Inside the Fast Track Apprenticeship Scheme

Meet Jack Gasgoyne, a 19 year-old Department of Education executive officer who is part of the Fast Track Apprenticeship Scheme. Find out more about his role and responsibilities within government and discover how he gained the opportunity in the first place.

Originally appearing on the Civil Service blog, Jack explains his remarkable apprenticeship journey.

Rewind 12 months ago and Jack was like any other teenager, studying for his A-Levels and eating pizza on his sofa.

Despite studying for his A-Levels (he gained a B in Media, a C in English Language and a D in German), Jack didn’t want to go to university, so was immediately interested when hearing about the Civil Service Fast Track Apprenticeship Scheme.

‘‘While in the sixth-form common room, I heard a teacher announce the opportunity to meet an apprentice on something called the Civil Service Fast Track Apprenticeship Scheme. I wanted to get out there, to learn on the job. The Fast Track Apprenticeship could offer me just that opportunity. I kept my options open and applied.’’

The scheme encourages school leavers and non-graduates to take up an apprenticeship within the civil service. The initiative is hiring 750 apprentices in 2015 through two corporate intermediate and higher apprenticeship schemes – the Civil Service Fast Track and Operational Delivery apprenticeship schemes.

The initiative allows young people to gain work experience within government and receive a certified qualification (In Jack’s case a Level 4 HNC and NVQ). Successful applicants also receive a competitive salary.

Jack’s two-month application process for the fast track scheme included a number of evaluations, including online tests in maths, literacy and decision-making, and an assessment day.

Once Jack completed the tasks, he was delighted to find out that he was awarded a place on the scheme, but admitted that he didn’t quite know what he had let himself in for.

‘‘I remember thinking afterwards: ‘But er, what will I be doing?’ I knew I was to become a Civil Service apprentice completing a Level 4 HNC and NVQ. But, for a while, the meaning of that statement simply washed over me,’’ explained Jack.

After initially finding his apprenticeship slightly overwhelming, Jack settled into his role perfectly.

‘‘Now, nine months in, I’m feeling confident and making headway with my courses. We’ve studied a variety of business units from tall, hierarchical organisational structures, to the classic motivational pyramid of Maslow, and we’ve another year to go.’’

Reflecting upon his first nine months as an apprentice, Jack is proud to be working within the civil service, as it has given him the motivation to balance his work and home life.

‘‘Living by myself and working full time gives rise to things you don’t tend to think about as a teenager – housework, managing my income, organising everything from dentists to holidays and looking after my cat. It’s something I’m incredibly proud to be doing (I’m still in shock that I have a mortgage at 19!).’’

As a civil services apprentice, Jack has huge ambition and hopes to work his way up the government ladder.

‘‘For someone who wanted real-world experience, I feel really lucky. I enjoy my job and, what I think is even more important, I’m proud to say I’m a civil servant. If the planets align, I may even get promoted and climb a little higher in the department. It’s certainly a life goal for me to learn and excel.’’