Apprenticeships help boost hospital’s skills bank

Apprentice Ryan

This week (8-14 February) is National Apprenticeship Week 2021 and Benenden Hospital is celebrating colleagues who have competed their apprenticeships during the past 12 months.

Since last year’s event, colleagues in catering, IT and nursing have completed their own apprenticeships – each with a distinction - and their achievements are a vital component in helping the hospital achieve continued success.

Claire Hinson is Organisational Development Manager at Benenden Hospital, with responsibility for overseeing the hospital’s involvement in the Government-backed apprenticeship scheme:

“Apprenticeships not only help colleagues to build the skills and confidence they need to succeed in their individual careers, they are seen by the hospital to be a vital component in growing a highly skilled team that will help us achieve the business success we strive for.”

Minister for Apprenticeships and Skills, Gillian Keegan said:

“Apprenticeships are a fantastic way to learn while you earn, opening up new and exciting career paths that can transform lives. It’s been a tough year for everyone, but we want to look ahead to how apprenticeships can futureproof workforces and boost careers.

Recently Carla Roome, who works as a Catering Assistant at the hospital completed her commis chef apprenticeship.

“Keeping patients well fed is so important in aiding recovery and throughout the apprenticeship I learnt a lot about the variety of products available in different food categories and their nutritional values.

And despite Carla having to complete some of her modules by phone and Zoom, including her culinary challenge, she passed her apprenticeship with a distinction.

Ryan Igglesden began his working career as an IT apprentice at Benenden Hospital almost two years ago. He also passed his apprenticeship with a distinction. Ryan’s learning portfolio helped him secure a top-end score and his was considered one of the strongest distinctions awarded.  

 “Starting my IT career at Benenden Hospital as an apprentice was one of the best things I have done in my life.

“I studied IT throughout school and while I applied for many IT jobs before I started at Benenden, all of those businesses wanted someone with experience which I didn’t have. I thought I’d never be able to get a job within the IT sector.

When I saw the hospital advertising for an IT Apprentice role, I knew that I should pursue it and see what where it might go. I’m lucky to be surrounded by such a knowledgeable and friendly team who have taught me so much and I can’t wait to move forward with them and see what else I can achieve.”

Jane Styche is Eye Unit Sister at the hospital and started her apprenticeship in Leadership and Management in April 2019. Coronavirus delayed the course but fortunately didn't deter Jane. Despite a tight deadline to enrol on the course, Jane was encouraged by Hospital Matron, Ali Curtis, to consider applying for an apprenticeship in leadership and management.

“As the deadline for applications was really tight, I had very little time to think about it but decided the opportunity was too good to miss and the following week I attended the course’s first development day."

"Almost instantly I noticed the benefit of embarking on the course and how I would be able to take what I had learnt and apply it to my own management style.

However, Jane’s journey was far from smooth, with five different coaches a changeover in systems and, not to mention, the arrival of COVID!

“There were times when I felt that I wouldn’t complete the course, but I stuck with it, and finally, towards the end of 2020 I reached my end point assessment and was ready to take my exams, which I passed with a distinction. This means I’m now recognised by the Institute of Leadership and Management."

"For anyone considering an apprenticeship, I would absolutely recommend it, I can’t guarantee an easy ride, but with focus, some self-learning and the benefit of a supportive manager and wider organisation, it’s a great opportunity. It’s left me with a real feeling of accomplishment and pride, and I feel even more equipped to deal with the challenges of my management role."

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Published on 08 February 2021