I started as an Apprentice Software Developer in 2014 and graduated last year. That’s why I took such an eager interest in planning and delivering the Discovery Day induction event for 68 new apprentices who’ve joined us this year.
HMRC recognise apprentices bring new blood and fresh ideas to government, so much so that we’ve significantly increased the number of apprentices across the whole department. In HMRC digital alone we plan to enrol many more apprentices over the coming year.
This year our apprentices have come to us via a variety of schemes; Fast Track, Design & Technology Solutions Professional Degree, Network Engineer, Software Developers and Cyber. Every cohort of apprentices receives an induction and, year on year, these inductions improve. We learn from what we’ve done previously, and we develop and expand on good ideas.
This time, we tried something that we hadn’t done before; a Discovery Day. An opportunity for apprentices, past and present, to network, build relationships and find out more about HMRC digital.
I spent my first year as an apprentice in a little digital bubble, my interests and experiences confined to one area. So I wholeheartedly supported the idea to focus this year’s induction on HMRC digital as a whole, to give the new apprentices the broader context of their own role from the start. We invited representatives from across HMRC digital to come along and showcase what they do in a market stall activity. The apprentices were given a 10 minute slot on each stall, which was enough time for an overview and the chance to ask any questions.
We challenged the apprentices to take part in a quiz at the end of the session to find out what they’d learnt from each stall holder. No pressure there then!
Our guest speaker for the day was Nigel Green, IT Delivery Director who spoke about his experiences, his hopes for our apprentices and the exciting challenges that we face.
We also had the pleasure of introducing the new blood to the old as current and former apprentices gave up their time to deliver a presentation on their journey so far. A Q&A panel with these apprentices proved invaluable as an opportunity to share best practices. Plus, we identified in which locations the apprentice community networks needed development. Fortunately, we have a group of dedicated individuals who are committed to overseeing the strengthening of these communities, using expertise acquired from their own experiences.
All in all, it was certainly a successful day. I saw a lot of smiling faces, and went away feeling really proud of what HMRC digital have achieved so far with apprentices. It’s been a pleasure to watch and be a part of and I look forward to seeing what an impact this year’s cohort can make.
Graduate Software Developer Apprentice
UK IT Awards Highly Commended IT Apprentice of the Year, WISE Rising Star of the Year 2017
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