Transforming careers through apprenticeships

Natasha Bance

Since beginning my career at the Office for National Statistics (ONS) I have completed two apprenticeships. This has allowed me to upskill and has paved the way for an entirely new career path.

I first started my career at ONS back in 2012 as an interviewer for the International Passenger Survey at Bristol airport. My current role is as a Data Scientist, which involves contributing to the enhancement of data science capabilities in the National Statistics Offices of international partners.

Despite my initial aspiration to become a research officer at the ONS, a few unsuccessful attempts led me to re-evaluate my path. I recognised this as an opportunity for redirection and reskilling, which led me to sign up for my first apprenticeship. At this point, I had basic mathematical experience and was curious to see if I could learn how to code. I took the opportunity to apply for the Level 4 Data Analytics Apprenticeship where I was introduced to programming languages commonly used in data analysis.

The apprenticeship enabled me to enhance my existing skills whilst also developing an entirely new skill set. This included efficiently manipulating, cleaning, and analysing data. A pivotal aspect of this apprenticeship was the hands-on application of coding, providing me with the opportunity to integrate coding skills directly in to my work. It was during this period that I discovered my passion for coding.

This opened a completely new career pathway and led me to securing a role as a Data Analysis Trainer. As a trainer, I designed and delivered courses, guiding others who were embarking on a journey similar to where I once was.

I proceeded to undertake a Level 6 Applied Data Science BSc degree apprenticeship, where I delved into advanced data science concepts, allowing me to broaden and deepen my understanding of coding. With newfound skills and experience, I successfully secured a position as a Data Scientist, where I continue to put my knowledge into practice.

Apprenticeships are not just courses, they create a new skill set and opportunities, offering the chance to learn, evolve, and reinvent your career.

If you’re seeking to enhance your skills, advance your career, or even look at a different career pathway, I would encourage you to consider an apprenticeship!

Find out more about apprenticeships

Read more about Government Statistical Service (GSS) apprenticeship opportunities.

To register your interest in an apprenticeship, please contact

Ian Banda
Natasha Bance
Ian Banda is a Data Scientist at the Office for National Statistics (ONS).