Miqueilla Livermore works as a casework assistant at the Crown Prosecution Service based in Eastleigh in Hampshire. She recently completed an Intermediate Apprenticeship in Business and Administration and has since progressed to an Advanced Apprenticeship in Criminal Prosecution with Damar.
Miqueilla joined the CPS as an apprentice aged just 17 and has now secured a permanent contract.
With support and guidance from her colleagues and her Damar trainer, her confidence and skills have grown and she is now looking forward to a bright future with the CPS. Here’s her story so far.
What led you to enrol on an apprenticeship?
Initially, I hadn’t really thought about an apprenticeship but after spending some time researching on the Civil Service website, I saw a fantastic opportunity with the Crown Prosecution Service and I realised that this was the perfect role for me.
Throughout school, I always preferred practical assessments over written exams and my results reflected this. Personally, I didn’t feel that going to university was the right decision for me and I knew that an apprenticeship would open so many more doors to allow me to progress my career.
What did your role as an apprentice at the CPS entail?
When I first started at the CPS I was working in the fees unit. For the first few months, my role involved dealing with a back log of tasks that had built up and archiving. Even though this was heavily admin-based, it was definitely beneficial for my development. One of the most helpful areas for me was being given an insight into other opportunities that the position had to offer. For example, I was able to go to court on multiple occasions to shadow other colleagues, whose work had an influence on my role. This was invaluable to me as I was able to learn about the different departments and understand how they all linked with each other.
Since completing my intermediate apprenticeship, I now split my time between the fees and victim liaison unit. Working within the fees department mainly involves processing payments to barristers for case work that they’ve done for us. I also deal with feedback and any general enquiries from the public. It’s a really varied role so every day is different, which I enjoy.
What did you enjoy most about your apprenticeship?
I really enjoy the development aspect of my role. I know that there is great progression at the CPS and I’m determined to push myself to achieve great results. Everyone is so supportive and I’m constantly developing my skill set, so I’m excited about where my career will take me.
During my time here, I’ve learnt so much about how the organisation works, which has made me much more confident in both my professional and personal life. If it wasn’t for my apprenticeship, I wouldn’t be working in such an interesting role and it has also enabled me to apply for one of the internal A2 posts at the end of my contract, which I’m looking forward to.
What was your personal highlight of the apprenticeship?
My personal highlight of the apprenticeship was when I passed my Level 1 ICT Functional Skills exam last year. I’ve always been quite nervous when it comes to exams, but with the support and guidance of my colleagues and Damar, I was able to prepare in advance and go into the exam feeling relaxed and confident. When I found out that I had passed, I was completely over the moon! It was such a relief for me, as it certainly wasn’t one of my strongest areas!
The great thing about my role is that I’m learning something new every day and I find this really rewarding. This is the career path that I want to take and I’ve been lucky enough to gain work experience within the organisation, further my education and get paid for it.
Have you got any advice for school leavers looking for the right career path?
It can be quite difficult for school leavers as there are so many options when it comes to higher education. I believe that everyone should look at all the routes available and think about which one works best for them. It can be easy to be influenced by friends and family, but at the end of the day, only you can make the decision – it’s your life, after all!
Personally, I found that university was incredibly expensive and, as I didn’t really feel that a classroom environment was the most effective route for me, I opted for an apprenticeship. Weigh up your options because you may find yourself postponing your ambition for three years, when you could be learning on the job and getting paid for it.
I’ve had fantastic support throughout my time with CPS from both my colleagues and my assessor from Damar. Without regular communication and support from Damar, I wouldn’t be where I am today, so I’m incredibly grateful.
Keeley Wilkin, apprentice trainer at Damar Training, said: “Miqueilla has achieved some fantastic results during her time at CPS Eastleigh. She was only 17 when she started her first apprenticeship and has impressed everyone with her mature and professional attitude towards both work and her studies.
“We’re especially proud of her as she’s one of our first students to progress to the Advanced Apprenticeship in Criminal Prosecution. It’s a great achievement for someone at such a young age. She’s an asset to her employer and I am confident that she will continue to develop and enjoy a successful career.”