Government Legal Department
My experience as a Communications Apprentice
Sarah Baxendale is a Communications Apprentice in the Government Legal Department, based in London.
The Government Legal Department (GLD) offers a number of apprenticeships that give young people the opportunity to immerse themselves in the world of work whilst studying towards a qualification.
I started at GLD in November 2023 as a Communications Assistant as part of the Government Communications Service (GCS) Apprenticeship programme. This means I’m working at GLD whilst simultaneously carrying out a Level 4 Public Relations and Communications qualification. What attracted me to an apprenticeship, rather than a degree, was the prospect of kickstarting my career whilst earning a salary and still gaining a qualification at the end. The work and learning balances out to be four days a week in the workplace and one designated day to carry out my assignments and study.
My role as a Communications Assistant is to support the communications team, specifically the Press Office, to promote and raise the profile of GLD. This includes making sure the work GLD does is recognised more widely and making it an attractive place for future potential employees. I have been able to build my confidence, teamworking, and organisational skills by working on different projects with colleagues across the team. These have included pitching articles to legal outlets, producing social media content and media monitoring. I enjoy working with my team who are all very supportive and will assist with anything I need help with.
The educational aspect of my apprenticeship is also very thorough and well structured. I have been assigned both a tutor and a skills coach with whom I meet with regularly to discuss progress and further support. My employer and apprenticeship provider also keep in touch to ensure that I am given the most useful feedback to develop my skills. Our seminars occur monthly, which is a good chance to see everyone on the course and learn new skills that will help me in my role.
I had always considered a career in the Civil Service after discovering the value that it provides to society. We have four core values - objectivity, honesty, integrity, and impartiality. These ensure that as a department, we can deliver for everyone.
I have really enjoyed my time so far as an apprentice and am looking forward to future career paths and opportunities that this may lead to.
Apprenticeships are an important part of GLD’s learning and development offer across professions. To find out more about government apprenticeships, please visit Apprenticeships | Civil Service Careers (civil-service-careers.gov.uk).
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