We are currently advertising for Apprenticeship positions in our Force Communications Suite - please visit our Vacancies page

What is an Apprenticeship?

It is a job with training. Being an Apprentice means that you have a job that includes gaining recognised qualifications and essential skills, whilst you are working and earning a wage.

There are three types of Apprenticeships:

  • Foundation Apprenticeship
  • Apprenticeship
  • Higher Apprenticeship

There are three different types because different jobs need different levels of qualifications, some higher than others. The Force Communication Suite Operator is an Apprenticeship.

What does the job involve?

Are you looking for an exciting, rewarding career where you are at the heart of the action, making a real difference and where no two days are alike? Dealing with everything from the exhilarating, to the emotional and even the entertaining. Then Gwent Police needs you!

The Force Communications Suite is no ordinary Call Centre. Communications Suite Operators deal with all emergency calls received through 999 and all non-emergency calls received via 101 and the Switchboard.

The department works 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year and every day the Centre receives around 1,500 calls. A quarter of these are emergency 999 calls. In addition to taking and logging these calls, the operators are also responsible for the dispatch and control of Police resources, making sure the right Officers are in the right place at the right time.

Force Communications Suite staff are highly trained and skilled, ensuring that calls are answered and dealt with as efficiently and effectively as possible. It’s certainly a fast paced environment, right at the heart of the action.

If you want to find out more, please email [email protected] to book a place to attend the open evening at 6pm on 8th May 2017. 

For the Force Communication Suite Operator, you will need to have achieved a minimum of five grade A-C GCSE’s (including English) or the equivalent minimum standards or possess relevant experience.

Whilst it is a highly responsible job, it’s also incredibly rewarding. Having the ability to help someone in their hour of need and make a real difference can be life changing. Whilst some calls can be exciting, many are highly emotional and it’s the responsibility of the Communications Suite Staff to remain calm, whilst reassuring the caller and gaining all the vital information.

The role we are advertising encapsulates all three aspects of working in the Communications Suite, which are:

  • Call Handling – dealing with all 999, 101 and non-emergency contact with Gwent Police. This can be via telephone, e-mail and social media
  • Crime Recording – recording and investigating crime on the telephone, ensuring compliance with national standards and tasking Officers to carry out any follow up investigation
  • Radio Dispatch – managing Police resources and ensuring that Officers are fully informed of incidents, in order to deal with them effectively

Staff use their skills, knowledge and experience to gather all the information they need, to risk assess any crime or incident reported.

Key Skills Communications at Level 2 in Numeracy & Literacy is one acceptable alternative to cover the Maths and English subjects but, you would then also need an acceptable Level 2 qualification as an equivalent to GCSE Science. Other common examples are GNVQ and NVQ level 2 qualifications in appropriate subjects are accepted.

The National Qualifications Framework (NQF) sets out the level at which a qualification can be recognised. Further information can be found here.

Yes, Gwent Police is a committed equal opportunities employer and reasonable adjustments will be made where required.

The selection process is just like any other job application process. Individuals are put through a series of selection tests and an interview to identify if they are suitable for the role. The selection tests will include typing speed and accuracy, listening skills, your multi-tasking ability and prioritisation skills.

Feedback will only be given to candidates post interview.

Whilst many younger people seek to undertake an apprenticeship, there is no age restriction to applying. The programme is open to everyone over 18 who has the skills and experience to train and undertake the role. This recognises that many people will have to adapt their skills during the course of their working lives and an apprenticeship will often be the best route to achieving this.

Our Apprentice Programmes vary in length. The Force Communication Suite Operator Apprenticeship will run for 16 months.

No, but the aim of the Apprenticeship Programme is to prepare Apprentices for a permanent role in Gwent Police. We would anticipate that all those who successfully complete the Apprenticeship will be offered a permanent position. 

You will undertake role related training, computer based training and undertake a Level 3 Customer Service qualification. The training programme will be planned in advance so you always know what you will be learning. By the end of your Apprenticeship you will have the qualifications, skills and experience to undertake the role. It also makes you far more employable when you want or need to move on.

Your training will take place in Gwent Police Headquarters, Croesyceiliog, Cwmbran, NP44 2XJ or the Learning and Development Department, Vantage Point, Cwmbran.  You will also undertake on the job training and this will take place in the Police Headquarters.

Full details of the training programme will be provided to successful Apprentices when they commence.

Yes. A trainer, NVQ assessor and tutor will be assigned to you to monitor your progress in terms of completing the NVQ and additional role related training. Your line manager will also monitor your progress. We expect Apprentices to keep a portfolio, so that they can identify their strengths and the areas they need to develop. All Apprentices will also be expected to meet the professional standards, conduct, attendance and performance standards required within Gwent Police.

Yes, we will provide you with Gwent Police staff uniform to wear throughout the apprenticeship.

You will be paid the same salary and shift allowance as a permanent Force Control Room Operator with the same level of training and experience.

The starting salary is £17943 and this will rise to £21999, following satisfactory completion of the training programme and assessments. The role also attracts a 20% shift allowance and unsocial hours payment, which are paid as soon as you start on the shift pattern.

You will work an average of 37 hours per week.  Following initial training the post holder will be required to work a shift pattern covering 24/7. At this time, the shift pattern worked is 6 shifts working followed by 4 rest days.

Due to the nature of the training we are unable to offer part time Apprenticeship posts.

During your initial 6 weeks training period Apprentices will not be able to take any holiday. During the remainder of the Apprenticeship term there will be 5 planned training days per year and you will be able apply to take the remainder of your holiday, like any Gwent Police Staff employee, as long as it does not clash with training courses, does not impact on operational requirements and is agreed by the department.