Apprentice testimonials

apprentice

Bridgette Baxter – Deputy Nurse Manager, Ruby Lodge

Bridgette

This is the fifth year of having apprentices at Ruby Lodge, one of the Trust’s Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) inpatient units.

As a team we get the satisfaction of being able to develop the apprentice to gain knowledge and skills that enable them to support a person with learning disabilities and mental health issues.

The apprentice undertakes all aspects of a support worker role and is welcomed as part of the team. During the year they are with us they have the opportunity to work alongside staff from the wider Ruby Lodge team.

We ensure that apprentices have both management and clinical supervision which helps us ensure that Ruby Lodge is an appropriate environment for apprenticeships.

To date we have had very enthusiastic apprentices and three of them have been appointed as support workers on Ruby lodge. One was appointed as a teaching assistant and one is now undertaking nurse training.

Overall our experience of the apprenticeship programme has been very positive.

Katie Westwood – Team Leader Secretary, CAMHS

KatieI first starting mentoring apprentices at Sheffield Children’s back in October 2012. I then became involved in recruitment in 2013 and have undertaken various tasks over the years such as giving talks at business administration open days and being part of interview panels.

A mentor invests a lot of time into the young person at the beginning of their placement. It can be really daunting, particularly for school leavers, having to adapt to being part of a busy bustling team with the demands we face, and they can often feel far out of their comfort zone.

By spending time nurturing them, both the apprentice and the mentor benefit greatly. I have regular one-to-one meetings with my apprentice and am always on hand to offer support and guidance.

We set learning objectives at the start of the placement and apprentices are given a timetable of what duties will be introduced at different stages of their placement.

As well as having responsibilities and duties within the team they are placed with, apprentices also complete mandatory training within the Trust and are given the opportunity to access other training such as minute taking courses.

The team have benefited enormously from having an apprentice and the clinicians are so grateful for the business support they provide.

I feel extremely privileged to have been part of my apprentices’ journeys and it is fantastic watching them flourish and learning the skills they require to prepare them to go into employment. All my apprentices have been successful in securing full-time Band 2 posts, either within Sheffield Children’s or elsewhere in the NHS.

Deborah Forshaw – Administration Team Leader, Genetics

I work as Departmental Administrator within the admin office at Sheffield Diagnostic Genetics Service (SDGS). We have welcomed business administration apprentices into our team for three years and the arrangement has so far proved to be very successful.

Our main aim is to contribute towards the professional development of the recruits. During the year the students are trained in all aspects of duties which would normally be performed by our clerical assistants. This gives them the opportunity to gather valuable skills and plenty of work experience and is a useful introduction to working in an office environment.

For SDGS, the whole experience continues to be extremely rewarding. Our apprentices have all been enthusiastic, hardworking and reliable and have provided much appreciated support. They have integrated within the team throughout their time with us, gaining confidence along the way.

Our department has been fortunate enough to go on to offer permanent employment to two of our previous apprentices and others have managed to acquire good jobs elsewhere on completion of their course.

Janice Nunn – Genetic Technologist, Sheffield Diagnostic Genetics Service

We have been supporting Health Care Science Level 3 apprentices for three years here in the Sheffield Diagnostic Genetics Service (SDGS).

Our main aim is to contribute towards the apprentices’ professional development.

Apprentices are trained in most of the aspects of a Medical Laboratory Assistant (MLA) role and are made to feel like part of the team. During the two years that they are with us they undertake one year within the DNA extraction section and one year within the short-term culture section. They work alongside other MLAs in their sections to provide a robust and efficient service. There is insufficient time within their apprenticeship to undertake training in the third section, long-term culture, which is usually part of the MLA role, but they are aware of its presence.

This training gives them the opportunity to develop valuable skills, a vast amount of work experience and is also a useful introduction to full-time work. These skills and experiences provide the apprentices with a much greater chance of gaining employment afterwards.

For SDGS, the whole experience continues to be extremely rewarding. Our apprentices have all been enthusiastic, hardworking and reliable and have provided much appreciated support. They are assimilated within the team throughout their time with us, gaining confidence along the way. Having apprentices has additionally helped the team process the increasing sample numbers received to allow us to support the clinical service provided by SDGS.

To date we have had five superb and enthusiastic apprentices, two of which have successfully been appointed as MLAs within SDGS. The remaining three apprentices are currently at various stages of their apprenticeship course.

Overall our experience of the apprenticeship programme has been very positive.

Michelle Foster – Clinical Scientist, Audiology

MichelleHearing Services have had an apprentice for the last four years. Having an apprentice has been invaluable to the department. They provide a much needed support to all the clinical work that is carried out.

They have enabled us to provide hearing tests at three sites locally in Sheffield, one of which has been Improving Quality In Physiological Services (IQIPS) accredited alongside the main site at Sheffield Children’s.

All the apprentices have continued on in the NHS and have been successful in getting Band 3/4 posts either within the department or other NHS departments. It’s a great way to get people into vocational jobs.

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