The Trust is committed to develop appropriate vacancies as apprenticeships. All teams are asked to look at incorporating these within their staffing structures. This allows someone the first step on the career ladder. Applications from the 16-19 age group are encouraged, as they are underrepresented in the workforce. Mature people considering a career change will also apply, giving a wider mix of ages within the program. In the main L2 qualifications are accessed and we seek to attract young people to consider a career in the NHS.
Recruitment takes place on a quarterly basis, and successful applicants will start in a cohort of around 10 - 15 people. Induction and additional training is carefully managed. There will be an allocated assessor and supervisor during the term of the contract, which is usually a year. 80% of all apprentice go on to secure posts within the NHS or other public sector organisations on completion.
Apprenticeships in our Trust work towards the following:
- NVQ in Business Administration, Health & Social Care (Children's & Adult pathways) Hospitality, Finance & Pharmacy Services
- Key Skills in application of numbers, communication and IT Skills
- Technical Certificate
- Employment Rights & Responsibilities Handbook
The Trust offers a variety of apprenticeships from Level 2 to level 7 across most job roles. These can be found on the apprentice government website: www.apprenticeships.gov.uk.
Amy Clarke, Mental Health Nurse
Amy Clarke, Mental Health Nurse and former Health and Social Care Apprentice, takes a look back on her apprenticeship journey.
My apprenticeship journey began in 2011 as a healthcare assistant (HCA) apprentice. No one had heard of an apprenticeship and still now people are unaware that this is an option for younger people. The role involved learning about the healthcare setting as an apprentice and working closely alongside professionals, learning the ins and outs of the healthcare assistant role.
I really became part of the team…they treated me as one of their own
I started on a busy Mental Health Services for Older People (MHSOP) ward (65+), mainly for patients with dementia and other cognitive illnesses. Here is where I built the foundations and basic skills to become the professional I am today. I also made some good friends who even though I no longer work with, I am still in contact with. I really became a part of their team and although I was an apprentice, they treated me as one of their own.
After my apprenticeship finished, I carried on working on the same older adult ward on a bank contract for a while. I then gained a permanent HCA post closer to my home, but this time within Adult Mental Health (AMH), people aged 18-65. I was able to transfer a lot of my skills I learnt within my apprenticeship and was also able to apply myself more confidently due to my experiences. I later decided to apply for university and completed my degree in 2018. I returned back to the same AMH adult ward I was working on and still remain there currently, working as a staff nurse.
The apprenticeship has stood me in good stead for the rest of my career.
When I left school and sixth form, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do and didn’t even consider nursing as a career. Following my experience of the apprenticeship I feel lucky that I found something unexpected that I really enjoyed and was keen to continue learning. The apprenticeship has stood me in good stead for the rest of my career and was definitely very beneficial to me, with regards to experiencing something first-hand and the new learning opportunities that were on offer.
I would encourage any young person to consider an apprenticeship to be able to learn on the job whilst also getting paid and having hands on experiences within healthcare.
You may also find something unexpected that you really enjoy which could turn into your career.
NHS Apprentice to fully fledged Medical Secretary
In 2015 I applied for an NHS apprenticeship post through PROSTART. Following my application I was invited to an interview with PROSTART and then with the trust with 4 members of staff from around the directorate. During the interview with the trust we went through the benefits of working for the Trust such as the pension etc, and the roles that were available within each area, then my interview followed.
Following my interview as I had scored very well against the other apprentices I got first choice of the posts that were on offer and I chose to go and work for the Mental Health Services for Older People, Community Mental Health Team in Stapleford (Broxtowe CMHT). From this role and within my first few weeks of being an NHS staff member, I participated in lots of training days at Duncan Macmillan House such as; Fire Safety, Breakaway, Back care, and Information Governance training. There were also other training days offered through PROSTART such as minute taking, deaf and disability training and dealing with distressing callers.
During my time in my role working for the CMHT, I was; learning new medical terminology, building a good telephone manner, general office duties, pulling clinical information and calling to remind patients of their appointments and creating a database of old notes that needed archiving.
On top of learning my new skills in the CMHT role, I went on a number of insight visits with people in the office, I went out with a CPN on a visit and an OT from the IRIS team, I also sat in an Memory Assessment clinic and went out with one of our Dementia Outreach nurses into a couple of the care homes we work with. This allowed me to gain some insight into what the clinical team does to allow me to support them better.
Once I had completed my Level 2 NVQ in Business Administration I went onto my Level 3 in administration and management. During the time doing the Level 3 I secured a permanent position within the team as a support secretary. Through hard work and further experience; going to conferences and away days and creating resources in the office to help the clinical team with their admin, I have since progressed again after 2 years and have secured the Clinical Team Secretary position that was available.
Once I had finished my Level 3 I then picked up one of the free distance learning courses with Leicester college in leadership and management and completed this in my spare time.
I am also now trying to gain experience to try and get into a more project management based role and have been amazed by the support I have received during it. I am now supporting in a project with our service manager.
All of this would not have been possible if I had not applied through PROSTART and got the training and experience that I needed. I will be very grateful for quite some time and don’t plan to stop doing extra training any time soon, if the opportunities are there, they’re there for the taking!
NHS Apprentice to NHS permanent member of staff
In 2014 I applied for an NHS apprenticeship post through PROSTART. I firstly had 2 interviews, one to pass through PROSTART so they could identify if I was suitable for the NHS service and then one with x4 members of NHS staff from different areas. Whilst in the second interview I was asked to demonstrate my computer and English skills by typing up a letter which would be appropriate for a patient to receive, then my interview followed.
Luckily I was offered one of the two posts up for offer and I went to go and work for the Mental Health Services for Older People, Community Mental Health Team in Ashfield and Mansfield. From this role and within my first few weeks of being an NHS staff member, I participated in lots of training days at Duncan Macmillan House which allowed me to participate in the relevant training what was needed for my role such as; Fire Safety, Breakaway, Back care, and Information Governance training.
Within the first couple of months in my role working for the CMHT, I was learning new skills in how to deal with distressed callers, learning new medical terminology, telephone manner, general office duties, pulling clinic information and calling to remind patients of their appointments and in some cases I would often see the patients when they came to clinic at my work base.
On top of learning my new skills in the CMHT role, I was allowed to gain experience in different services to expand my knowledge of the NHS. I worked a day a week for the Working Age Dementia (WAD) Service as well as working for the Intensive Recovery Intervention Service (IRIS) team. I also had an insight day at the Millbrook Unit, Kingsley Ward, which is where our patients are admitted if seriously ill. This was very insightful and secured my knowledge on what the teams did and how the whole administration process and paper work all works together.
Through working hard over the course of a year, I secured my Word Processing Level 2 qualification and my Business Administration NVQ Level 2. This helped my transition into a permanent role for the NHS which was with the Working Age Dementia Service Team as a Medical Secretary Assistant. I have been in this role for over 6 months now and have gained a lot of experience and been offered a lot of training. I am still learning new skills every day and working within a fantastic service. My apprenticeship I believe helped me secure this role as I gained the relevant qualifications and I had NHS experience which in some cases – can be hard to gain!