The Office for National Statistics (ONS) is celebrating National Apprenticeship Week by recognising the 110 apprentices who started work in 2019 at the UK's statistics headquarters in Newport and offices in London and Fareham.

At the ONS, apprentices have the opportunity to work across a wide range of specialisms, from cutting edge data science to business administration and communications.

Working with local schools and colleges, the ONS is looking to inspire people to consider whether an apprenticeship could support a new career. But an apprenticeship is not just for students. They can be an incredibly useful tool for people of all ages, with varying qualifications and different backgrounds, who are looking to consolidate their experience, change their career direction or simply start afresh.

Annabel was training to be a midwife when she decided to enrol on a policy apprenticeship at the ONS.

She said: "After having a baby, I started training to become a midwife. However, shift work and lack of a salary for the three years of studying meant that I started looking elsewhere, and I found this apprenticeship during my break on shift! Bit of a stark change, but one for the better.

"I came into my job with no real idea of what policy was, so it's been quite a learning curve having to quickly learn all of this, but my apprenticeship has really helped with getting the fundamental knowledge. It's a great opportunity if you don't have a degree to help your progression within the Civil Service."

Annabel now works in the ONS's Legislative Affairs team, and her work includes looking at how the organisation is affected by data protection laws and what changes need to be made as the country prepares to leave the European Union.

In 2019, two ONS apprentices were publicly recognised for their successes. Charlotte O'Brien was named as the Vocational Qualification Higher Apprentice Learner of the Year for her outstanding work both in the Data Science Campus and in her business area, while former apprentice Joe Peskett was a finalist in the Tomorrow's Talent category at the National Apprenticeship Awards in Wales.

Alex Lardner, Head of Early Talent at the ONS, said: "Apprenticeships are making a difference to all kinds of people. Some are using them to consolidate their experience into a qualification, others to further their career, and as you would expect, many are using them to start new careers. The ONS and the wider Civil Service is a great place to develop your future with an apprenticeship."

Details of any apprenticeships at the ONS can be found on the Civil Service Jobs website.