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Merseyside Police spotlights former apprentices to see where they are now

5 months ago

Merseyside Police spotlights former apprentices to see where they are now
Merseyside Police New HQ

National Apprenticeship Week (5 – 11 February) is a national initiative which encourages people to seek out paid training opportunities as apprentices across the country.  

This year, Merseyside Police have sought out those who started with apprenticeships with them in the past to find out if they have used their training, what their experiences of working for the police was like, and what they’re doing now. 

As an employer of nearly 8,000 people, Merseyside Police takes on around 100 apprentices a year.  While some of those are police officer apprentices and Contact Resolution Officer apprentices, many are Clerical apprentices working to gain a Business Administration Level 3 qualification while working in administrative roles across the force. 

Some of those taken on as clerical apprentices, though, have now decided to look into other career pathways. 

Former clerical apprentice, Phoebe Dermott, took her career in a different direction after completing her apprenticeship with the force:

“My first role was as a clerical officer in the prosecutions unit. It was a really supportive environment, and I was encouraged to explore what I was drawn to. I was interested in case building, so my manager organised for me to shadow a case builder for a week – even going to court with them for a couple of days.

“Those kinds of development opportunities, although it might sound cheesy, really helped me grow and gave me more confidence. So much so that I actually applied to the apprenticeship I’d always wanted to do but never had the confidence to go for – a police constable degree apprenticeship. So now I’ve been with Merseyside Police for five years, and I’m so glad that I did it.”

Former apprentice, Kirsten Rowlands, started in the force’s Safer Roads Unit, but also felt she’d like to try more of a frontline role once she’d completed her apprenticeship:

“After getting certification I started looking around the force for other roles I might like. I applied for the role of Detention Officer in St Anne’s Street Custody Suite. I did that for about 10 months, but felt like it wasn’t quite right for me, so kept looking around for other roles in-force, which is how I became a Case Development Officer. I interview suspects, speak with solicitors, CPS, and help build the file that will eventually go to court. 

“Working for Merseyside Police has made me step out of my comfort zone and massively boosted my confidence. Completing the apprenticeship was the best decision I ever made.”

While some clerical apprentices have been keen to try getting closer to the front line, others have found a way to progress their career and help the public without going face to face with suspects.

Lucy Jones started her apprenticeship in 2018, working as a grade A clerical officer. She is now a grade E Police Staff Investigator in the Major Crimes unit:

“I’ve been given so many valuable opportunities to progress, and always been encouraged to engage with training and events. I know I’ve gained valuable life skills and knowledge which I wouldn’t have gotten outside the force. I’m incredibly dedicated to my job.”

Picture – Merseyside Police

The need for progression opportunities was something which many of the ex-apprentices interviewed cited as a key factor in their decision making, with the majority saying they desired to move on and up after gaining their certification.

In her 4 years at Merseyside Police, ex-apprentice Olivia Thomas has been promoted into four different roles. 

“My first role within Merseyside police was a Clerical Officer, then I had a temporary promotion as a Cost Recovery Officer for 12 months. I then became a Contact Resolution Officer for 12 months where I gained many different skills, and now I am a Case Development Officer in custody. You have  so many different opportunities to progress and to climb the ladder.”

Matthew Jones feels similarly. He began his apprenticeship in the role of administrator at the force’s academy in 2021. Three years on, he now works as a Training Coordinator.

He says that working with his original team gave him the confidence to progress to the new role: 

“I finally found a way to put my talents to good use. I loved working with the admin team so much. They were just so supportive. And this new opportunity gives me a chance to apply my new skills.”

Large employers across the country will be showcasing a variety of roles on offer to those looking to work and train this week. 

Apprenticeship and Qualifications Officer, Katie Anderson, has a clear message for anyone weighing up whether an apprenticeship is right for them: 

“Where you start is almost never where you end up, especially with a large employer. I’ve worked in FE for decades – and my biggest piece of advice would be, get your foot in the door, get trained, and then don’t be afraid to try out roles you think might be interesting. It’s all about learning.  

“When you work for a big employer you’ll find out about job opportunities you didn’t even know existed, and it’s much easier to move around an organisation that you’re already a part of because there’s so much more support. Your colleagues want you to succeed, so it’s easy to get that advice and guidance that can make all the difference.”

For more info on Merseyside Police click here. For the latest news in Liverpool click here.

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