Meet our Apprenticeship Learners
Since June, UTS have trained learners from the Hertfordshire NHS Foundation Trust through their Apprenticeships in Social Care at level 2 and 3.
These learners could be the first ever to complete the new Adult Care Worker and Lead Adult Care Worker apprenticeship standards, so we've been keeping up with their progress to follow their journey through to completion.
We originally interviewed them part way through their Care Certificate Induction training to learn their thoughts on the training and why they chose to join the Apprenticeship programme:
"I come from a family of nurses, which has been part of what inspired me to take this Apprenticeship in the first place. Because I’m staying with the NHS and pursuing a career in nursing, I feel that I should make the most of it, and taking this Apprenticeship is really going to open new doors for me to take higher level learning and study nursing at university.
"At first I was a bit sceptical about approaching the training course, as I knew there would be a big work load. I struggled with deadlines and work at school, and feel that I could have achieved more if I had worked harder and had more support available.
"This time around I feel a lot more confident that I’ll be successful because of the level of support that’s there. The training takes a laid back approach, and helps us to work at a more comfortable pace, which makes it much easier to fit in the apprenticeship work around a busy home and work life. It’s great to know that the support is there when I need it.
"The most enjoyable part so far has been the learning experience, taking on new knowledge and refreshing my understanding in a huge number of subjects. A lot of it I wasn’t sure about, In particular the legislation that defines what we do in our day-to-day work, but after being trained up I feel really confident that my every day practice is up to scratch. Another example is the subject of diversity, I didn’t realise how broad a subject it is, recognising and respecting individuality such as religion, sexuality, which is important for service users as well as the people I work with.
"Everything I’m learning isn’t just important for my role, they’re things you take home with you, life skills that make you a better employee.
"I would give the Apprenticeship a 10 out of 10 so far. In particular the friendliness of everyone, nice study environment, and learning content are all exactly what I hoped for. This Apprenticeship will be a stepping stone I can use to launch my career in Care and Nursing."
"I’m currently a senior healthcare assistant in the mental health unit at Stevenage. The nurses at work inspired me to take the apprenticeship, they wanted to see me developing and progressing in my role, not staying at the same level. They suggested I start moving on and take a qualification, so I can carry on afterwards with something else to get more skills.
"Maybe it’s a bit challenging, but I think if you’re not going to try, not going to go for it you will never know what you could have achieved.
"I have enjoyed the programme a lot. Our trainers and assessors are wonderful, such friendly people. They give me everything I need and explain everything – if I have difficulty with any of the subjects they can always give us an answer to explain as much as we need it and only stop when they’re sure we understand the subject.
"I enjoy the whole course, the apprenticeship is going to be really helpful and I’ve enjoyed it all the way so far, and will hopefully keep enjoying it until the end! It’s given me a great opportunity to improve my skills.
"Maybe in the future if my personal circumstances change with my children, I can go further and do a nursing degree, which is something I’m aspiring to do in the future.
"All of the subjects we covered are really relevant to my work on an everyday basis – I would give it a 10 out of 10 so far!"
"I’ve now been working in Mental Health for a year, which is a new career for me completely after being a bookmaker for 23 years from when I was 16. I suppose you get used to earning money, and when you’re that age you kind of stick with it, but last year I realised if I didn’t start and pursue the career I want to achieve now, I would never get around to it.
"I’ve never actually studied for a qualification before, but the Apprenticeship programme has given me a chance and so far I’m finding everything in the Care Certificate very interesting. My mates joke that I’m having some kind of mid-life crisis! But I’ve always been passionate about the NHS and I’ve always wanted to work there.
"I think I knew the Apprenticeship was right for me when I saw the qualifications you get from it. I want to do a role where I’m helping people as that’s what I’m really passionate about , and service user contact is what I really enjoy, so I’d like to progress into nursing or occupational therapy. The qualifications from the apprenticeship will set the way for me to take a degree in either of those fields, so I’m really looking forward to finishing and progressing in my new career.
"One of the obstacles to me has been time management, as I’ve got a lot of other responsibilities to juggle with full time work. I thought I’d have a lot of trouble getting through the work, but after I sat down to go through it I realised I was actually ahead of the curve. Workplace learning is tough to fit in sometimes, but the managers and supervisors at the NHS do really promote it and make sure we set time aside.
"My assessor Hannah has been an incredible source of support to me, as I’ve had to play catch-up on some of the learning, but with her help I’m now back on track. I was worried I might be left behind, but she’s always available to help and I’m really glad to have her support and reassurance.
"Having these training sessions is fundamental to building my knowledge of working in care. Overall I would rate the quality of training 9/10 so far, and I feel really confident to finish it. I feel that the work based learning is where I will get the most in terms of on the job experience, and having these training sessions is really fundamental to building my overall knowledge of working in care."
"I took the Apprenticeship because I’d like to take a degree in either mental health nursing or social work, and I thought this would be a really good first step. I just like helping people, and I find it really interesting to see what the nurses do in my workplace at the moment, it looks like something I’d really like to do.
"My passion is to help people. I really want to stay within the community and keep helping people at the Hertfordshire Partnership.
"Taking the Apprenticeship will enable me to take new responsibilities at work as my knowledge and ability improves. I’m currently a band 3 worker, but want to work towards becoming a band 4 worker, with a higher case load and complex work with service users who have different, more complex needs.
"I’ve had fun with the programme so far, it’s been great meeting new people. My favourite subject has probably been about nutrition and preparing food, as cooking is something I’m already quite interested in and it could be something that I try to incorporate into my role as I move forward.
"I haven’t come across any obstacles to completing the work so far because of the amazing support from my assessor; they’ve made everything much more manageable for me. With the functional skills, taking maths as a subjects was a barrier. It shook some of my confidence and made me question whether I could complete the programme. I was very nervous about doing the functional skills and still am! But I’m sure with the support from my assessors and trainers I’ll be able to do the functional skills no problem.
"Overall, I would give the Apprenticeship programme an 8/10 so far."
"I had been really looking forward to taking this apprenticeship for more than two years but couldn’t join a group because of bad timing and a difficult to work around family situation. I had a small child and finding childcare has been difficult. Now though the time is right as I’m managing with that better and have more support at work, from other family members, and the trainers and assessors at UTS.
"I love the level of personal development in the Apprenticeship, it’s been really useful in particular to learn about the policies and legislation that affect our everyday practice. These are available at work, but it’s not really enough to read them once, so studying them in this Apprenticeship is really useful.
"I’m really enjoying studying for the Apprenticeship with a group of people from all the different areas of my company. It’s nice to see the same people regularly and develop new friendships, and have a group of colleagues I can turn to for support. I always look forward to seeing everyone as we’re all in the same boat, gaining new experiences learning with each other.
"This time I managed to get into the group, and I’m very pleased to have joined because I have the chance to improve my skills and gain a qualification in care, so in the future I can go into a nursing role. Back home in Sri Lanka I worked as a nurse, and I have the knowledge but not the qualifications to be a registered nurse here in the UK. This is why I took this Apprenticeship, so I can move back up into that role.
"In terms of quality, I would give the Apprenticeship training a 9 out of 10."