My name is Claire Abela and in July 2019 I completed a Level 3 Business Administration apprenticeship with NELFT.
After leaving school in 2008 I tried a variety of careers such as hairdressing and custom cake decorating.
Why did you decide to take up an apprenticeship?
I was unaware of the apprenticeships available within the NHS, so when I was advised by a family member who worked in BHRUT that this would be a good option for me, I began to look into it in more detail. I felt like this would be a good way for me to kick start a new career, and by doing an apprenticeship I could gain a qualification at the same time as on the job experience.
I knew that I wanted a change of career as I wanted a job that offers both personal and professional development. I wanted a job that challenges me and most of all I wanted to do something that I believe makes a real difference.
I started my apprenticeship with NELFT in May 2018, within the Leadership Team in Waltham Forest. At first I didn’t know what to expect, but I can honestly say I feel honoured to have worked, and still work with such a fantastic team of people. Everyone made me feel welcome and throughout my whole apprenticeship made me feel supported and a valued member of the team.
What skills has the apprenticeship enabled you to develop?
My apprenticeship provided me with a huge range of skills and knowledge. My role as Administrator/Business Support Apprentice involved supporting the Business Manager with the delivery of internal and contractual performance targets, as well as providing administrative support to the leadership team. When I look back to when I first started my apprenticeship and the amount of knowledge I had then relating to the role and the Trust, I cannot believe how much I have learnt in such a short space of time. Not only have I learned how to produce accurate and consistent performance reports, but my confidence has grown significantly; presenting at a meeting no longer fills me with fear.
Although I have now completed my apprenticeship, I still continue to learn as every day provides different challenges. I am lucky to now be employed as Business Support Officer at Waltham Forest within the Leadership Team. I could not be more pleased with how my apprenticeship worked out. I find it very rewarding that as part of the NHS I am helping to deliver the best care to patients.
What advice would you give to someone considering an apprenticeship in NELFT/NHS?
I would highly recommend undertaking an apprenticeship within NELFT; it is a gateway to endless possibilities and I really do believe you get out what you put in.
I am very grateful to have been given the opportunities that I have and would like to thank everyone who has supported me, particularly my manager, who spent countless hours patiently teaching me and answering all of my questions without hesitation. It is because of his hard work as much as mine that my apprenticeship has been a success.
Thanks to Claire for revealing the benefits of an apprenticeship. For more information about apprenticeships at NELFT, visit the website at: www.nelft.nhs.uk/nelft-apprenticeships.