I'm James and I have always been a storyteller. Prior to applying for my apprenticeship here at the Insolvency Service, I was learning the craft of screenwriting while performing in an Edinburgh theatre.
I saw the apprenticeship advertised and the chance of working at the Insolvency Service really appealed to me. I applied for one of the vacancies and was delighted to be offered the role shortly after.
The apprenticeship means I'll be working towards a Level 3 qualification, in operational delivery, and paid the usual salary for my grade. I'm currently working as an Investigations Support Officer in the Insolvent Investigations team.
Beginning my Apprenticeship
My new colleagues in the team were brilliant. Their efforts to initiate me into the world of insolvency made learning my role much simpler. Thanks to them, I had a burgeoning list of tasks waiting to be collected in a portfolio. I was about to begin my Operational Delivery journey.
But where to start? Looking at the 80-something activities which formed the structure of my learning plan, I felt a bit overwhelmed at first. There was a pathway through my qualification, since each month had several tasks dedicated to it, but there was nothing stopping me from completing them in any order.
One module in my learning plan stood out - the Personal Development Centre.
This module involves the use of a system which tailors a programme of learning topics to its user. My apprenticeship teaches me to be keen and organised.
Important tasks are much easier to complete now that I know how to prioritise them in my diary. My work on the 'Assertiveness' activity has given me the confidence to ask questions. I am proud to say that I make very few mistakes thanks to this confidence.
My duties involve writing and issuing letters on behalf of an investigator. I helped tackle director misconduct by sending enquiries to banks, accountants, creditors, employees and Insolvency Practitioners.
My line manager has really helped me through my apprenticeship. Whenever I doubted my abilities, she was always available, always enthusiastic. I'm not usually the biggest networker, but I was helped to contact colleagues around the agency.
My apprenticeship talent coach also inspired me to make a connection with an apprentice from a different agency in the Civil Service. The introduction of working from home laptops and new software during the pandemic was also a great help.
I was little caught off guard by the opportunities that came my way - writing this blog was one them.
Thinking back, looking ahead
Now, when I think back on my five months working for the Insolvency Service, I remember how many of my colleagues were simply glad to help a new starter like myself. I know I will always find somebody who is willing to help, all I need to do is ask.
I am proud of the connections I have made in the Insolvency Service. This agency has a great environment for communication - one where an apprentice can easily ask their experienced colleagues for advice. I believe in quality communication and one day, I hope to be an advocate for it when somebody comes to me for advice.