Currently working in Revenue, Laoise shares her experience of the ICT apprenticeship programme in the Civil Service and the opportunities she has been provided. From studying for a Diploma in Networking and Systems Security part-time to working on a project overhauling the WAN site infrastructure, Laoise has found the experience to be very beneficial for her learning.
What was your previous career/education path before becoming an ICT Apprentice?
I actually worked in the local corner shop, believe it or not! After finishing secondary school, I really struggled with the idea of dedicating four years to a course I might not actually like. So, I took a year off and got a job. Then I learned of FIT and their private sector apprenticeships and started working on getting a place there.
What was your reason for applying to become an ICT Apprentice in the Civil Service?
I’ve always loved computers. I grew up around them, and I knew I’d more than likely start a career in the IT sector. I just didn’t know what. I was already on FIT’s waiting list for a private sector apprenticeship when the opportunity to be an ICT Apprentice in the Civil Service arose, and I immediately applied. I had heard lots of stories from friends in the private sector telling stories of hours upon hours of overtime and working weekends every week, and I knew that wasn’t for me – I enjoy a healthy work-life balance! Job stability was a huge bonus for me, too. I work hard, don’t get me wrong, but the public sector really values life outside of work.
What did you enjoy most about being on the Civil Service ICT Apprenticeship programme?
I had such a variety of people in my class. There was so much experience to draw on, both from my in-class mentor and my classmates. I also learn best by doing – not just endless theory work. So being able to actually experience a live environment was hugely beneficial for my learning.
What does your current ICT EO role entail?
We’re always busy in Revenue! Currently I work on the service desk on a rota basis, helping users across the country with network-related issues. The main project I work on is the overhaul of WAN site infrastructure. We travel to different Revenue sites across the country to replace the equipment there with new devices. That’s my favourite work!
What opportunities has the apprenticeship programme, and your subsequent role provided you with?
I’m currently studying for a Diploma in Networking and Systems Security part time, and I’ve attended more training than I can count at this rate! I’ve learned about Linux basics, Cisco device training, HPE Comware training – the list goes on. Revenue has a huge and varied network, there’s really something for everyone here.
Would you recommend a career in the public sector?
I would! Despite things you hear of the public sector being slow to change, it’s really the opposite. We’re always working on new technologies and having such a vast network and experienced colleagues gives me a perfect environment to constantly learn in. Being able to ask for training is great, and we’re always encouraged to do so. I’ve even thought about going to college for a BSc – but testing the waters first with my Springboard course!