Joining the Government Communications Service Apprentice scheme

27 Jan 2020 02:50 PM

Blog post by: Sam Hutcherson, Monday, 27 January 2020.

Sam Hutcherson secured a communications apprenticeship in HM Treasury where he works within the Communications and Engagement team for the Government Finance Function. He discusses the exciting work he's been involved in since joining the GCS.

I am one of 2019’s intake of Government Communications Service (GCS) apprentices. Even though it has only been a few months, already I feel I have grown massively, both in my role and as a person. I joined the Treasury straight from secondary school, so as you can imagine it was very daunting in the beginning. Luckily, I feel I have joined the perfect team, as they, and my line manager, have made my entry as comfortable as possible.

I believe the largest factor which aided this is the team entrusting me with responsibility from early on in my role. One of the first jobs I took on when I arrived was to film Mike Driver who, as the Head of Government Finance Function (GFF), is the most senior person in the function. The short film was for Mike to explain more about the function’s new finance strategy and standards and would be played to delegates attending the function’s regional roadshows. 

Furthermore, this role has given me the opportunity to travel the country. In the space of a few weeks I have travelled to Birmingham, Manchester, Bristol, Newcastle and Leeds to take photos of GFF events and film a number of Finance Directors explaining what the Government Finance Function strategy means for them. These will be published on our new digital platform, called OneFinance, which launches in January 2020. It is like the GCS website for government communicators, a place for colleagues to find out more about working in Finance, from jobs to guidance, latest finance news, training and events.

Another big responsibility with which I have been entrusted is taking charge of the brand new GFF social media strategy. The Function currently has no social media channels. In an increasingly digital world, it is essential that we are up to date with the latest in social media communications. I have created an OASIS plan to outline our strategy and to use social media effectively alongside our new OneFinance platform.

During my time here, I have learnt a variety of vital skills, all of which I am going to use and strengthen in my career in the Civil Service. Some examples would be the various aspects of camera work I’ve learnt, as well as becoming familiar with all the different editing platforms within the Adobe Creative Suite. 

It has been a very busy introduction to the Civil Service; however, I have still found time to meet and socialise with my new colleagues. I recently hosted a quiz for my cohort of apprentices. The quiz had several rounds including a round on communications history, the winners were; Lauren Brown (Home Office), Poppy Tavender (Home Office) and Holly Holden (Office of Rail and Road).

As part of the GCS quiz, we raised enough money adopt a shiver of White Sharks for the Shark Trust. Within the GFF all charitable work we do is for the Shark Trust in order to help fund the vital research that is being done to allow the world to understand these animals.  The process of setting up the quiz proved to be quite difficult in the beginning. I had to liaise with both HMT and Facilities stakeholders just to book a room, however, my team helped me massively and made the quiz possible.

As well as being lots of fun, I also feel the whole process really helped my progression within my role. It introduced me to the logistics involved in setting up an event – something I am going to be able to utilise in the future with all the events our team set up, for example our annual conference and regional roadshows.

 The first few months of the job have been a massive learning curve for me, but I’ve enjoyed all the challenges and really feel like I’ve risen to the occasion. I really love the varied work that being a GCS apprentice offers, and I’m looking forward to learning even more as the programme develops.

If you would to get in touch, I can be contacted by email