amazing too especially for working parents.  Also, as a working parent I was impressed with the pay and benefits on offer so decided to apply.

I was amazed to find out I had been successful with my application and was one of the 10 new apprentices to join the Welsh Government.

My current role

During my first couple of weeks I was getting to know Hwb and what it has to offer to the users – which by the way is a lot. I then started answering emails to help me get used to the types of questions and queries that the service desk get on a daily basis. I feel I joined at just the right time as they were introducing a new call logging system in order to make the process for uses a lot more seamless. When I felt comfortable responding to emails, I was given training on the new system ready to start taking calls from the users of Hwb. The calls and e-mails vary quite a lot,  which has enabled me to gain a wealth of knowledge in many areas.

My current placement within the Hwb service desk team has been so enjoyable, I have met some incredible people who have been nothing but welcoming and are always happy to help me with anything I need. The team are so knowledgeable and I have learnt so much from them already.

I can highly recommend the Welsh Government DDaT Pathway Apprenticeship scheme as an amazing opportunity to learn new skills. The flexible working they offer is a breath of fresh air. I have found it perfect for me it creates the best work and life balance for me and my family.

Post by Sheree Jones, Digital Data and Technology Apprentice


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