National Apprenticeship Awards: ‘Rising Star’ finalist – Hannah Turner

Now in its fifteenth year, the National Apprenticeship Awards are a platform for the country’s top apprenticeship employers, apprentices and apprenticeship ambassadors to demonstrate how apprenticeships have transformed their organisation and careers

The annual National Apprenticeship Awards is a pivotal point in the apprenticeship calendar. It celebrates all the great achievements of the apprenticeship community and the copious benefits apprenticeships bring to employers and the lives of the people who do them. Judged by a team of experts, regional winners are selected at nine ceremonies across the country, before the overall national winners are recognised at the final ceremony, taking place this Wednesday 28th November.

Even more importantly, the Awards are a prime moment to appreciate the contribution that the rising stars of English business and industry are having.

And that’s why the refreshed 2018 Awards has introduced a brand new ‘Rising Star’ category, to showcase those who have not just made impressive career progression to date but demonstrated the potential to rise to the very top of their chosen profession. Significantly, entrants are nominated by their employers and the public encouraged to vote for the winner, with over 7,000 votes received this year.

Name: Hannah Turner
Age: 22
Location: Yorkshire and the Humber
Occupation: Digital Internship and Junior Development Lead
Industry: Information and Communication Technology
Organisation: Home Office Digital, Data and Technology


Hannah joined the Civil Service as a Fast Track Higher Apprentice.

Hannah began at HMRC, working in HR and talent management whilst completing a Foundation Degree in Business and Administration.

Hannah then led on Academy Policy for Doncaster at the DfE, before moving to Home Office to head up the Digital Internship and Junior Development Programme.

Hannah’s apprenticeship gave her confidence to speak at industry-wide events and prepared her for further qualifications, including the Diploma in HR Management she is studying for now.

Hannah is an inspiration to other apprentices and shows that you can achieve your goals by being proactive and taking every opportunity.

Employer comments

Hannah is the Home Office Digital, Data and Technology (HODDaT) Internship and Junior Development Lead. Within HODDaT, the Chief Technology Office is responsible for setting professional standards and reducing the cost of delivery. We ran an internship for two years but were unable to administer a larger programme so hired Hannah. Her role contributes to the unit’s objectives by ensuring we have high-quality training that embeds professional standards from early in people’s careers and reduces delivery costs by developing in-house talent, reducing reliance on expensive contracted resource.

Hannah is responsible for the entire programme: engaging both cross-government and industry to increase the profile of the programme, building relationships with universities across the country.

Managing recruitment and onboarding logistics. Ensuring interns have appropriate and challenging work and a good level of support and guidance. Running inductions and training. Line managing interns, juniors and career changers. Building and maintaining a pool of trained mentors who understand the commitments of the programme. Working with senior leaders to align programme development with strategic objectives.

We believe Hannah is a ‘Rising Star’ because…

Hannah has been clear about her ambition to make her career in human resources (HR). She has joined the government HR profession and established herself within that career development framework. Hannah is completing her professional qualifications within HR and, as a member of the professional community, has a wide range of training and development opportunities available to her as well as a wide variety of roles. She will also have the opportunity to go on to take Level 7 qualifications and gain chartered status in HR.

Hannah is an exemplary employee. She has received top performance gradings in every one of her performance reviews. Since completing her apprenticeship, she has secured two promotions and is on track to progress to Grade 7. She always completes work to the highest possible standard and has shown herself to be skilled across a number of different areas: engaging with senior stakeholders, line management, communications and management.

Hannah skills are set to hugely benefit the organisation going forward. She is developing as an HR professional with an excellent knowledge and specialism in digital and technology. As the Home Office, like the rest of the UK government, moves more and more services online, the demand for highly trained engineers, researchers, designers and other technology professionals is only increasing. Having people such as Hannah with the skills and knowledge, the recruit and train such professionals are critical to the success of the organisation.

Hannah used her apprenticeship not only to gain valuable skills but also to identify the area of specialism she wanted to peruse. Hannah is an inspiration to other apprentices: she shows that you can achieve your professional goals by being proactive and taking every opportunity. We caught up with her in this short interview to discover more about her success.

Apprentice comments

Why did you decide to do an apprenticeship?

In the final year of my A levels, I was so uncertain as to what I wanted to do as a career. I considered university but felt it wasn’t the right path for me. I was keen to get some work experience and learn on the job, so I started to look at apprenticeship opportunities. The Civil Service Fast Track Apprenticeship scheme really stood out for me. It offered the chance to make a difference in people’s lives, whilst completing a level 4 qualification and getting paid a competitive salary.

What does it mean to you to be nominated?

I am so pleased to have been nominated for this year’s National Apprenticeship Awards. I’ve worked really hard over the past few years to further myself and my career and it feels great to be acknowledged. I hope my journey helps encourage other young people to look at apprenticeships as a genuine alternative if a university isn’t right for them.

What is the best thing about doing an apprenticeship?

Having access to a wealth of opportunities and qualifications, whilst gaining invaluable work experience and getting paid.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

In five years’ time, I’d like to be a senior leader at the Home Office.

I’m keen to spend some time in an operational leadership role, to take myself out of my comfort zone and test my skill set in that challenging environment. After that, It’d be great to return to a role in HR!

Progress to date, key achievements and the contribution they have made to your organisation

Since joining the Civil Service as an apprentice Hannah has worked in HR specialist and policy delivery roles. She:

  • Designed and delivered an Academy Roadshow, raising awareness for the UK government’s agenda and regional priorities resulting in an influx of academy applications within the area, exceed the region’s delivery targets for the year.
  • Created the One HR Awards for HMRC, an event that recognised the achievements of staff, now an annual event across the department.

In the time Hannah has held the Digital Internship Lead role, she has:

  • Initiated growth beyond expectations – working with the heads of the profession across DDaT. 5 new programmes for 2018 bringing in over 20 interns (5 x 2017 intake) with further growth planned for 2019.
  • Achieved Real IT’s Technology Development Programme of the year award.
  • Worked with other government departments both in the UK and overseas to share best practice developing and nurturing talent in the digital space.
  • Managed the end to end process of large-scale recruitment – 450+ applications
  • Evaluated current recruitment and candidate experience, secured approval for offline recruitment and minimize response time and the overall time taken to recruit, improving the candidate experience.

Hannah has progressed to enrol on a Level 5 Diploma in HR Management. She has also increased her knowledge of technology delivery taking a coding course and shadowing user research. She has taken the opportunity to train as mental health first aider and has proactively visited other parts of the organisation to further her understanding of HO policy and delivery.

Hannah’s key objective is to reduce the cost of technology delivery by creating a pipeline of well-trained professionals. Under her management, the internship programme has delivered a 100% return on investment and expanded beyond expectations.


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