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Degree Apprenticeship for TBSHS 6th Former

Teale Cunningham wins a place on Civil Service Degree Course


Date published: Sat 11 May 2019   Author: HLH    Category: News   Share: Share on facebookShare on TwitterShare on MySpaceShare by Email


TBSHS 6th former Teale Cunningham has won a place on the prestigious new Government Economics Service Degree Apprenticeship Programme starting in the autumn.

The GESDAP is the UK’s first degree-level apprenticeship in economics – creating new routes to careers in the Civil Service for young people who would prefer to study for a degree whilst working at the heart of government. This programme launched in December 2018 for its first entrants this coming September. Teale will work for the Government and at the same time have periods of study so that at the end of 4yrs he will gain an Economics Honours Degree from the University of Kent.

Teale came to TBSHS in Year 12, from a school in Epping, as he liked the atmosphere of the TBSHS and our academic ethos.

In Year 12, following a talk by employees at PwC (Formerly PricewaterhouseCoopers), organised by Mrs. Price, he began looking at apprenticeship options in investment and professional services companies which led him to attend the insight day at an investment company and apply for the Work Experience programme at PwC.  However Teale soon discovered that his interest lay in the Public Sector and he decided he wanted to go into the Government & Public Sector.

Responding to a Twitter advert in November, Teale registered with the GES and applied in December when applications opened.

The selection process included several levels of online tests - a Maths test requiring him to analyse tables & graphs and a Verbal Reasoning test.

The second round of the process included a Situational Judgement Test - a series of questions based on a video case study.

Teale thinks the GES have designed the series of tests to find candidates who have a particular set of skills suited to work in the Civil Service.

Next, Teale had to write three 250 word answers to carefully phrased questions, such as 'Why do you want to do this apprenticeship?' followed by a two week wait to see if his answers were accepted.

By now it was March, and he was invited to an Assessment Centre in Whitehall with 5 - 10 other candidates. These sessions were held twice every week day for two weeks, having whittled the 2500 initial applicants down to 300.

Tests included an Oral briefing, which consisted of 40 mins of reading and interpreting, followed by Teale reporting a plan of action back to a manager in a 10 minute briefing plus a further 10 minutes of the manager asking questions about his responses. There was also a timed hand-written summary test.

Finally Teale had a one-to-one interview, covering behaviour plans and personal strengths. 

After a 2 - 3 week wait for an email, Teale was finally delighted to be offered a position, starting in September.

Teale is thrilled to be starting as an Apprentice Economist in London - Whitehall or Canary Wharf - still to be agreed, and receive a salary and degree tuition at the University of Kent. He will be studying 20% of the time and working in the job 80% of the time.

In the 4th year he will have two sets of exams - Apprenticeship exams, plus degree exams, and all being well, he will come out of the scheme with a BSc in Economics.

Living in Epping, Teale hopes to commute in to work every day and possibly apply for a Graduate Scheme also with the GES, in four years' time.

Teale is studying for three A levels in Maths, Biology and Economics, and during his time in the 6th form he has set up the student-led Economics Society.

For 'Relaxation' he is a keen athlete and as a member of Harlow Athletics Club he competes in the 400m, training 2-3 times each week.

Fiona Price, Assistant Head of Sixth Form and Post-18 Co-ordinator, said "I am so delighted for Teale that he has had been successful in securing an offer on the GES-DAP in the first year of such a prestigious and competitive programme.  Teale impressed right from the start of Year 12 with his mature approach to his studies, his social skills and his extracurricular commitment to his new school.  He has shown immense self-motivation and determination in thinking about his future after his A levels and has pursued his apprenticeship applications with great professionalism.  Teale’s success is extremely well-deserved and helps to highlight the increasing choice that is available to students post-18; opportunities that we, as a school, share with students and parents through our various aspects of career support right from Year 7."

Full information about the programme: The Government Economic Service Degree Level Apprenticeship - GOV.UK

More about the GES -

The Government Economic Service is a professional grouping of public sector economists who work across some 40 departments and agencies of Her Majesty's Government. The Bank of England is also a corporate member of the GES.  The GES recruits economists on behalf of the departments and is the largest recruiter of economists in the UK. It facilitates the movement of GES economists between posts in different departments and also maintains professional standards for recruitment and for existing members.