National Apprenticeship Week highlighted the talents and skills of apprentices and celebrated the value of apprenticeships.
Apprenticeships provide routes into a variety of careers, including many in the NHS, and offer the opportunity to earn, learn and achieve nationally recognised qualifications at the same time.
Apprenticeships are for people looking for a job that enables them to carry on learning and for those already in employment who want to gain a nationally recognised qualification.
There are currently thousands of apprentices in the NHS and the government has announced a £10 million fund to create 6,000 more.
Apprenticeships in the NHS are offered by individual organisations (such as trusts), and are incredibly diverse ranging from clinical support workers and pharmacy assistants to human resources and catering services.
There are many benefits to becoming an apprentice, including:
Job title: Staff Nurse
Entry route: Started as a healthcare assistant and then took an apprenticeship, followed by nurse training.
Danny started work in the NHS as a healthcare assistant with South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and joined the trust's apprenticeship scheme in November 2005. He took the apprenticeship route with the aim of realising his ambition of training to be a nurse. He began his nurse training at Teeside University in 2007, whilst still working full-time as an HCA.
Danny is now a qualified staff nurse on the Acute Assessment Unit (AAU) at South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and said: "An apprenticeship is a good way for someone thinking of a similar career to myself as it allows on the job training. Experience is definitely the key, whether it is voluntary or part time."
Job title: Training Co-ordinator
Entry route: Joined trust as apprentice after a work experience placement
Nathaniel Bailey-Morgan is a training co-ordinator at King's College Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in London. Nathaniel joined the trust as an apprentice after a work experience placement sparked his interest in a career in the NHS. He found the interview for the apprenticeship a really good experience, as there was a warm atmosphere which put him at ease and stopped him feeling nervous.
Nathaniel's role is varied and includes dealing with telephone enquiries, enrolling people onto courses, helping with the trust's corporate induction programme and preparing flyers to advertise training.
Nathaniel says: "In five years time, I see myself in a similar role at a higher level, once I gain the qualifications and experience I need.
"I would definitely advise other young people to consider an apprenticeship in the NHS - don't hesitate and apply today!"
Job title: Administrative Assistant
Entry route: Apprenticeship in Business Administration at Level 2
Thom has just completed an Apprenticeship in Business Administration at Level 2 at Sheffield Health and Social Care Trust. Before this, he had taken a-levels and after college began working at a packaging factory. Thom received a call from Connexions who he had registered with and they advised him of the apprenticeships being offered at his local NHS trust. Thom realised this would give him career options and a vital year experience with a recognised employer.
Thom enrolled onto the apprenticeship in Business Administration, training to be an administrative assistant. A usual working day for Thom consisted of him confirming all training courses are being undertaken, sending letters, dealing with any queries and data migration.
Thom said: "My apprenticeship has been very diverse, I have undertaken many different roles and been given many responsibilities each giving me a wealth of knowledge, experience and skills that are invaluable."
After completing his apprenticeship, Thom has now obtained a permanent band 3 position Sheffield Children's Hospital. He said: "I am really looking forward to continuing my career within the NHS, and feel the help, encouragement and support I gained from the Trust were integral in gaining further employment at the Children's Hospital."
Job title: Data Clerical Officer
Entry route: Completed advanced apprenticeship qualification whilst working in admin role at trust
Emily Shaw started working in the NHS when she was just 16, as a relief ward clerk at York Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. She then applied for her current data clerical officer role, which she saw advertised on the NHS Jobs website. Emily was given the opportunity to complete an Advanced Apprenticeship Level 3 while working for the trust. She felt that this was a good qualification to add to her CV and really enjoyed completing the course.
Emily's role is based in both the neck of femur ward, and the acute stroke unit at York Hospital. Her job involves inputting patients' data onto their databases, including personal information, time of admission and time of their first CT scan or x-ray.
Emily has found studying for the apprenticeship qualification a really valuable experience and says: "I feel more confident and sure on where I want to be in the future. I would now like to go ahead with a short course on management at the Open University and then, if all goes well, start thinking about completing a degree in business or leadership and management. Hopefully, this will help me to work my way up the ladder within the NHS."
You can search for apprenticeship vacancies nationally and in your area on the NHS Jobs website. There are also vacancies listed on the national apprenticeships website.