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How James is developing his leadership and managerial skills with an apprenticeship

James wearing a mask
12 February 2021
Being an apprentice meant that James Connolly could develop his leadership and managerial skills alongside his band 6 role in the Post Anaesthesia Care Unit (PACU).
James is 41 and has worked in PACU for nearly seven years, but a key motivation for joining the apprenticeship in October 2020 is that he had no formal training in taking on a leadership role.
James said: “Knowing that I’d be learning and developing these skills within a work base setting, alongside the college work, was very appealing.”
James’ course will last between 12 to 18 months and while commitment to it is essential, he says that the training has been perfect for people who are serious about developing their abilities.
“The thing I didn’t realise when I first started looking into this was how much it relied on you showing your knowledge and learning through work based projects. If you’re serious about the course and its right for you, talking to your manager and the apprenticeship facilitator will help you identify these opportunities.”
The COVID-19 pandemic caused major changes for the PACU team. This includes wearing PPE and maintaining social distancing wherever possible, but there have also been changes to the regular process of visiting Sheffield Children’s for surgery. You can find out more about this on the Coming to TAU page.
“At the beginning of the pandemic, all non-urgent surgery was cancelled but PACU staff worked hard on burnishing up on their ward-based skills, preparing for redeployment as they measured up PACU to prepare for potential High Dependency Unit (HDU) patients.”
This constant drive to improve skills is mirrored in James’s approach to his apprenticeship.
James added: “The management and leadership skills that I’ll gain from this course will fill lots of the gaps in my skills for my current and future jobs. I hope it will open up opportunities to continue working on projects in relation to service improvement and project management.”

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