Celebrating our apprentices and apprenticeships
To celebrate the successes and hard work of those EMAS colleagues who are undertaking apprenticeship programmes, we held an online event during National Apprenticeship Week (7 to 13 February 2022).
The event was attended by our Director of Finance and Deputy Chief Executive, Mike Naylor, and our Director of Human Resources and Organisational Development, Kerry Gulliver, as well as the apprentices and their managers.
Mike Naylor opened the event and said: "Apprenticeships help build skills, knowledge and behaviours and are a great way to support your career aspirations. At EMAS we are keen to help colleagues’ career and personal development. When undertaking an apprenticeship programme, colleagues receive 20% release time, and these programmes are funded from the Trust’s Levy, so I'm interested today to hear about the apprentices’ experiences.
"Today is about also congratulating those who have successfully completed their apprenticeship and individuals who have gained substantive roles within EMAS."
We currently have 34 colleagues enrolled on a variety of apprenticeships, as well as supporting the Paramedic Apprenticeship Programme. There are 65 apprentices enrolled at Nottingham Trent University (NTU), and 38 at De Montfort University, Leicester, with future cohorts starting in March 2022, at both universities. The event gave those who wanted to the opportunity to share their learning journeys, successes, working experiences and achievements to date.
Of all the 156 colleagues who successfully completed their Level 4 Associate Ambulance Practitioner Standard apprenticeship, 28 of these technicians were also recognised at the event as they have now progressed on to the Paramedic Apprenticeship Programme.
First up to talk about her apprenticeship was Jessica Bate, who is currently studying the Paramedic Apprenticeship Programme and has been nominated by NTU for ‘Apprentice of the Year in Health and Social Care’.
Jessica said: "The paramedic apprenticeship has enabled me to expand on my current prehospital knowledge, that I first learnt as a technician, and gain valuable skills without any student debt. Being nominated for NTU 'Apprentice of the year' is a great achievement for me."
Four senior operational managers, who are currently undertaking the Senior Leaders Master's Degree Apprenticeship (SLMDA) programme, were present at the event. Between them, they have many years’ experience of working for EMAS on the frontline and all agreed that studying and working during the pressures of COVID had been a challenge but that it has been worth it.
Divisional Senior Manager Samantha Westwell, who has also been nominated for an NTU apprenticeship award, said: "The SLMDA has been a fantastic opportunity; enabling me to gain an executive master’s degree in Senior Leaders.
"It’s been a very tough and emotional two years, with the added pressure of COVID-19, working longer hours and balancing trying to spend some time with my young family. Overall it’s been a positive experience that will undoubtedly enable me to become a better leader."
Lee Goddard started in the Make Ready team in 2009 and is currently on a secondment with our Health and Wellbeing team. He's undertaking the HR Level 3 apprenticeship and thanked all those who had supported him to gain a place on the programme.
He said: "Before starting the apprenticeship, I lacked confidence and doubted myself. I feel more confident and proud of what I have achieved. I am truly thankful for the opportunity and experience. Believe in yourself, don’t look at any inabilities, look at your abilities and build your strengths from there."
Project Manager Jayce Hammond started her four year Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship in 2020.
During COVID, Jayce has supported different teams and she found her apprenticeship has really helped with giving her the chance to reflect on processes at EMAS.
She said: "I am very grateful for this invaluable opportunity that is a stepping stone on the journey to my success."
Trainee Financial Accountant Sara Reddish has been in the NHS for 14 years but joined us in February 2020, just before COVID hit.
She said: "I am currently on a Level 7 Accountancy and Taxation apprenticeship. It has allowed me to develop my knowledge and understanding in my current role and helped me successfully gain a promotion within the Finance team last year.
"I will always be grateful to my managers and the rest of the Finance team for their ongoing support with my studies and can’t wait to develop my career further with EMAS."
Last but not least, we heard about the Kickstart Scheme EMAS has implemented as part of a government initiative. The scheme provides funding to support job placements for 16 to 24 year olds for a six month period. We currently have four individuals on placement with us through this scheme. Two of these colleagues were at the event to share their experiences of EMAS, and one is now considering applying for a frontline role with us.
Congratulations to those who have completed their apprenticeships and good luck to those currently engaging with them.