For Michael, life isn’t all work, work, work. Through a Policy Apprenticeship with Youth Friendly Employer the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) he can put his politics-related degree into good practice while balancing work and learning so he can still enjoy running and training with the Ilkley Harriers. This is Michael’s story.
I joined the Department in September as part of the Policy Profession Apprenticeship Scheme’s 2019 cohort and was placed in the Education, Modernization and Funding Team. This role has been brilliant, and a far-cry from my previous work in finance.
In my spare time, I am a passionate (some may say obsessive) runner and train with the Ilkley Harriers. In 2020, I will be running Manchester and London marathons, two weeks apart from each other, after unexpectedly receiving a club place to London Marathon, whilst also trying to parkrun every Saturday of 2020.
When I came across the recently launched Policy Profession Apprenticeship Scheme, I knew I had to apply. For a long time, I have been very interested in pursuing a career in policy. This started when studying EU politics at university where I was fortunate to spend one year abroad in Strasbourg (a European Capital for politics). The opportunity of an apprenticeship was fantastic for me. It provided me a chance to work within an area that has fascinated me, policy, while also working in one of the great departments of state and earning a qualification.
Although my apprenticeship is not scheduled to start until February, there are several benefits that will help me to balance my learning and workload. As an apprentice, I have flexible guaranteed study time each week to pursue apprenticeship-related activities. This will allow me the time to dedicate and focus on my assignments, without it eating into my weekends or free time. This also allows me to work with my line manger to ensure that I am not taking time off during busy periods when my team needs me.
During the short period of time that I have been in this role, I have had the opportunity to develop and hone many skills on the job such as: drafting correspondence, providing secretariat functions and organising meetings, while also gaining experience in data collection and working with stakeholders. I anticipate that once my apprenticeship commences in February, the teaching will bolster these skills further as well as introduce me to new ways of thinking and working.
I would whole heartedly encourage you to familiarise yourself with the apprenticeship opportunities available through the Department – these cover a range of subjects and are by no means limited to policy. The Apprenticeships Team are wonderful, friendly people and will be happy to talk through options if you are interested.