Young people finding out about how the local NHS works through apprenticeships are loving the experience – and two have now got permanent jobs.
NHS North Kirklees Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), the organisation that chooses and pays for many local health services, currently has three apprentices working in their offices in Empire House.
Yaqoob Bhikha, Jade Hart and A’Teeqa Qaisar, are enjoying their first taste of working life in admin roles supporting staff involved in various sections of the organisation.
Adam Rayner, 24, who lives in Dalton, Huddersfield, and Harry Ainsworth, aged 22, who lives in Holmfirth, finished their apprenticeships last year. Adam is now working in financial admin for the Continuing Health Care team and Harry supports teams working on communications and engagement and on transforming services.
Yaqoob, who is 20 and from Bradford, said, “Everyone here’s been really warm and welcoming. I’m learning about what everyone does and working on spreadsheets and presentations.”
He applied for an apprenticeship after getting a BTech IT qualification at college.
Jade, aged 18 and from Dewsbury, “After I left school I’d been doing some computer skills training and looking for apprenticeships when this one came along. I like working here because everyone is very friendly and I’m learning a lot.”
Eighteen-year-old A’Teeqa, also from Dewsbury, is working on Reception and also does admin work including filing, copying and updating records for a number of staff with different roles, which she enjoys.
She said, “It’s very good working here, the people are very nice and everyone made me feel really welcome. I do admin work for lots of different people and they all explain clearly what they need from me and don’t mind if I ask questions or ask for help.
“It’s a really good opportunity to find about the different jobs people do and what opportunities there are for the future.”
A’Teeqa did a training course in customer service skills after she left St John Fisher Sixth Form, which she says helped build up her confidence and helped her with her application for the apprenticeship.
Adam had been unemployed and looking for work for six months when he heard about the apprenticeship opportunity with the CCG.
“I’d done an apprenticeship before with Remploy but they closed down. I got two weeks’ work experience with the CCG in August 2013, which helped me with my application for an apprenticeship starting in October,” he said.
“The apprenticeship was a great learning experience and helped me get a foot in the door here. I enhanced my IT skills and my communication skills then progressed to get a permanent job – and I love it.”
Adam said the apprenticeship had boosted his confidence considerably, particularly in relation to communication.
“I would have been scared to pick up the phone if it rang previously but now I feel confident.”
Harry had been unemployed for 12 months following an insecure job in sales when Jobcentre Plus staff told him about the apprenticeship opportunity. After doing two weeks of work experience with the CCG he secured an apprenticeship and has specialised in Information Technology (IT).
“I thought IT was one of my weakest skills when I started and I was very nervous about going into it but I’ve developed my skills a lot and now I’m working here permanently one of my roles is to be the lead person on developing and managing the Intranet,” said Harry.
“I also go out to GP practices and support them with their IT, so what I thought was a weakness is now one of my strengths. I was very lucky to do my apprenticeship in such an interesting area of work and it’s been an excellent experience for me.”
Chris Dowse, Chief Officer of the CCG, said, “The apprenticeship scheme gives young people a chance to learn useful skills that will help them get jobs – as demonstrated by Adam and Harry’s experience.
“It also gives the organisation a chance to develop a talented workforce who understand right from the basics how we work. Although they are not guaranteed a job at the end, the skills apprentices gain gives them a head start in applying for jobs. It’s a way of growing our own talent.
“And having local young people working with us and being ambassadors in the local community helps to promote the CCG as a good employer – so everyone wins.”
Online film tells apprentices’ story
Three apprentices with NHS North Kirklees CCG – including Harry and Adam – helped make a film about apprenticeships last year that’s available online.
As part of their training, the apprentices took part in a course with Kirklees Council that also involved Kirklees Local TV, who made the film.
Harry conducted interviews with fellow apprentices, the Chief Executive of Kirklees Council, the Chief Officer of the CCG and others. Adam operated the camera, Zeenat Karim directed the film and both gave interviews on their apprenticeships.
You can see the 17-minute film here or search YouTube for ‘Apprenticeships within Kirklees.’