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Sustainability Apprentice

Knowing where you want to take your career isn’t always easy. But pursuing what interests you is a great place to start. Our apprenticeships provide the opportunity to earn while you learn, work alongside experts, and make your future bigger. Below, one of our brilliant apprentices shares her experience in Sustainability so far.

“I’ve always been drawn to professions that offer a sense of purpose, which I believe this position delivers. Venturing into a new subject where I have little knowledge can be quite daunting. But the challenge of sustainability is motivating, and the thing that excites me most is the opportunity to learn.

Before I joined FCDO Services as an Apprentice in the Sustainability team, I was studying Psychology at university. During that time, I developed an interest in social issues. I believe that sustainability complements that interest while also igniting a new interest in environmental issues, and I can explore how they connect.

“The challenge of sustainability is motivating.”

I’ve had part-time roles in the past but this is my first proper job. Hybrid working means that I come into the office 2-3 days a week, and I like that. It increases the opportunity to mix with colleagues and other apprentices. It’s easy to chat and learn from peers, and less formal than video meetings. I’m accustomed to working online but I prefer human interaction. I like to be able to ask questions in a face-to-face, friendly environment.

College taught me a lot of key elements of sustainability (such as the sustainable development goals and different scopes). But by shadowing my manager, I’m able to see how these elements apply in practical terms. I also like learning about the metrics and data behind sustainability, and how they allow us to measure impact and assess progress in implementing action plans to improve our performance.

“By shadowing my manager, I’m able to see how these elements apply in practical terms.”

Since joining, I’ve undertaken campaign work with other teams, headed meetings, written blogs, and helped create a sustainability staff survey. I’ve utilised internal communication resources to share sustainability messages and attended a sustainability conference. Currently, I’m in the process of organising a volunteer group to help with environmental projects like litter picking.

Working in sustainability is interesting because it’s such a diverse topic. It’s all-encompassing, including everything from being fair and equitable to environmental protection legislation. Every section of the organisation is affected. And the broad scope gives me the opportunity to have a positive impact on the environment, while also having a positive impact on people’s lives.

“It aligns with our business model to be more streamlined and efficient.”

If you’re looking for an apprenticeship opportunity, I would say apply! This is a great place to start a career or make a career move. You begin with a group of other apprentices, so you never feel alone. The apprentice team will meet with you on a frequent basis to ensure you are doing well. They will assist you if you raise any concerns, so you do not fall behind. And they hold Apprentice Away Days, where you get to network with all of the apprentices.

It’s hard to choose the best part so far. But discovering how sustainability is involved in every aspect of the business has been very interesting. It is fascinating to get insights into the day-to-day operations of delivering the government’s overseas secure diplomatic platform. I do see my apprenticeship as a step towards my future career in this area. I believe most jobs will have an element of sustainability in the future.

“The broad scope gives me the opportunity to have a positive impact.”

Sustainability is important to FCDO Services for several reasons. Firstly, it aligns with our business model to be more streamlined and efficient. We also have to meet targets such as the Greening Governing Commitments, being Net Zero by 2050, and working under the ISO 14001 Environmental Management System Standard. Achieving these is important for our reputation with customers, and helps us win new business. But this won’t be possible without everybody’s input.

Every area is impacted by sustainability, and sustainability is reliant on every team. That’s why everyone has a responsibility to be sustainable, and it will make the organisation sustainable as a whole. For example, we need to ensure that we reduce our waste by 15% and recycle 70% of waste. Our biggest source of emissions is transportation of people and freight. So developing innovative ways to deliver products and services is imperative.

If you’d like to learn more about our world and how you could do your job, bigger – take a look at our careers in Sustainability and more.