Administrative / clerical workers are managed by a supervisor and work can be in a small office with two or three people, or anything up to a large open-plan area. Nearly all work nowadays is done on a computer, and usually means that most of the day is spent sitting down. There is usually little contact with other people except for their immediate colleagues and supervisor, communication with other people mostly being by telephone. However, if their work is concerned with information distribution or the Mail, they may have to be on their feet for long periods of the day.
No set entry requirements.
This job requires careful working and attention to detail: a good standard of literacy and numeracy will also be required. Familiarity with using computers and word processors will be necessary, and if the work requires dealing with other people either in person or on the telephone, a good speaking voice and a willingness to be helpful will also be needed. They should be able to use their own initiative, and maintain the confidentiality of any information with which they may be involved. Being able to work in a team, pleasure in contact with people, endurance, responsibility, reliability, organisational talents, imagination.
Prospects are many and diverse, and depend upon the qualifications and experience gained. There are many courses for higher national diplomas and certificates run by various colleges: also courses are available for Pitman qualifications, qualifications from the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry Examinations Board (LCCIEB) and the Oxford, Cambridge and RSA Examinations Board (OCR). Advancement to supervisor, office manager, section head or higher is possible.
No minimum entry requirements: some GCSEs, including English and mathematics will usually be required, however. It will often be necessary to have certificates in typing and computer use. National Traineeships are also available, and details may be obtained from the local careers office or Jobcentre.
Most workers in this field are trained on the job. NVQs/SVQs can be worked for from level 1 to 2, and as there is no set time limit for obtaining these, the different modules can be taken as and when necessary. People wishing to advance to higher levels can progress to levels 3 and 4 in the NVQs/SVQs or take higher national diplomas or certificates.