Case Study - Keri
Tell us a bit about yourself.
"My name is Keri Lawson and I am 22 years old. In August 2018 I completed a Graduate law degree at the University of Law in Guildford, it was also at this point that I applied for this apprenticeship with Cheshire Police. Although I still wish to pursue a legal career with the military, I have gone from the age of 4 to 22 in full-time education and I felt in August that I needed a small reprieve to do something else and work for a bit. This apprenticeship allows me to gain a further qualification as well as work in an industry that can place me in good stead for my future career."
What have you been doing during your time as an apprentice with Cheshire Police?
"My apprenticeship is split between the Professional Standards Department (PSD) and the Force Vetting Department at the Cheshire Constabulary HQ. In my role within PSD so far I have completed a GDPR weeding exercise as well as become familiar with the complaints that may come in to the department by putting the initial complaint on to the Centurion system as well as then finalising these complaints. In Vetting I have been trained in Niche and PNC and now assist in the vetting and re-vetting of members of the Constabulary."
Has it been easy to manage your time between work and study?
"The work/study balance on the apprenticeship I find fairly easy to manage. We have bi-weekly study days with the assessor, Sarah and both of my line managers are supportive and help to make sure that I am up to date on my apprenticeship work. It also helps that a lot of the work I do in my departments can support my apprenticeship and be used as evidence in the units."
What have you enjoyed the most during your time at Cheshire Police?
"As part of the apprenticeship we have to spend 20% of our time doing some shadowing, meaning that we visit different areas of the police so that we can understand the constabulary as a whole. I think this is the part of my apprenticeship that I have enjoyed the most (not that the rest isn’t fun). I have been all over Cheshire (Crewe LPU, Northwich LPU, Middlewich Custody etc.) and I couldn’t possibly pick a favourite. I’ve met some amazing characters and have learnt a lot about the role of the police in the legal system and have tried to relate this as much to my future career as possible. I also experienced a different side to the system with Cheshire Cares and that has opened my eyes a lot to the ‘behind the scenes’ work at Cheshire Constabulary and the different services we offer. "
What have you learned or gained from your apprenticeship?
"This apprenticeship has a lot of benefits. I feel that I have grown a lot as a person within the last 6 months. I have also gained a new appreciation for this side of the legal system. The apprenticeship also allows you to have experiences that you would not usually have the opportunity to in a usual role here. For example, I have been in a police car, going at high speed, twice. There’s very little possibility that I would get to do that normally. I also get to experience lots of different departments so I can effectively decide where I might like to get a permanent job eventually, and not many other places would allow me to effectively try on departments for size.
"Although I would like to stay at the Constabulary for the foreseeable future, I still have aspirations in law. I am yet to complete my Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) and Master’s in Law, and I hope to do this part time while still working at Cheshire Constabulary. After this I will need to complete a Pupillage and then I will be on my way to become a Barrister for the military.
"This apprenticeship has offered me a huge amounts of experiences. I really don’t think that working in a bar for my break from education would have offered me the same kind of growth in person that working here has done for me. It has also offered me possible career paths and two very great departments to work with."