'An amazing opportunity': two aspiring young UHDB apprentices talk National Apprenticeship Week 2023 | Apprenticeship stories

'An amazing opportunity': two aspiring young UHDB apprentices talk National Apprenticeship Week 2023

UHDB is delighted to be celebrating National Apprenticeship Week, taking place this year from 6 - 12 February 2023.

To celebrate all things apprenticeship, not only are our Learning and Education Team hosting a number of webinars throughout the week, but we have spoken to two team members undertaking apprenticeships with us to hear about their experience: Isla Watson, an Apprentice Recruitment Assistant, and Joseph Stanyer, an IT Security Engineer, both working at Royal Derby Hospital.

According to Joseph: "Being able to 'earn while you learn' really is the best thing in the world.

"Being able to have real-world experience in a role, alongside getting qualifications that support my development, is invaluable. It's a lot of hard work but as long as you're committed, you can get so much out of an apprenticeship.

"I'm currently doing a Level 6 Cyber Security Technical Professional apprenticeship, and have been at UHDB for around 12 months now, having also completed my Level 5 in Cyber Security here. I found out this was available when I came to Royal Derby Hospital to hand in some forms after getting my current role, and saw these brilliant opportunities advertised within my area of interest.

"I hadn't realised that these pathways were available to me, but once I saw they were, I knew I had to enquire and get involved - and I'm very happy I made that decision. I also work with great people here who make me feel right at home."

While Joseph spotted this new career development opportunity while starting a role at UHDB, Apprentice Recruitment Assistant Isla Watson took a different path to her apprenticeship - enrolling onto a pre-recruitment course for administrative and clerical roles within the Trust, ran by UHDB alongside our partners at Derby College Group and Job Centre Plus - immediately after finishing her GCSEs.

Isla Watson, an Apprentice Recruitment Assistant at UHDB. Isla said: "When I was coming to the end of my time at school, at times I felt a bit lost and unsure what I'd do next. Then I came across the pre-recruitment short course, which provided me with a Level 2 Customer Service certificate alongside some vital work experience around different parts of Royal Derby Hospital. I also did a 'basics' IT course that gave me the fundamental skills that have really helped me at this early stage of my career.

"After I finished this course, I spoke with someone who I met through the course who worked in the Apprenticeship team, who gave me lots of information about the apprenticeships on offer and what I'd be well suited to. The whole team gave me so much support.

"Then, after I finished my GCSEs, I started my current apprenticeship around three weeks later and I've been at UHDB ever since!"

Both Joseph and Isla mentioned communication as a key skill they've developed in their apprenticeships - with Joseph saying it provided a "good base for real-world work", and Isla agreeing, saying that this skill is something that "you can take with you for life, no matter where you go in your career".

For those who are considering doing an apprenticeship here with us at UHDB, Isla said "go for it". She reflects:

"These are skills you can take anywhere, and it doesn't matter your age, what particular skills you have, or what you want to develop - there'll be something here for you, and it's a great place to work."

Joseph agreed and, when asked to sum up his experience in three words, says: "An amazing opportunity!"

You can visit our Apprenticeships page on our website to see what opportunities are available for you today, here >

You can also view the remaining National Apprenticeship Week 2023 events being held by UHDB's Learning and Education team here (staff only) >

Read more about the UHDB-Derby College-JCP pre-recruitment course in an article we published in December 2022, where the first graduates of the course, including Isla, came together to celebrate their achievements, here >

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