Digital Innovation during a Pandemic – Supporting Welsh Businesses

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The covid-19 pandemic has been devastating in many ways and has prompted the need for us, and others, to deliver digital public services at pace and based around user needs.  An example is the work of the Business Wales Digital team, who provide support to businesses across Wales in relation to financial support, training, marketing and much more.  In this blog, Rhys Morris, Operational Delivery Manager in Business Wales, explains how he and his team used agile and fast delivery approaches to put in place much needed support for Welsh businesses.

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Reflections from a new digital leader

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This week it’s Digital Leaders Week which felt like a good time to write my first blog as Chief Digital Officer in Welsh Government since I started in July (not quite the famous “100 first days” that politicians refer to but not far away). It’s been a whirlwind few months learning what is going on across the organisation and outside, and at the same time trying to take forward some key pieces of work which we think are important in terms of responding to the pandemic and getting ourselves ready for the future. As with many other work places we have of course primarily been working from home since March. This of course has huge benefits which have been well described over the past few months, but it does present a very different experience in starting a new job and not being able to have face to face contact with my new teams!

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A beginners understanding of what user research is

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Throughout school I always enjoyed taking part in making and designing new things for others (my favourite lesson being Textiles). I’m not implying that creating a dress is the same as implementing a policy, but they have very similar needs. These include, a (hopefully) happy user, an end product and that feeling of success! It turns out that by finding out what people wanted, and adapting to their needs I was actually carrying something called user research.

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From A Level to Apprenticeship

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Picture of Tia, Digital Data and Technology Apprentice

Planning my future looked as though it was going to be the biggest decision I would ever make in my life, so I tried avoiding it. Whilst coming to the end of my A-levels this year, not knowing what my favourite subject was, or whether I wanted to go to university, I was completely clueless. However, after speaking to those with experience it landed me in this amazing opportunity that provides so many choices. Continue reading

Apprenticeships – too good to be true?

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Picture of Dom, Digital Data and Technology ApprenticeBefore joining Welsh Government I completed my degree in History at the University of Reading. After graduating I wasn’t sure about what path to take regarding a career, as until then I’d only worked part-time jobs while at school. Over Christmas I started working in retail as a customer assistant, and began building my experience and skills. After 3 years and undertaking a variety of roles I decided that I did not see a long-term career in retail management and began searching for a different career path aligned with my interests. Initially I was debating going back to university to continue my education; however I was disappointed with the potential prospects offered by a Masters in History. I fired off applications for all sorts of jobs, from the National Crime Agency to air traffic control – just to try something different. Continue reading

Goodbye, Marking Books – Hello Business Analysis!

Picture of Josh, DDaT ApprenticeDarllenwch y dudalen hon yn Gymraeg.

In March 2019, I took a leap of faith in leaving my teaching job to join Welsh Government as a Digital, Data and Technology (DDaT) Pathway Apprentice. I’m now nearing the end of my first placement on the scheme and already it’s clear that I couldn’t have made a better choice in reinvigorating and future-proofing my career.

Prior to enrolling on the DDaT Pathway Apprenticeship I spent 5 years working as a Teacher, having specialised in Primary Education and Special Educational Needs. Whilst I found my work rewarding, the focus of the work was often administrative, and I regularly found myself having to work outside of my conditioned hours in order to meet the demands of the role. The six-week summers went some way to redress the balance but I was still having to work even during these holiday periods. Continue reading

Apprenticeships … Aren’t They Just For School Leavers? #olddognewtricks

A Career Change into a Digital, Data & Technology Apprenticeship

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How did I get here?

Picture of Ted, Digital, Data and Technology ApprenticeI worked for BT as a Project Manager for 25 years ….. and 12 months ago there was an opportunity for me to accept redundancy terms.

I really enjoyed my career in BT, but I felt that after spending the previous 10-15 years managing projects to deliver IT infrastructure, I really wanted the opportunity to be on the “other side of the fence” and actually get involved in the technical side of ICT world. Continue reading