It’s National Apprentices Week and celebrations got underway at Stockton Riverside College. Staff from the Trust who have completed apprenticeships have picked up accolades to mark the culmination of their studies. Honing their skills in everything from medical administration to business management.
Shining the spotlight on our staff’s achievements, Deputy Chief People Officer, Gary Wright, explained the value apprenticeships can offer. Not just for new starters, but also existing employees looking to upskill.
With a massive 160 apprentices currently at the Trust, he said: “Ultimately we want to develop our workforce of the future and help maximise people’s potential.
“By offering the opportunity for continuous professional development it enables us to make sure we have got the right people, with the right skills in the right roles. It also puts them in a good position for future development. This is an investment in them and their future.”
Working with a number of delivery partners, including Stockton Riverside College, the Trust have staff who can develop in every area from health and social care to electricians and joiners. And for some, Gary said, this might even be their first chance to pick up qualifications since leaving school.
Ward Clerk Debbie Metcalfe, who has worked at the Trust for 19 years, received a Special Recognition Award at the ceremony. She said: “I never in a million years expected to get anything like this. It’s nice that people appreciate your hard work.”
Debbie, who successfully completed her apprenticeship in medical administration, said: “I am always up for learning more so I put my name forward. Balancing study around work, which includes lots of night shifts, was a bit of a juggling act, but it was well worth it.”
Jill Cliff was also among those recognised with the Trust’s Learner of the Year Award. Working in the breast screening unit at the University Hospital of North Tees, she said she was a little hesitant to embark on a Level 2 Medical Administration Apprenticeship. But she gave it a go and never looked back.
“It has been amazing,” said the Stockton mum-of-two. “I have loved every minute of it and didn’t realise how much I would enjoy the learning experience.”
Like Debbie, she said: “It was a bit of a juggling act, but you put your mind to it and I have loved every minute of it and didn’t realise how much I would enjoy the learning experience. Jill is now moving on to her level 3 qualification.
For Stockton Riverside College assessor Jamie Gilbey, seeing the apprentices achieve was a proud moment. A former apprentice himself, he understands exactly how the learners are feeling. In fact, it is that experience that helps him in his role.
A keen advocate of apprenticeships; his is a great example of just what can be achieved.
“Apprenticeships can be a foot in the door,” he said. “However, people often underestimate just what it can lead to.” He’s happy to share his experience to help inspire others.
Starting at the college as an apprentice administrator, Jamie admitted at 21 he had no idea where it would lead. But having previously found that university wasn’t for him, and having worked a series of part-time jobs, he was ready for a new start.
Working with the likes of the apprentices from the North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust, he gets to see the value every day. He said, there’s no better feeling than sharing their success. At the award ceremony he too was recognised with an Outstanding Contribution to the Student Experience Award.
Are you looking for an apprenticeship? Want to know more? Or are you an employer thinking of taking on an apprentice?
Stockton Riverside College is holding an Apprenticeship and Full Time Open Event tomorrow (Tuesday 4 February 2020), from 5:30 to 7:30pm.
Call 01642 865566
Or head along to Redcar and Cleveland College for their Apprenticeship Open Event on Wednesday February 12, 4:30 to 6:30pm.
Call 01642 473132