We are this week laying praise to the contribution of our hardworking apprentices across the organisation.
With over five million people starting apprenticeships nationwide since May 2010, apprentices are leading the charge to deliver the skilled workforce this country, and this area needs.
Olivia Hawke is currently undertaking a four-year electrical and electronic engineering apprenticeship at the University Hospital of North Tees.
After initially joining the organisation as a ward hostess, she made the career-changing decision to take on the exciting challenge of being an apprentice in the medical engineering department in August 2019.
Olivia said: “I wanted to do the apprenticeship because I didn’t want to go to university after college.
“I visited a few unis to see if it would spark any inspiration on what I want to study and eventually be. But the more I went, the more I realised I wanted to work in a practical sector.”
Two and a half years after beginning her apprenticeship, Olivia has been hailed as a ‘natural’ in her chosen field. She has been recognised as ‘Apprentice of the Year’ two years in a row at the Northern and Yorkshire NHS Apprenticeship Awards.
Olivia continued: “I really enjoy the environment I work in and my job. Every day is different and offers new ways to learn and progress.
“Apprenticeships are a really good way to gain an education as well as practical skills for your job. Having grades and degrees are useful but having practical experience as well shows you can work well in different environments and understand how a workplace is run.”
Steve Taylor is the deputy managing director of NTH Solutions. He began his career in the NHS as an apprentice electrician in 1988 at the age of 17.
Upon leaving school and starting his A-Levels, he found that college was not the right path and soon began his role as an apprentice.
He worked four days a week in the hospital estates maintenance team. Here he learned about the various electrical systems that keep a hospital running. He also spent one day a week at college to further his learning.
Steve said: “I was very lucky during my apprenticeship to receive what I think was the best training package that’s out there. And I had some great teachers along the way.”
After completing his apprenticeship, Steve worked his way up the career ladder at hospitals throughout the Tees Valley before returning to North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust as an estates project manager.
Now deputy managing director at the organisation, he continues to maintain the estates of the University Hospital of North Tees and the University Hospital of Hartlepool while also shaping their futures.
Steve continued: “I feel very proud and privileged to have been involved in many improvements to the estates that have given the clinical teams the tools they need to provide the best care to patients and improve facilities for staff, in spite of an ageing estate.
“I’ve learned lots of skills to help me do my job but learning to listen to others is the key. No one knows everything and I’ve learned a lot more from listening than from talking.
“Looking back on my career so far, the most rewarding element for me is being part of a great team. And I’m proud that I could contribute to keeping patient services going during the pandemic.”
Applying for an apprenticeship
North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust offers a wide range of apprenticeships, including in estates.
Apprenticeships are advertised each March through NHS jobs.