Cora Gordon
Clare Burnett

Member Article

Leeds apprentice takes the fast track to Civil Service employment

Leeds-based Cora Gordon is one of the 100 apprentices who have participated in the Government’s Civil Service Fast Track scheme, that sees people who do not want to go into university be apprenticed to government agencies.

The fast track scheme is designed to attract young people like Cora Gordon, from Leeds, who are looking for an alternative to the graduate route into employment.

Cora was one of the intake in the scheme’s first year after achieving the A-level results she needed to study law at university.

She saw the apprenticeship scheme as her opportunity to go into full-time work while carrying on with her education.

She now works as a paralegal officer in Leeds on case management and assisting prosecutors in the Crown Prosecution Service.

Cora, 22,said: “The Civil Service Fast Track Apprenticeship Scheme was the perfect alternative to going to university for me.

“The thing I enjoy most about working as a paralegal officer is the fast paced working environment of the legal system.

“Some days I work in the office completing casework for cases such as murder and rape, and other days I work in Crown Courts across West Yorkshire, assisting prosecuting criminals. No two days are the same.

“My journey so far has been challenging but extremely rewarding. I would recommend the scheme to anyone who is focused and determined to success in life. This is an amazing opportunity that will kick-start the next chapter in your life.”

Apprenticeships are part of the Government’s drive to widen the pool of talent the Civil Service draws on and create a Civil Service fit for the 21st century.

The Fast Track Apprenticeship scheme isupposedly strengthens the Civil Service with talented young people who have chosen not to go to university.

The number of government apprenticeships available to talented young people across England is doubling this year, with applications for 200 places in the Civil Service Fast Track Apprenticeship scheme open this week.

Apprenticeships offer 18-to-21-year-olds the opportunity to work at the heart of government in roles with real responsibility, such as developing business policy in Sheffield, helping people into work in Birmingham, or advising ministers in Whitehall.

The scheme was introduced last year, when 100 18-to-21-year-olds were placed in departments to learn on the job.

This year, the scheme is looking to offer 200 permanent Executive Officer posts to school leavers in September 2014. The aim is to increase the places available to 500, so that the programme matches the graduate Fast Stream.

The apprentices will benefit from a structured training programme for two years.

They will be expected to develop a range of skills and at the end of the scheme will have the opportunity to apply for other Civil Service career opportunities.

The scheme will be managed alongside the Civil Service’s other corporate talent programmes.

Minister for the Cabinet Office Francis Maude said: “As part of our long-term plan to get Britain on the rise, we are working to ensure that we have the very best people working in the Civil Service.

“That’s why we have introduced a new Fast Track Apprenticeship scheme for talented school leavers, which we have now doubled to offer 200 places in seven spots across the country.

“The apprenticeship scheme will sit alongside our popular graduate scheme ensuring we draw the widest pool of talent into the Civil Service to help Britain win the global race.”

Head of the Civil Service, Sir Bob Kerslake, said: “We are looking for more young people who have what it takes to help create the modern, efficient, responsive Civil Service the UK deserves.

“The Fast Track Apprenticeship scheme is attracting a new generation of school leavers who are choosing not to take the higher education route to employment but have the talent and commitment to succeed in one of the diverse careers offered by the Civil Service. You have until 19 February to apply for this exciting opportunity.”

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Clare Burnett .

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