You’re hired! Apprentice for Cabinet minister given permanent position

Health secretary and former skills minister Matt Hancock has awarded a permanent role in his office to his apprentice.

Chloe Osborne-Wilson, aged 21, has been the “eyes and ears” for Hancock as a caseworker within his constituency of West Suffolk while making “tremendous progress” completing a level 3 business administrator apprenticeship over the past 18 months.

Hancock, who was the skills minister from 2013 to 2014 and became health secretary in July last year, has now hired Chloe on a full-time basis.

While the number of MPs hiring apprentices has been growing in recent years, with former skills minister and current education select committee chair Robert Halfon thought to have been the first in 2010, Hancock is likely to be one of only a few or even the first to then hire the apprentice permanently.

“I’m so proud of Chloe,” Hancock said. “It’s a massive tribute to her hard work and also an excellent example of the success of apprenticeships in this country.

“I am so pleased and proud to offer her a full-time position in my West Suffolk constituency office as my caseworker. Chloe made tremendous progress in her apprenticeship, and her success is thoroughly deserved.”

During Chloe’s apprenticeship she arranged and attended Hancock’s surgeries, answered calls from venerable members of the constituency, attended meetings with, or on behalf of the MP, and handled post.

“The apprenticeship has helped me to understand how a real working environment works, whilst still learning and developing my skills,” Chloe said.

“The support from my tutor Rebecca has been amazing, I could not have completed my apprenticeship without her and the support of the college.”

Rebecca Mann, programme tutor in business administration and customer service at West Suffolk College, said: “Chloe has undergone a significant learning journey as one of the first apprentices to go through the new end-point assessment process. She has shown huge resilience and optimism throughout her course having to adapt to a very challenging yet unique role. We are very proud of her.”

Chloe said she has high ambitions for the future and is hoping to progress to a senior caseworker or office manager.

Photo: Left to right – Laraine Moody, West Suffolk College vice principal employer engagement, Matt Hancock, Chloe Osborne-Wilson and Nikos Savvas, principal at West Suffolk College