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NHS apprenticeships are for everyone!

NHS apprenticeships are for everyone!

This National Apprenticeship Week (7-13 February), it’s time to reconsider what you thought you knew about NHS apprenticeships.

Our theme for National Apprenticeship Week 2022 is NHS apprenticeships are for everyone. We’re tackling the misconceptions and misunderstandings that could be holding you back from an apprenticeship in Norfolk’s Community NHS.

Apprenticeships are a great entry-level pathway into a career in the NHS, but that’s not all. If you are over 16 and don’t already have a qualification in the same field, you can apply for an apprenticeship. This makes apprenticeships a great development opportunity at any age, or at any stage in your career. You can even use an apprenticeship to make a total career change.

Pippa Bennett, our Talent for Care Coordinator at NCH&C, is keen for people to rethink their understanding of NHS apprenticeships:

“Contrary to popular belief, there are actually very few limitations on who can do an apprenticeship: you just need to be over 16, and not already hold a higher-level qualification in your chosen field. While many people see apprenticeships as a good way to start your career (which they are), apprenticeships can also help make a career change later in life. We’ve seen many parents, who have accompanied their young person to a careers event, come up and ask us whether they can do an apprenticeship. The answer is usually yes!”

One of our former apprentices, Adrian, agrees:

“I started my apprenticeship at NCH&C in my fifties, having left a career in engineering. It’s never too late to start an apprenticeship: if I can do then I’m pretty sure anyone can! The NHS and NCH&C provides great support, and you get to be a part of a real ‘family’ of people whose main goal is to improve the wellbeing of others. Try it – you’ll love it!”

As well as confusion around age limits and qualification requirements, we also see misunderstandings around the nature of NHS apprenticeships. Although clinical apprenticeships make up some of our bigger cohorts, we also run apprenticeships in support services such as admin, finance, IT, and HR.

Pippa continues: “The NHS relies on the same systems as most private sector organisations (HR, IT, and Finance, to name but a few), so the skills you learn on your apprenticeship will be transferable beyond the healthcare sector.”

As one of the UK’s largest employers and the world’s most recognisable brands, an NHS apprenticeship is sure to make your CV stand out. Many of our apprentices end up staying at NCH&C and progress their careers in community health and care. Working in the community is very different to working in an acute care setting, but it is just as rewarding. It also provides a lot of autonomy and thinking on your feet. With many of our roles offering flexible working and shift patterns, you can fit your career around your life, not the other way round.

Visit our Norfolk apprenticeships page to find out more.