I applied to Damar Training for an apprentice position at Ofsted. The opportunity of learning new skills, receiving work experience as well as a qualification was a win-win situation.

Marnie Mather | Intermediate business administration apprentice at Ofsted

Marnie Mather, Policy Administrator Apprentice, joined Ofsted through a business administration apprenticeship after leaving school this year. She has proven herself to be a valued member of the team and has excelled in all work and assignments so far, receiving recognition with praise and £100 of high street vouchers.

Here is her story…

Why did you decide to start an apprenticeship?

I was fortunate enough to be offered a place in my sixth form, having met the entry requirement of 5 A* - B grades. However, the option blocks available did not allow me to study all the subjects that I wanted, which meant studying subjects that I had no interest in. Prior to obtaining my GCSE results, I was advised to look at other options for further education, should my sixth form application be unsuccessful. I applied to Damar Training for an apprentice position at Ofsted. The opportunity of learning new skills, receiving work experience as well as a qualification was a win-win situation. It would also enable me to get on the career ladder, having gained solid work experience as a civil servant, without being in debt from attending university.

What was the apprenticeship recruitment process like?

As this is my first paid job, I was not sure what to expect. I completed an online application form in June, prior to getting my GCSE examination results. Out of 200 applicants, I was invited to an assessment day at Ofsted. This was quite nerve-wracking, as there were over 40 other applicants.  A week later, I was informed that I had made the shortlist for interviews. I was so excited and nervous but the interview panel made me feel very comfortable and relaxed.  A few hours after collecting my GCSE results from school, I was offered the apprenticeship.

What does your role as an apprentice entail at Ofsted?

I deal with all manners of administrative support for my team, from room bookings, mailbox management, booking travel, attending meetings, producing agendas and printing. In addition to this, I am responsible for minute taking, sending out post, telephone calls, proofreading, booking external meetings and other duties.

Have you got any advice for school leavers looking for the right career path?

If you feel sixth form or university isn’t for you, I would strongly recommend doing an apprenticeship, even if you are not sure which career is the best fit for you. This opportunity allows you to gain new skills, knowledge and work experience - just believe in yourself, there are so many amazing opportunities waiting for you as an apprentice.

Andrew Wilson, Senior Policy Officer at Ofsted:

“As a school leaver, Marnie has adapted to working life with great ease and has become, in a short time, a valuable member of our team. Marnie carries out a wide range of tasks and is very keen on gaining new skills to add to her knowledge and experience. Those of us who work with her are very grateful she chose to apply for an apprenticeship and are looking forward to helping her develop further”.

Philip Forder, Principal Officer at Ofsted:

“This is Marnie's first job. Taking this into account, she has certainly excelled and exceeded our expectations. She has quickly adapted to the team, demonstrated a wide range of skills and delivered work to a high level. Above all she has shown an incredible level of maturity, willingness to learn and enthusiasm which deserves formal recognition”

Marnie’s trainer, Jeanie Logan says:

“Marnie has been an excellent student from the start and is a pleasure to work with. She is inquisitive and has a clear direction for her career. It has been great to see how successful Marnie has become and I am always receiving great feedback about her. I’m very excited to see Marnie’s development in her role over the next two years”.

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