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This blog post was published under the 2015-2024 Conservative Administration

Reaping the rewards of learning and development

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Learning at Work Week

My name is Ermias Worku, I am a Lead Infrastructure Engineer within the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) Digital and Technology team.

Growing up in Ethiopia, education was not a luxury or something nice to do but a necessity. Since arriving in the UK fifteen years ago, I put that ethos into practice by completing a Computer Networking degree studying evening classes at UWS whilst doing a full-time job.

At the time I was working in the private sector for a small IT company, with very limited training opportunities so I completed both Cisco and Microsoft certification using my own money and in my own time – this was expected, and it did not even cross my mind to question it. The employer would encourage me to do the training but without offering to pay for it. When I was offered training that was paid for, it was always with strings attached - I needed to commit to work for them for at least a further two years or pay the training money back.

Since joining the Civil Service back in 2013, I have been amazed and hugely appreciative of all the learning and development opportunities available. I have never worked in a place where a 10 % learning time policy was implemented and I am regularly encouraged to learn, with the resources available to pay for training. I know it’s easy to take this all for granted but I still do not understand why anyone would need to be asked to learn and develop themselves. 

I have recently completed Security Engineering on AWS and an AWS SysOps Administrator course and have booked Amazon AWS Certified DevOps Engineer Professional certification course. This course will help me and my team to work through a technical debt and transition our system to AWS.

I am committed to taking every opportunity to develop professionally to ensure I can reach my career goals and potential. It’s also important for my team to keep upskilling ourselves, innovating, and growing. We commit ourselves to half a day per week for each team member for learning and development. 

Learning and development in the workplace should be ongoing, but if you’ve not had the chance to focus on it for a while, why not use this week to make a start.

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