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Success Stories

The best way to understand what we do is to hear from colleagues who have joined the Civil Service through a GFIE scheme, their line managers and buddies and the champions who support our work.

Sylvia’s Story

“For me, this “chance” is what I really needed. Being a carer is a full-time job most days and can be extremely tiring. Looking for jobs on my own was proving to be a very difficult task while juggling my day to day caring responsibilities at home.  

GFIE offered me the chance to work with a great department, and this has also helped boost my confidence overall.

I was able to travel outside of my home town and meet great people, all because of the chance I was given. It’s helped me realise that I am very capable; I just didn’t know that.”

Sylvia, Carer

“The GFIE scheme has offered me a chance.”

The Social Mobility Apprenticeship programme changed my quality of life.

Becoming a Social Mobility Apprentice

“Before I started, I was a lone parent with a limited support network, I’d just stopped being a carer and was socially-isolated. I suffered from ill mental health, low self-esteem, low confidence and struggled to communicate. I had no qualifications or work experience since leaving school so had a huge gap in my history. I was 28 and continuing education didn’t feel like an option as I had a child to support and work search commitments I had to meet for my benefits. I have hidden disabilities that impact the way that I think and interact.

I felt like a square peg in interviews and figured I just needed to set the bar lower, and lower. I applied for lower- skilled jobs that didn’t appeal to me, that offered poor wages and no security and was still unsuccessful.

The social mobility apprenticeship was a dream come true – an opportunity that isn’t dependent on what experiences you already have, and sees potential in everybody!It opened doors for me and reignited my passion for learning. I’d been unemployed for so long I felt like I’d lost what makes me me.

The apprenticeship stretched and developed me and helped my resilience and confidence grow. I gained skills and qualifications that would set me up for future applications. I gained a support network in my manager and colleagues and my outlook and quality of life improved: I gained a purpose, some self-respect and independence.”

Social Mobility Apprentice

Supporting a Prison Leaver

“I was assigned as a buddy to someone joining another Government department on a temporary contract, following a custodial sentence.

Over two years, I have been able to provide support and a listening ear as they navigate life after leaving prison and joining an unfamiliar and complex organisation.

I have learned a huge amount too. I have been honoured to share their enormous pride when they secured permanent employment as a result of their hard work and commitment.

I have been thrilled when they have shared excellent feedback that they have received at work, and I can tell how much they love their job and public service.”

Lizzie Chatterjee  

Deputy Director, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

One of the highlights of my professional life is to provide coaching and mentoring to a prison leaver working in the Civil Service.

As a manager I’ve found it stretching both professionally and personally, but also highly rewarding to work with someone kick-starting their career and life journey.”

Managing an Apprentice

“Every week has brought different challenges and the chance to learn and grow – for both of us. As a manager I’ve found it stretching both professionally and personally, but also highly rewarding to work with someone kick-starting their career and life journey. I’m glad we made use of the scheme and can confidently say we’ve made a positive difference to each other.”

Gregor Hutton – Head of Commercial and Project Capability, Scottish Government

“I anticipated challenges and was apprehensive not knowing what to expect, being unaware of what (the interns) background was. However, they have been very open about their past and are happy to talk about their experience. It has helped me as a manager too and we have formed a close working relationship.”

Darren Coyle – Glasgow Workplace Manager, Place Services, Social Security Scotland

About GFiE

Learn about Going Forward into Employment and how it works.

GFiE Schemes

Explore what GFiE schemes are available and the support it could offer you.