Civil service apprentice: case study

19-year-old Ayath Ullah, who has an enforcement and compliance role in HM Revenue & Customs, talks about his experience of being a civil service apprentice:

“This is a real alternative to a university education and I am constantly learning new things every day. I resigned from a job in the City to join the scheme because I knew it was one of the best on the market to develop myself from an early age and set a good foundation for a fruitful career in the civil service.

“The civil service is a vibrant & dynamic place to work and very few employers can match what it has to offer – both in terms of breadth and depth of experience. No 2 days are ever the same and every day brings with it a unique set of challenges. I also get to meet some fascinating people, from those who deliver frontline services to the public at our enquiry centres to those who are ultimately responsible for approving high value contracts like the Crown Commercial Representatives. I recently met a colleague who’s recently retired after 48 years of service and that in itself is a testament to the type of employer the civil service is. Through my quality assurance work; I go home every day knowing that the taxpayer is getting value for money from our spending/investment.

“A huge challenge is managing expectations and balancing the workload from different business streams or different managers. There’s never been a better time to join the civil service as it’s going through some of the most radical reforms to date. For people who are eager to learn and serious about building a career in the public sector there are always opportunities to shine and develop yourself. Joining at a management grade you get responsibility from an early phase of your career.

“One of the most important things apprentices bring into the service is an appetite for doing things differently and that is very much an attitude welcomed by ministers and the head of the civil service.”