Northamptonshire Health and Care Partnership (NHCP) held its third annual county-wide apprenticeship celebration event on Friday 7th February at the Park Inn by Radisson in Northampton, where 42 apprentices were presented with awards.
This event celebrated the achievements of apprentices working across health and care services in Northamptonshire, recognising the talents and success stories from across the county.
Rhiannon Rees-Jones, an Administrative Assistant in Adult Social Care won the overall ‘Apprentice of the Year’ award, as well as the ‘Behind the Scenes’ award.
Rhiannon Rees-Jones said: “I’m doing the Level 3 Business Administration Apprenticeship. Winning the ‘Behind the Scenes’ award for Adult Social Care was amazing, but to win ‘Apprenticeship of the Year’ is incredible, and I feel really honoured.
“As someone with Asperger’s, life can be pretty challenging, but I no longer see it as a barrier. I have achieved things I never thought I would thanks to the support of my friends, family and colleagues. Without this strong network of individuals, I don’t think I would have the courage to go on this journey and reach this milestone.”
Northamptonshire Health and Care Partnership have recruited over 300 apprentices in the last 12 months, up from 243 last year. New apprentices were recruited onto a wide variety of apprenticeship programmes in health and care such as; nurse degrees and nursing associates and administrative roles in business, HR and finance.
Laura Lydia Watts, Project Manager for Apprenticeships and Work Experience at NHCP said, “Apprenticeship programmes provide routes into a variety of careers and Northamptonshire’s health and care organisations are committed to offering apprenticeship opportunities at all levels – both for new recruits starting out their careers and also providing opportunities for existing staff to develop and progress.
“Our celebration event was a fantastic opportunity to showcase how valuable apprenticeships are both for individuals and the NHS and social care as employers.”
There were ten award categories in total, including County Nurse; Newcomer and Personal Achievement and nominations were received for apprentices working in many different job roles across the partnership network.
These included various health and care roles; nurse degree, nursing associate and adult care; business administration; management, finance and HR– demonstrating the many different apprenticeships that are available across the NHS and social care.
The Apprentice Mentor and Apprentice Manager Awards also recognised the importance of providing quality apprenticeship programmes and the right support to enable individuals to develop and progress.
Sophie Bettelley won the County Nurse Award. Sophie works in primary care at the Mawsley Medical Centre in Kettering and was nominated by the surgery. Sophie is 32 years old and started on a four-year Registered Adult Nursing Degree Apprenticeship in September 2019.
Prior to working in healthcare, Sophie worked as a Project Manager, but she always wanted to become a nurse and decided to change her career. Sophie began by getting a role at her local surgery as a Healthcare Assistant, where she obtained clinical skills alongside her Level 4 Access qualifications.
Her manager then put her forward for the degree. Sophie says, “I was delighted to be put forward. I am a working mum, so the degree involves a bit of a balancing act. I work 15 hours a week as a Healthcare Assistant, and for the other 15 hours I’m a Nurse Apprentice learning new skills through work placements.
Sophie says the real benefit of being on an apprenticeship scheme is that she is totally supported by mentors and learning all of the time.
Sophie adds, “The award was a very big but lovely surprise. Even though I’m a full-time mum, I absolutely recommend the apprenticeship programme, especially for mature students like myself. There are great opportunities and you are earning as you learn, so that helps ease the burden on the family.
“The support I’ve received from colleagues and line managers has been brilliant too. They have attended every meeting with me, helped with funding and really want to help me achieve my dreams.”
Another winner is 52-year old Pietro Fraterrigo, a Pre-registered Pharmacy Technician at Kettering General Hospital (KGH), who won the ‘Patient Experience’ award.
Pietro began a 2-year Apprenticeship Level 3 in Pharmaceutical studies in May 2019. He spends seven and a half hours a week studying (20% of work time), with the rest of his time spent gaining ground experience and on the job training.
Pietro says, “The Apprenticeship programmes are great as you train and work to get the qualification, then you can progress into that role. At University you often study one subject and then don’t get to work on that subject. Apprentice programmes are ideal as you get the qualification to advance to get the job you have been trained for.”
“I recommend working in the NHS if you are interested in people and learning about medicine. The course and the people are great – it is a lot of work, but very enjoyable and you see the benefits straight away.”
Several of Northamptonshire’s health and care providers are part of the ‘Best of Both Worlds’ recruitment campaign. The campaign unites the University of Northampton, Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust, Kettering General Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (KGH), Primary Care and St Andrew’s Healthcare in recruiting doctors and nurses to relocate and live and work in Northamptonshire.
Part of the campaign is focused on recruiting apprentices across the county. For more details on apprenticeships available visit: www.bestofbothworlds.uk.net/northamptonshire-apprenticeships/
For more information on other vacancies visit: www.bestofbothworlds.uk.net