My name is Kiersten Packer and I am currently employed as an Administrator for the Interventions Department at HMP Ashfield. I am 23 years old and have worked at Ashfield since the age of 18.
The Interventions Department delivers Offending Behaviour Programmes to men who have been convicted of sexual offences. As the Administrator I am responsible for ensuring all prisoner files are received and stored securely, keeping databases up to date, minute-taking for prisoner post programme reviews, providing information to the clinical team and general administration tasks.
How did you find out about the apprenticeship scheme and why did you think it was right for you?
In 2018, during my employment as Operational Support Staff, I completed the Level 2 Business Admin apprenticeship. In January 2020 I joined the Interventions Department and my colleague mentioned that she was about to start her Level 3 Business Administration apprenticeship. My line manager heard us talking and asked me if I was interested in completing the Level 3 qualification as well.
I thought this would be a great opportunity because I would be able to apply some of my learning to my current job role. I also wanted to expand on my current knowledge to help me progress in the future.
How easy/difficult have you found it to be, doing the apprenticeship as well as working?
I have found it easy to complete my apprenticeship as well as working. My manager (who has also been through the apprenticeship scheme) is very supportive and allows me to take time out of my working day to complete my modules.
What are the highlights of being an apprentice?
I am able to expand on my current knowledge and skills set. I have also learnt things that I would never have learnt if it wasn’t for the apprenticeship.
What would you say to someone considering an apprenticeship within Justice & Immigration?
Give it a go. Any learning is good learning. And make sure you pick an apprenticeship that interests you and will fit into your career path.
Where do you hope your apprenticeship will take you?
Having completed this apprenticeship I know that I will have grown in confidence when thinking about how my career will progress. One of the pieces of work I am most proud of achieving recently is my process improvement project. This is where I created a database of prisoner programmes and psychology assessments and streamlined the process so that it works more efficiently. As to the future? There are so many options open to me which is exciting and slightly bewildering, but right now I am very happy where I am and look forward to completing this Level 3.