Of of the biggest apprenticeship myths is that they solely for school leavers who didn’t enjoy school learning and seek a non-academic career. Matthew’s experience of a Level 4 Policy Apprenticeship with Youth Friendly Employer DHSC (The Department of Health and Social Care) is totally different.
With his Policy Apprenticeship with the DHSC, Matthew got to work at the forefront of vaccination policy – an area where the UK has a world-leading programme.
Here is Matthew’s story.
In 2018 I had just been passed over for a new role in my old job and felt like I was going nowhere. I had just turned 28 and I was looking for a new start, then a friend of my mine spotted an opportunity to join the Civil Service. To be honest it wasn’t something I’d ever really thought about before, but I thought I would do some research and see what it was all about.
I found that the Policy Apprenticeship Scheme gave me a breadth of learning that supported me going forward with my career on topics as diverse as developing personal effectiveness to how you would successfully evaluate the merits of a policy.
The fact that it’s a Level 4 Apprenticeship that gives you a real and transferable qualification at the end of it is another big plus, too.
Now I work for the Department of Health and Social Care as part of a team that works on the policy around the national routine vaccination programme, and I love it!
I’ve been involved in a whole range of things including cross-departmental meetings looking at misinformation surrounding vaccines, briefing a Secretary of State in preparation for a question in the House, and the day-to-day things like responding to correspondence and PQs and helping to ensure that uptake of vaccination programmes remains high.
The learning programmes on my scheme have all been delivered under the umbrella of CSL courses, so I know the quality of the material is high, as are the facilitators that deliver it. This is supplemented by various online courses on a dedicated platform to help me track my learning. I have a dedicated day, once a week, that I can move around as and when the team need me, as an apprenticeship should supplement your job role, not detract from it!
I’ve found it so rewarding to be at the forefront of something where the UK can rightly claim to have a world-leading programme, one that protects everyone against many infectious and potentially deadly diseases.
This isn’t an opportunity I would’ve had, had I not joined the Policy Apprenticeship Scheme. I encourage everyone to go and look at the offerings available, which are far more varied than you might think and can be done alongside your existing role.
Hopefully you’ll find something as interesting and challenging as I have!