I’ve always been interested in technology and seeing lots of news about cyber threats has fascinated me.
However I felt that finding a career path into the world of cyber security without experience would be hard.
So when I saw an online advert for a digital and technology apprenticeship in the MoJ, I was thrilled and jumped at the chance.
I knew it would be a great way to learn about the topic whilst working for an organisation that I’ve always admired but never dreamt I’d have the opportunity to be a part of.
Along with two other apprentices, I joined the Cyber Security team in Digital and Technology. We work on identifying cyber security risks of technology and help to reduce the threats to the department’s information and systems.
As an apprentice, you learn so much in such a short amount of time. I’ve only been in my role for seven months and I already feel that my understanding of cyber security has come a long way thanks to the interesting and varied workload.
I’ve been learning about networking, coding and understanding threat intelligence. I’ve also moved around different Digital and Technology teams to broaden my experience, as well as having the chance to attend some really cool industry events, such as the AWS Summit and Infosec Europe.
One of my favourite experiences was visiting Wandsworth prison to hear about how technology is increasingly being used to support the officers and prisoners. Prisoners now have access to a digital kiosk which they can use to buy food and snacks, and have the chance to do courses in programming and graphic design.
We met three members of the HMPPS digital team who explained to us the systems used in digital prisons. It was useful to understand the legal implications and security issues of the data used in the prison systems. I learnt a lot about the life of our prison officers, all working to make our prisons better and more digital.
I’ve had such an incredible experience in my short time as an apprentice and it’s really inspired me to continue my career in digital and technology. If you have the opportunity to take on an apprentice or work experience student, I’d really encourage you to do it. You’ll be opening up a wealth of knowledge to someone and even inspire them to go down a career path that they never thought they would.
MoJ Chief Financial Officer Mike Driver writes: Apprenticeship programmes are very valuable learning and development tools for building capability, for both new and existing staff. I personally enjoy hearing about development in colleagues, such as Aaron, and seeing the skills they have learned, whilst getting vital experience in their desired field.
As MoJ Age Champion, I want to remind everyone that apprenticeships can be started regardless of age, they’re not exclusively for people who have just left school – which is a common misconception.
Apprenticeships enable anyone to learn, practice and reflect in a live environment which leads to knowledge, skills and behaviours that can be used throughout their career. Whether you are at the start of your career or looking for a change, apprenticeships are a great avenue to develop yourself, and are a resource that we should be utilising more.
National Apprenticeship Week is taking place now 4 to 8 March. Find out more!