quote HEE facebook linkedin twitter bracketDetail search file-download keyboard-arrow-down keyboard-arrow-right close event-note

Apprentice stories

We are committed to creating apprenticeships not only within the wider healthcare workforce but also within our own organisation. Read the stories of Abby, Tasmin, Mike and Shannon to find out what it is like to be an apprentice HEE, the South West Leadership Academy and Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust.


Abby Yard

Senior accounting officer

What apprenticeship did you undertake and when?

I completed the Level 3 and 4 Accounting apprenticeship between September 2013 and August 2015 (one year per apprenticeship programme).

What are the best things about being apprenticeship?

The apprenticeship routes gives individuals the opportunity to gain valuable skills both academically and practical skills which can be used to help the individual develop within the workplace. The apprenticeship route allows students to practice these skills on a daily basis within the workplace whilst still having the opportunity to earn whilst they learn.

What did your apprenticeship involve?

My apprenticeship involved me attending my local college once a week to learn the aspects of the AAT accounting qualification which can be used regularly within the workplace. This involved me taking regular exams and completing the apprenticeship framework through the apprenticeship workbook.

What are you doing now?

I am now studying my first year of CIMA Qualifications which is the next level of accountancy qualifications. Once I have completed all levels I will have completed my accountancy qualifications and be a full qualified accountant.

How has your apprenticeship helped you in your current role?

My apprenticeship has helped me gain a better understanding of the accountancy processes and policies and how these can be adapted in to the workplace and used within my job role. This apprenticeship has allowed me to gain confidence within myself and my job role by allowing me to use the skills I have gained through my apprenticeship scheme.

What would you say to people considering an apprenticeship?

I would highly recommended apprenticeships schemes available to anyone looking at furthering their knowledge/career. The apprenticeship routes open up a wide range of opportunities to individuals and allows you to gain both the skills needed to complete the programme but also practical experiences and knowledge of the business which will be useful for the students future. When looking at career options I would advise anyone to look at the apprenticeship options available as there are a wide range or apprenticeship programmes/careers out there available to you.

How would you describe apprenticeships in one word?

Rewarding

Abby Morgan

Assistant communications officer

Abby won the Inspirational Apprentice Award at the 2015 Apprenticeship Awards and now works as an assistant communications officer at Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust.

What apprenticeship did you undertake and when?

I completed a Business Administration Level 2 Apprenticeship with the Communications Department at Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust in July 2015 (starting in July 2014).

What are the best things about being apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship was absolutely perfect for me, as not only are you gaining a recognised qualification, but you are also learning whilst on the job, gaining valuable experience that stands out to potential future employers.

What did your apprenticeship involve?

My apprenticeship was extremely wide-ranging and involved office duties, such as answering the telephone, scanning etc, but also tasks such as writing news releases, taking photographs, making videos, dealing with the media and much more.  

What are you doing now?

Since completing my apprenticeship, I have been taken on full time as a permanent member of staff within the communications department.

How has your apprenticeship helped you in your current role?

Without undertaking an apprenticeship, I would most definitely not be where I am today. It taught me so much and I gained so many valuable skills, which continue to develop on a daily basis. Many employers now ask for experience, and an apprenticeship offers you the best of both worlds.

What would you say to people considering an apprenticeship?

I would definitely recommend apprenticeships to anyone. Previously to starting, I had tried university and I found that it wasn’t for me. Gaining a qualification and experience in a department that I love, whilst getting paid for it, has definitely been the best decision for me.

How would you describe apprenticeships in one word?

Exciting!

Tasmin Ackland

Widening participation officer

What apprenticeship did you undertake and when?

I undertook the Business and Administration Level 2 and 3 at Richard Huish College

What are the best things about being apprenticeship?

It gives you time to develop your understanding of the theory alongside the practical, it was also a safe environment to make mistakes so you never felt under pressure to be perfect all the time.

What did your apprenticeship involve?

My apprenticeship was within the Human Resources department. In my first year I worked alongside the recruitment co-ordinator, I assisted with the recruitment processes e.g. preparing interview packs, liaising with the recruitment managers and the applicants and meeting the applicants upon arrival etc.

In my second year I worked alongside a HR Advisor, I developed my understanding of the HR policies and procedures, focused on the continuous professional development of the staff within the organisation and monitored appraisal statistics for the bi-monthly reporting to our Senior Management Team.

Later in my second year, I was working with our payroll co-ordinator, this part of my role I thoroughly enjoyed, it gave me a lot of responsibility and personal development, I was responsible for updating and maintaining the Electronic Staff Record with pay and contact details for over 300 members of staff which involved liaising with our Finance department for coding and report running.

What are you doing now?

I am currently a Band 6 Widening Participation and Quality Support Officer, for Health Education England.

How has your apprenticeship helped you in your current role?

Without my Apprenticeship I probably wouldn’t be in this role, I wouldn’t have the experience and knowledge of the NHS to even consider a career within Health Education England. My apprenticeship gave me the foundations for this role and every role I have had since completing my level 3. Apprenticeships give you underpinning knowledge and experience to transfer your skills to any business/admin role within any organisation, it’s a qualification you will always use.

What would you say to people considering an apprenticeship?

Fantastic opportunity to get your foot in the door, even if it ends up not being the career pathway for you, it’s an experience you won’t forget.

How would you describe apprenticeships in one word?

Eye-opening

Michael Thorne

HR administrator

What apprenticeship did you undertake and when?

A Level 2 and Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Business and Administration between 2010 and 2012, between the South West Strategic Health Authority and Richard Huish College.  

What are the best things about being apprenticeship?

The best things about being in an apprenticeship for me was being able to stay in education and carry on learning, while gaining first-hand experience, and earning.

In particular the many opportunities at the end of my apprenticeship were what interested me in the staying on and completing the Level 2 and 3 Diploma.

What did your apprenticeship involve

My level 2 involved arranging meetings, for  example, booking venues, catering, arranging delegates and assisting on the day and other office focused tasks.

My Level 3 was within a HR department and I was heavily involved in the recruitment and selection process as part of the team.   

What are you doing now?

I am currently working for Health Education England in the south, as an HR Assistant.

The job allows me lots of new experiences and visiting other offices.  

How has your apprenticeship helped you in your current role?

My apprenticeship has helped build my confidence, and pushed me to experiment with things that are outside my comfort zone in and outside of the workplace.

It has also improved my written and verbal communication.  

What would you say to people considering an apprenticeship?

If you are confused of what you want to focus on in life, after leaving school or looking for a new direction apprenticeships are a great way of getting the best of education/and the working world.

Apprenticeships can be excellent stepping stones, and give you the experience that many competitive employers are looking for.   

How would you describe apprenticeships in one word?

Crucial

Shannon Ackland

Administration Apprentice

What apprenticeship are you on and where do you work?

Currently I’ am studying Business and administration level 2 through Richard Huish College and I work for the South West Leadership Academy.

What are the best things about doing an apprenticeship?

I would say the best thing about my apprenticeship is having the real life experiences of working in an office environment and being part of a team. Also getting the relevant experience to help me progress with the support of my colleagues.

What does your apprenticeship involve?

My apprenticeship involves me carrying out the daily administrative duties for the South West Leadership Academy.

What is a typical day as an apprentice like?

A typical day would involve me booking venues, making Eventbrite pages and producing registers and badges for events. Also I take telephone enquiries and support the function of the team.

How has your apprenticeship helped you to develop?

By doing my apprenticeship I feel I have gained in confidence and have developed my skills within an office environment. It has also given me the opportunity to do things I never thought I could do.

What would you say to people considering an apprenticeship?

I would say definitely do it! It’s a great way to get relevant work experience and it opens the door to other opportunities you didn’t know existed.   

How would you describe apprenticeships in one word?

Achievable

Chantelle Lea

Admin co-ordinator

Chantelle won the Higher Apprence of the Year Award at the 2015 Apprenticeship Awards and now works as an admin co-ordinator at Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust.

What apprenticeship did you undertake and when? 

Level 4 NVQ Diploma in Business and Administration

What are the best things about being apprenticeship? 

Earning whilst you learn valuable knowledge and skills as well as gaining a qualification/framework at the end. 

What did your apprenticeship involve? 

Daily use of Microsoft Office Software, IPM, Oracle, MAPS, and Choose and Book, updating databases and excel spread sheets, checking trust spread sheets, Dealing with patient enquiries and referrals, Booking outpatient appointments, preparing outpatient clinics, arranging meetings, sorting agendas, taking and typing minutes, dealing with telephone enquiries from patients, internal staff and the public, dealing with queries from staff, producing documents / reports for senior managers within the departmen and stationery checks and ordering.

What are you doing now? 

I’m still in the same job, but have different tasks to the tasks I undertook whilst completing my apprenticeship.  These include: daily use of Microsoft Office Software, Oracle and MAPS, updating databases and excel spread, sheets, checking trust spread sheets, i.e. appraisals, mandatory training, arranging meetings, sorting agendas, taking and typing minutes, dealing with telephone enquiries from patients, internal staff and the public, dealing with queries from staff, producing documents / reports for senior managers within the department, stationery checks and ordering and managing one member of staff.

How has your apprenticeship helped you in your current role?

My apprenticeship has helped me work my way up through various job roles and has given me experiences that I would not have been able to have elsewhere.

What would you say to people considering an apprenticeship? 

Apprenticeships give you valuable knowledge and skills whilst you are gaining a qualification / framework whilst also earning whilst you learn. 

How would you describe apprenticeships in one word? 

Rewarding

If you found this content useful you can share it on your favourite social network:

Or just grab the url to share wherever you like: