A fresh start with a Data Analysis apprenticeship

Natasha Bance

I joined the Civil Service in 2022 on a Level 4 Data Analysis apprenticeship, which I completed in the summer of 2023. I learned a lot in that time and was introduced to coding languages and structures that set me up well in my job role. The apprenticeship provided an advantage in a new career track for me, and it was was both challenging and satisfying.

My original plan had been to study Art History at postgraduate level. But health issues, the pandemic, and other factors encouraged me to look again at what I’m good at and what I really want out of my career. I needed stability, direction, and a chance to use all my skills. I had been good at maths as well as essay subjects in school, but only pursued humanities at university. Starting again on a new path was daunting, but the apprenticeship offered me the chance to earn and get hands-on experience, while studying and gaining a qualification.

Working in data analysis allows me to use parts of my brain that had not worked so hard in years! Instead of analysing art pieces in lengthy essays, I am now able to quickly see when my code or calculations are correct. It has also been very refreshing to work on regular small projects instead of working on a thesis for several years.

I have enjoyed being able to put my planning and organisational skills to good use in my new career. Although I did have moments where I was frustrated at being in yet another year of formal education, my job helped break up the studies and assessments. One of the biggest reliefs has also been knowing that I can stay in my role now the apprenticeship is done, and there is no rush to apply for anything else yet.

My apprenticeship enabled me to completely change my career trajectory using the skills I already had, as well as teaching me new ones. I was able to do all of this while getting started in my Civil Service role and earning money! Starting the apprenticeship was one of the best career decisions I could have made.


Hazel Shaw
Natasha Bance
Hazel Shaw is a Government Statistical Service (GSS) Apprentice with the Home Office.