I had no idea what I wanted to study at University and I didn’t want to build up debt from the annual £9k fees, so an apprenticeship seemed like the best idea. I could get the education without the debt. Perfect.
Although I didn’t get the best grades in maths, I saw HMGCC on a jobs website and thought I would apply. Originally, I went for the Electrical Apprenticeship, but the recruitment team saw my CV and called me. They thought I’d be a better fit for the IT Apprenticeship. It was odd, as I knew nothing of IT before, and my IT GCSE only really taught me how to use Microsoft Office.
My first year was spent at college, where myself and the other Apprentices stayed in halls paid for by HMGCC. There was so much support, with a ‘Keep In Touch’ day, where we would visit the site every six weeks. After college, we started working on-site, where we would do ‘self-learning’. Two and half years later, and we had our final project, which is when the other Apprentices and I achieved our HNC’s.
Now, I’m in the Software Verification team, which involves the build, installations and full tests of mobile apps that we develop. I’m still involved in the Apprenticeship programme, as myself and other former Apprentices mentor newer students and help them to achieve their HNC’s. I still meet up with the other Apprentices I went to college with. In fact, we have lunch together every day, even though we’re now in different domains across the site.
My favourite thing about working here is that everyone is so helpful. You can literally ask anyone and they’re willing to help you. Not only that, I learn something new every day, which is great. I’m now planning to complete a Cyber-related degree, and I hope to do a secondment with some of our customers in other Government departments.