Four teenagers from across Nottingham and Derbyshire are among the latest cohort of apprentices to be welcomed to East Midlands Ambulance Service as part of National Apprenticeship Week.
From helping in patient transport to ensuring computer systems run smoothly, and from human resources to organisational learning, the four will learn about EMAS in a practical way for one year.
They will also have the opportunity to observe emergency call handlers answering 999 calls in the control room, as well as going out on an observation shift with an ambulance crew.
Several of them then hope to join EMAS as 999 call handlers, paramedics or support staff and as part of National Apprenticeship Week (6 March until 10 March), the youngsters have been sharing their experiences of being an apprentice with EMAS.
Benjamin Ward, 16, from Hucknall is the youngest of our apprentices and jointed the Information Management and Technology department at EMAS just last week.
He said: “I decided to be an apprentice because I would like to gain valuable job experience and achieve a good qualification at the end of it.
“I enjoy the friendly atmosphere and sense of community that EMAS provides, which I have already experienced in my first week here.”
Meanwhile, Natalie Crawford, 17, from Mansfield, is the Project Apprentice for Patient Transport Services, and dreams of becoming an emergency call handler for 999 calls.
She said: “Through my apprenticeship, I hope to achieve a better understanding of administration work, but my overall goal is to become an emergency call handler for EMAS.
“I enjoy working within a team and helping different departments within PTS, such as creating and filing PTS paperwork at Eastwood Hall.”
EMAS has welcomed 11 new apprentices since April 2016 from outside the service who have taken up apprenticeships in business administration, mechanics and customer services all at different levels. To mark the success of our Apprentice Scheme, this year EMAS has employed 11 apprentices into permanent positions.
In addition, this financial year has seen 84 members of our current staff undertaking apprenticeships in a wide range of apprenticeship programmes including Level 4 trainee technician, Level 3 clinical healthcare, business administration, pharmaceuticals, contact operation centre, ICT and team leading.
A further 28 staff members are being supported to complete their Level 2 English and Maths functional skills qualifications.
Sue Fry, Workforce Development Manager and Apprentice Lead at EMAS, explained that apprenticeships give people the opportunity to earn a wage while they are learning a profession including understanding the importance of behaviours and attitudes as well as living the EMAS Values.
She said: “Apprenticeships are a way of earning while you are learning. By completing an apprenticeship within EMAS, apprentices learn about our values which is an important aspect they need to demonstrate whilst in the workplace.
"They are also learning to network with a variety of internal and external colleagues across East Midlands health and social care sector as well as being able to observe multitude job roles that are required in order for EMAS to operate and serve its local communities.”
“We support our existing staff who want to complete an apprenticeship so that they can develop their skills and knowledge to support their career progression as well as develop within their current job role.
"We are supporting the development of new and existing staff to who will become EMAS’s pipeline of talent in readiness to be our future workforce.”
Georgina Fry, 19, from Derby, joined EMAS as Organisational Learning Apprentice five weeks ago, and explained that it was the variety of the job which she enjoyed the most.
She said: “I was made to feel very welcome when I joined EMAS by the team and colleagues from all areas. They were friendly which made me feel welcome from my first day.
"My job is varied and gives me the opportunity to travel to different sites and meet other colleagues and learn about what they do.”
While Jessica Redgate, Apprentice Administrator for Human Resources, joined EMAS earlier this year and is enjoying the opportunity to explore the wide range of opportunities available in the service.
The 19-year-old from Beeston said: “Once I finish my apprenticeship, I would like to continue working with EMAS.
"My apprenticeship is helping me to develop my knowledge on different roles in the organisation to best decide where I want to be. For me it’s the people that make EMAS an enjoyable place to work.”
More information about becoming an apprentice is available by visiting http://www.emas.nhs.uk/join-the-team/apprenticeships/