Monday 3rd March – 4.00pm – Suzie Fothergill.
Since 2009 West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS) has been investing in Apprenticeship Schemes and has seen almost 200 apprentices’ successfully completing programmes during this time. The Trust currently has an additional 100 apprentices that are undertaking educational programmes.
Apprenticeships provide participants with the perfect opportunity to gain vocational qualifications whilst providing the opportunity to gain invaluable ‘on the job’ experience that enhances their skills and knowledge.
Apprenticeships are not only open to young people beginning their careers but they are also a way for existing staff to up-skill and progress within the Service.
The apprenticeship schemes running within the ambulance service cover a broad range of subjects including: Healthcare Support Services, Health and Social care, Information, Advice and Guidance, Business Administration, Customer Service and Management.
Such schemes can open a variety of doors, helping apprentices to pursue a number of career pathways.
Jo Shaw joined the Trust in 2010 as a Business Administration Apprentice, since completing her level 2 qualification she has undertaken a number of roles in the Service, whilst progressing further with her qualifications. Jo currently works as an Administrator within the Organisational Development team helping others within the ambulance service to progress within their careers.
Talking about the apprenticeship scheme Jo said: “I have loved every minute of my journey with WMAS and wouldn’t be where I am today without the apprenticeship programme. I thoroughly enjoy being part of a team that is so committed and supportive of others development.”
Richard Smith also took on the Business and Administration Apprenticeship in April 2010. On completing the course in April 2011, Richard was employed by the ambulance service. Whilst working within the service Richard gained a keen interest in front line operations and volunteered his spare time to become a Community First Responder. Richard has since undertaken a stint working at Birmingham Children’s Hospital as a Health Care Assistant and is now studying at Worcester University as a Student Paramedic, carrying out shifts at the ambulance service.
Richard said: “The apprenticeship programme gave me valuable experience of the skills required in the work place. Without the apprenticeship opportunity I wouldn’t have understood some of the key issues which now relate to my clinical practice”.
Shereen O’Driscoll is currently undertaking an apprenticeship working within the Patient Transport Service (PTS). The Trust’s non-emergency Patient Transport Service plays a key role in ensuring thousands of patients from around the region get to their outpatient appointments each day.
Shereen, who began her apprenticeship in September, is studying for an intermediate level apprenticeship in Health (Healthcare Support Services), which involves her undertaking hands on work experience alongside our current PTS staff.
Having always wanted to work for the ambulance service Shereen said: “The apprenticeship scheme has provided me with a great opportunity; enabling me to carry out a job that I love, whilst gaining the qualifications that I need to progress within service.”
West Midlands Ambulance Service currently has a number of apprentice vacancies currently available. For more information please visit NHS jobs via http://www.jobs.nhs.uk (Please note the website will be unavailable until Tuesday 4th March due to site maintenance)
Pictured: Jo Shaw, Richard Smith and Shereen O’Driscoll.