Meet Mary our admin apprentice #NAW2020

Mary Rollinson

Mary Rollinson is doing a 12-month administration apprenticeship at NHS Employers in the pay and reward team. Mary explains in her blog why she chose to do an apprenticeship and what she is learning on the job. #NAW2020

During my time in education, I moved with my family from West Yorkshire to the Highlands of Scotland. We moved there for 12 months and I transferred my subjects and sat exams via the Scottish education system. This meant that when I returned to Yorkshire my education was unorthodox in relation to other students applying for college in my area.

As the Scottish system is different from the English system, the qualifications I obtained limited the choice of courses that I could study at college in England. In the end I chose to study subjects that I had a natural aptitude for.

I always wanted to work for the NHS and knew that it was the career path I wanted to follow. I was told by college tutors that it would be near impossible for me to have a career in the NHS without University qualifications. The A-levels that I studied were purely arts and fashion based, so getting into University to study biology was out of the question. Furthermore, going to University was something that had never appealed to me because of the student debts, cost of accommodation, university fees and having to travel away from home.

I was fortunate that my mother works for Mid Yorkshire Trust, she mentioned that I could try looking on NHS Jobs to see if any apprenticeships were listed on the website. It took a while to find one that was right for me and they weren’t listed very often, however when I did, I applied and was lucky enough to be offered a position.

I started my 12-month administration apprenticeship on the 2 September 2019. My role is to provide administrative support to the pension and reward team at NHS Employers, as well as being the diary manager to one of the directors.

Day to day my role consists of diary management, meeting arrangements, booking rooms, communication with external and internal bodies, booking travel and accommodation, attending meetings and events, setting up Skype meetings, weekly all staff briefings and much more. All my college work is assessed and set via an online portal and my college tutor comes into the office every two-to-four weeks for our one-to-one sessions. It is overall, a very easy process.

Not only do I receive exceptional support from my line manager and colleagues, I am encouraged and praised for my work and I get the opportunity to accompany my team members to internal and external meeting and events all over the country.

It is a worthwhile experience to earn while I learn. I have been offered a range of opportunities to increase my learning and skills through my personal development plan, for example shadowing other teams and even going into trusts and shadowing staff in departments that I may wish to work in in the future. This isn’t part of my apprenticeship but will enhance my CV and help me with further employment opportunities.

Since starting this apprenticeship, I have gained many valuable skills that I wouldn’t have obtained by simply going to University. Already six months in, I have the skills and experience to apply for a band 4 post in a Hospital Trust.

I am very pleased and proud of what I have achieved so far, I have a very positive outlook on the future. It makes me very enthusiastic that my dream career is in sight. I would definitely encourage anyone interested in an apprenticeship, it has been one of the best things I have ever chosen to do.

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