HRH The Duke of York meets Met Office apprentices
Author: Press Office
16:55 (UTC) on Mon 18 Feb 2019
HRH The Duke of York met with some of the current Met Office apprentices today, while visiting Exeter to hold a Pitch@Palace On Tour event.
The Met Office’s apprenticeship programmes are run with training from a number of providers including Exeter College and the University of Exeter, and are aimed at developing the next generation of data engineers, scientists and technology experts, as well as other business skills needed in the Met Office and industry as a whole.
Liz Hourahine is a Data Analyst apprentice with Exeter College, while Jennifer Platt, Beth Harper and John Gill are pursuing degree apprenticeships in Digital and Technology solutions in partnership with the University of Exeter.
The apprenticeship schemes are just part of the range of education and career development opportunities available at the Met Office, which also includes industrial placements and doctoral study support.
Met Office Chief Executive, Prof. Penny Endersby, also guided HRH around some of the key operational areas of the Met Office, showing where the colossal amounts of data needed for world-leading weather forecasting are processed and turned into authoritative weather guidance for the UK and around the globe.
Prof. Endersby said: “We’re delighted to be welcoming His Royal Highness to the Met Office. The Duke is a proud advocate of the UK’s science and technology sectors, and I’m very pleased that some of our apprentices are able to share how our training schemes have developed both their careers in data and technology and the Met Office’s world-class research and forecasting capabilities.”
The Duke of York founded Pitch@Palace in 2014 to provide a platform to amplify and accelerate the work of entrepreneurs. Pitch@Palace guides, helps and connects entrepreneurs and early-stage businesses with potential supporters, including CEOs, Influencers, Angels, Mentors and Business Partners.
The Met Office currently has 13 apprentices in observations, technology, procurement, legal and HR.
Applications are open for our Level 6 Apprenticeship as well as a number of Industrial Placement opportunities - see current vacancies here.
For more info on the government’s apprenticeships programme see the ‘Fire it Up’ initiative at www.apprenticeships.gov.uk
What does it take to make it as an apprentice? John, Liz and Beth gave us a quick profile…
As a Digital and Technology Solution apprentice I rotate through a number of teams, each one having a different skill base from front end Web Development to Cyber Security. In each of these I learn cool new things such as programming or security testing and get to help the team on projects. However, the best part of this is that I get to pick a specialism in my degree, as well as my apprenticeship, after the rotations. This means that during my specialism, I know I am going into a team I like, and I will get degree in something I know I enjoy, rather than having to guess at the start.
From my personal experience at the Met Office, it is a great place to work for two main reasons: you are always working on the cutting edge of technology, and there is a great culture and social aspect, where everyone is very friendly and open to questions. There are also various clubs - for example I am part of the Met Office ‘Magic: The Gathering’ club!
I joined the Met Office in 2018 as an Apprentice in Data Analysis and currently work with Observations Quality Management, although I’ve had the chance to work with a variety of different teams. I have a background in psychology but wanted to be further trained in data analysis specifically and thought this would be a great way to learn whilst also being able to work.
I’ve had the opportunity to do a lot more than I thought I would with the sheer amount of data, the use of different technologies and the responsibility given to me to deliver projects. I have been able to learn about the organisations complex data infrastructure and develop skills relating to many stages of data processing.
With the projects I’ve worked on, I’ve also been able to learn more about meteorological science and will also be learning more about the business. The Met Office provides opportunities to progress in many aspects of science, technology and business with the vast range of skills that are required here, and I’m enjoying being able to learn as much of them as I can.
Until I started my apprenticeship at the Met Office, I never really knew what I wanted to do as a career – but I was really interested in Technology. In 2015, I came to the Met Office for work experience week and loved it. I returned in October the same year for more work experience, and again in July 2016 for a Summer Placement in the IT department. I applied to multiple universities, but I knew I’d prefer to do an apprenticeship or something similar instead. At the time though, there weren’t very many choices available and I didn’t really know what my options were, so I ended up going to university anyway.
Towards the end of my first year, my mum called to say she’d seen an advert for the Digital & Technology Solutions Apprenticeship at the Met Office. I knew I wanted to apply for it straight away, and it seemed like a fantastic opportunity. Initially, I was worried about leaving university to do the apprenticeship but in the end, I much prefer where I am now. There are so many benefits: I’ve gained so much more confidence and independence since I started my apprenticeship, I’m earning my own money, so I can provide for myself now and I’ll be finishing my apprenticeship having gained four years of valuable work experience with a prestigious employer. That’s just to name a few, and with such a broad range of apprenticeships available now, there’s something out there for everyone.