February 7, 2024

I wish I had done an apprenticeship sooner

Isobel about her role during National Apprenticeship Week 2024.

Overview of your current job

I’m an Apprentice Business Administrator for the System Workforce Project Management Office. We work with different organisations across the health care system to improve the workforce, by bringing new people in, whilst keeping the high-quality staff we already have.

I carry out numerous administrative tasks such as arranging meetings, organising diaries, and preparing for events to assisting with different projects, with the chance to manage some of my own projects and bring new ideas.

I also undertake different courses alongside my apprenticeship, ranging from safeguarding training to minute taking training.

Please tell us about how you got here?

I started my apprenticeship at 18, after I had finished my A levels. During secondary school I studied Business Studies and Health and Social Care, alongside the core subjects, before progressing to sixth form where I studied Sociology, Business and English Language, achieving A, B, C. I didn’t want to take the stereotypical university route as I was  unsure what I wanted to do, however, I was keen to continue academically progressing.

I had an interest in a role in health and care, however I didn’t want a clinical role. I then started looking for apprenticeships with an admin pathway and came across this system-based role. It has exposed me to many sectors and is allowing me to explore potential future avenues.

I have found that the best way to see what is out there is to experience working within an organisation and seeing the variety of roles available.

How has your role developed since you started your career?

I have gained more responsibility in my role, picking up more tasks and becoming more independent. It has enabled me to become more confident with the work that I am doing, and I am now keen to explore further opportunities for development e.g., picking up more projects and taking on more work.

I often interact with people in many different job roles which gives me the opportunity to shadow people. It enables me to understand the system that I work in and see future career opportunities that I was previously unaware of.

What are the best bits about your role?

I think that going down the apprenticeship route means you have access to extremely valuable on the job learning and experience as you get to see what the NHS is like firsthand which I really enjoy.

I find that there is more of a balance with academic work when doing an apprenticeship because it is incorporated into your working hours. Having previous experience studying at A level and working part time, I feel that now in my new role as an apprentice I have a better work life balance and I enjoy both the work and academic side more.

What would be your next steps for career progression?

I would really like to complete my current qualification and then progress to a higher level one. I have started to explore possible future avenues and have an interest in the business management degrees that are available. I would also like to explore some other areas of work, that I may potentially go into in future. I have always had an interest in social work; however, I would like to have some experience shadowing people in this area first. I plan to make contacts in spring to gain this, so then I have a clearer vision of where I would like to progress to.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to do a similar role/career?

I think that it is a very good option for people who may not be entirely sure what they would like to do. I hadn’t heard of my department (System Workforce PMO) before I applied for this job.

Even though I have already completed a qualification at the same level as my level 3 Business Administration apprenticeship, it has become extremely useful. After my A levels, I really wanted a higher-level apprenticeship, so it’s good to know that there are opportunities for further development after your current qualification, which you can do via the apprenticeship scheme.

How has having an apprentice impacted the team?

Caroline Foy, System Workforce Programme Manager and Isobel’s line manager said:

“Welcoming an apprentice into our team has brought a fresh insight into our world of workforce programmes. As a young person in our team, Izzy is able to use her knowledge and experience to input and support the design and development of school and college engagement projects and establish herself as a peer for fellow apprentices. Having an apprentice is a really supportive way for teams to ‘grow their own’ and develop the skills of future leaders in Wakefield, whilst supporting people to earn and learn.”

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