Apprentices share their experiences for National Apprenticeship Week

Jake Taylor
Jake Taylor

Local people who are part of an apprenticeship programme run by South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust are sharing their experiences as part of National Apprenticeship Week.

National Apprenticeship Week takes place from 6-10 February and aims to highlight the talents and skills of apprentices and celebrate the value of apprenticeships across the country.

The apprenticeship programme run by the Trust, which provides NHS community and mental health services in Barnsley, was established in 2008 and has already received a number of awards.

As with other programmes the apprenticeships offered by the Trust in Barnsley are designed with the help of staff, so they offer a structured programme that takes participants through the skills they need to do a job well. There are guidelines and agreements in place to make sure that the Trust is supporting them and helping them make progress.

Apprentices are work based for most of the time as the majority of training takes place on the job, but off the job training also takes place at a local college or a specialist training organisation such as Barnsley College.

Since it began the programme has supported 67 new recruits and is recognised by the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS), which has responsibility for all apprenticeships in England.

Speaking about the programme Rebecca Miller-Andrews, employability facilitator for the Trust in Barnsley, said, “National Apprenticeship Week is a great opportunity for us to share the success of people who have taken part in the programme, the departments that have supported them and our current cadets. Since the programme began in 2008 it has won a number of awards including adult apprentice of the year in 2010 and shortlisted as ‘apprentice employer of the year’ at the NHS Yorkshire and Humber apprenticeship awards 2011.

The apprenticeship programme has supported a number of individuals into fixed term and permanent contracts with the Trust and also employment with other organisations or onto higher education. We continue to support apprentices and would like to use this week as an opportunity to share the work of our past and present cadets.”

Apprenticeship case study – Jake Taylor “Before starting the scheme I was working at a warehouse through an agency. I also did a year at College doing an electrical engineering course, but didn’t think it was the right career choice. I decided to do an apprenticeship so that I could learn new skills at the same time as completing professional qualifications and earn some money.

I heard about the scheme from my mum who works in the NHS and thought it would be a great opportunity for me so applied and fortunately for me I got accepted.

I currently work at Kendray Hospital on the IT helpdesk. It’s a great place to work and I enjoy communicating with so many different people everyday. Hopefully I see myself having a permanent job within the NHS and progressing up through to a managerial position.

I would highly recommend an apprenticeship to anyone, as you can learn, earn money and receive a qualification at the same time.”

Apprenticeship case study – Rebecca Wright “I was working part time and doing a beauty course at college before I signed up to the scheme. I wanted a change in career so was looking for office work, and registered my interest in Business Administration apprenticeships with Barnsley College.

I chose to do an apprenticeship as it gave me the opportunity to start a new career, but earn money at the same time. I wasn’t keen on going back to college as felt that would be like going back to school, so felt the apprenticeship gave me the right balance between learning and hands on experience.

I’m based at Kendray Hospital in the payroll department. My duties include answering the phone, using the computer, using systems to log sickness and travel, and carry out other administrative tasks connected with the running of a hospital. I enjoy being busy so this is perfect for me!

My long term career goals are to stay with the NHS and if possible I’d like to remain with the payroll team. My advice to anyone looking to join a scheme would be to think about what you really want to do and then just go for it. I’m really glad I’ve had this opportunity.”

For more information about the scheme contact Rebecca Miller-Andrews, employability facilitator on 01226 434253

Apprentices share their experiences for National Apprenticeship Week

time to read: 3 min