Developing new talent is something I have always been passionate about, but it’s even more important to me now since I’ve taken on the role of Apprenticeships Champion for the whole of HMRC; to help define and drive our departmental and Whitehall strategy for apprenticeships across government. I’ve seen first-hand the energy, innovation and enthusiasm of our digital apprentices and I’d like to see this replicated in all departments.
At the end of last year I had the pleasure of spending an afternoon with our first intake of Digital Apprentices to mark their ‘graduation’ to fully-fledged members of the digital team. I was keen to hear their thoughts and ideas on what HMRC could do to make our apprenticeships even better.
The group has already created a digital apprentice mentor programme. Each new intake apprentice is paired up on day one with an apprentice graduate who will support them throughout their journey. It struck me as such a great idea so I’m now going to work with the team to help them roll out the apprentice mentor programme across the whole of HMRC.
The afternoon definitely highlighted to me what a difference apprenticeships can make to young people’s prospects. And this is where we plan to help. We had 10 digital apprentices graduate in 2016. We’ve just taken on 69 new apprentices and plan to double our intake year on year. We’re also working closely with universities to provide and support industrial placement schemes. 24 students joined us in September to work as Software Developers and UX Designers.
We’ve also set up a partnership with the National Cyber Security Programme (NCSP) to run the pilot for the Cross-Government Cyber Security Apprenticeship Scheme, focusing on recruitment and learning for Cyber Security apprentices across the Civil Service. HMRC has recruited 5 of the first 25 cyber apprentices who are doing a mix of formal training and on the job learning with our cyber experts. Again, after the success of this first year we'll be running it again next year with even more places available.
There are exciting times ahead for our apprenticeships in HMRC and wider government and I’m thrilled to be a part of it. But the last word must go to this year’s successful digital apprentice graduates. Well done for all you’ve achieved so far.
"Throughout the entirety of the apprenticeship, I have been fortunate enough to have been surrounded by very supportive people, who have always been willing to help me improve. I completed my level 4 NVQ in software development in September and have since changed role into Interaction Design. The Centre has been incredibly supportive through the change and I feel I have the tools and the people around me to succeed. I am very excited about the prospect of the future and continuing my work in the Digital Delivery Centre."
Ben Raine – Apprentice Interaction Designer
"It was a great experience to travel down to London to receive commendations from Mike. It was very refreshing to hear he was on board with our input to improve the scheme in the future and it seemed like they would be interested in going ahead with our ideas."
Shane Wilson – Apprentice Software Developer
HMRC Chief Digital & Information Officer
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