Celebrating National Apprenticeship Week
05 March 2018
It's National Apprenticeship Week and we are focusing on the fantastic career development opportunities available across our hospitals in Mid and South Essex.
Apprenticeships are a route into many aspects of a career within
the NHS, both in clinical and non-clinical areas. More than 350 of
people of all ages have joined apprenticeship schemes across the
msb group (comprising Mid Essex, Southend and Basildon and Thurrock
Hospitals) to date.
National Apprenticeship Week runs from March 5-9 and the
following training providers: Anglia Ruskin University, the
University of Essex, Intraining and Lifetime Training will attend
Mid Essex, Southend and Basildon Hospitals to showcase the options
they offer for apprenticeship learning and development.
The details are as follows:
- Tuesday, March 6- Exhibition Area, Education Centre, Southend
Hospital, 11am - 2pm
- Wednesday, March 7- Main Atrium, BroomfieldHospital,11am -
- Thursday, March 8- Corridor area, outside of the main
restaurant, Level C, Basildon Hospital -11am - 2pm
Jayne Toplis, associate director of people and organisational
development, said:"We are committed to improving the long-term
career prospects of our staff, giving them a head start on forging
a fantastic career. Our staff are our greatest asset and we believe
in 'growing our own' by helping people to develop
internally. Fostering talent is key to ensuring that our
workforce is equipped to deliver the best possible care to our
"Apprenticeships are a great opportunity for absolutely
everyone, from school leavers to those who are looking for a change
in career direction or want to do something rewarding with their
"There are a range of apprenticeships available to support your
career development in both professional and technical fields
such as healthcare, business administration, customer service,
finance, and leadership and management and we have a dedicated
vocational and workforce redesign advisor on site at each of the
three trusts who can provide information, advice and guidance on
the full range of apprenticeship opportunities available."
Suzanne Pegrum, Healthcare Assistant, Southend
Suzanne, 46, currently works on Southend Hospital's Acute
Medical Unit as a healthcare assistant. After nine years at the
trust, she wants to progress her career and become a qualified
nurse. With the backing of the trust, Suzanne has started an
Assistant Practitioner (Nursing) Higher Apprenticeship FdSc Level 5
through Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) and is well on her way to
achieving her ambition.
Suzanne said:"I could never afford to go to university without
the backing of the trust. I feel valued that my employer thinks I
am capable to do this course. They are investing in me and once I
have qualified, I can repay them back with my new skills and
"I think anyone interested in education in later life should
consider an apprenticeship for the experience, for the knowledge
and just for yourself. If you feel you have more to give - do it.
It's very rewarding.
"Having left school 30 years ago, it's really helpful to have a
personal tutor help me adjust to university life as a 'mature
"Don't ever doubt yourself. I never thought I would be clever
enough to even entertain going to university; I left school with
bad grades but 30 years later, I am studying at ARU. I have pushed
myself to get to the level required, so don't ever think you are
too old to study. Age is just a number."
Apprenticeships are not just suitable for young people, they are
available to staff of any age and provide an opportunity to develop
existing knowledge and learn new skills.
Eleanor Evans, Finance Apprentice, BTUH
When Eleanor Evans, 19, was studying for a business diploma at
college she found she had a good head for numbers. That made the
prospect of learning while she earned with an apprenticeship,
instead of building up a student debt, all the more appealing.
Encouraged by her college, she applied for an apprenticeship in
the finance department at Basildon University Hospital, where she
has achieved a level 2 qualification in Association of Account
Technicians (AAT) accounting.
Eleanor said:"I had heard of apprenticeships but I didn't know
how much you can get from them. For me, it's a much better option
than going to uni; learning on the job means you develop your
skills while building up work experience. And I'm not in debt!
"When I came for an interview they told me there were lots of
applicants so I was really happy and excited to get the
apprenticeship. My manager in the finance team arranged for me to
spend the first weeks doing different jobs around the hospital - I
helped the porters for a week, spent time with the purchasing and
procurement team, and had clinicalstaff practising their plastering
skills on me.
"It was fantastic doing that, because it gave me a really good
understanding of what goes on in a hospital and how the money is
spent. It made me understand how the work of the finance team is
relevant to caring for patients.
Jenna Twaites, Communications Assistant,
Not knowing what to do after college, Jenna (pictured right)
enrolled in the work experience scheme at Broomfield Hospital. What
initially was an eight week placement evolved into six months,
working across the multidisciplinary communications and public
Jenna said: "Joining the work experience scheme helped me to
gain a focus. I really began to feel part of the team and decided
that I wanted to establish a career in comms and public engagement
so I applied for the business admin apprenticeship in
"I quickly learned the value of on-the-job learning; it enabled
me to put theory into practice during everyday activities, whilst
continually learning and developing new ways of working.
"The NHS is an employer like no other; even though I am mainly
office based, I have been on wards many times and engaged with
patients collecting feedback etc. Being in the NHS and having the
ability to make a difference to the wellbeing of a patient who is
someone's loved one is the ultimate reward for me; something as
simple as making a cup of tea or ensuring the public information is
accurate makes a difference."
Jenna has since completed her apprenticeship and has been
working within the communications team full-time for nearly two
"I really would recommend apprenticeships in the NHS. The
experience, knowledge and versatility I have gained here is
unbelievable. Being an apprentice was one of the best things that I
have ever done - the possibilities are endless," she added.
"Everyone in the finance team has been so friendly and
supportive. I have been studying while working and everything I've
learned here has helped with my exams."
If you would like further information please contact the
relevant individual for your trust below.
Laura McCullagh - Vocational and Workforce Redesign
Advisor, Mid Essex Hospital
Nichola Waite - Vocational and Workforce Redesign Advisor,
Rachel Gray - Vocational and Workforce Redesign Lead, Basildon