National Apprenticeships Week – staff question template

Emily Frost's apprenticeship case study

Name: Emily Frost
Organisation and department: East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust - Pharmacy
Role: Pre-Registration Pharmacy Technician - cross sector across East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust, Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust, Hertfordshire and West Essex Integrated Care Board.

Tell us about how you came to work for the NHS (did you come straight from school, have other jobs, decide on a career change later in life)?

After completing my education, I pursued various jobs not really knowing what I wanted to do, while exploring opportunities, I came across a pharmacy support worker position at Lister Hospital. Intrigued by the potential, I applied and subsequently worked as a pharmacy support worker for a year. This experience motivated me to further learn and contribute, leading to my application for the Pre-Registration Pharmacy Technician (PTPT) role.

What kind of apprenticeship did you do and how did you find it? What did you enjoy most and why did it work for you?

I have just completed a 24-month certificate in Higher Education in Pharmacy Technician Practice at the University of East Anglia. Looking back, I found it so valuable. What I liked the most was getting to work in three different pharmacy sectors. This helped me understand how crucial a smooth transfer of care is and gave me more chances to learn. This apprenticeship worked well for me because it expanded my knowledge and opened opportunities for my professional growth. It will contribute to making me a more well-rounded Pharmacy Technician in my new role.

How are you involved in apprenticeships? Why are they so important for the NHS?

I have just completed a 24-month apprenticeship; I liked that I could get into a workplace and learn the role then put it into practice whilst I was learning the content of the job. This helped me put what I had learnt in the books into real life situations.

Apprenticeships are important because they contribute to building a skilled and competent workforce by providing practical, on-the-job training. This helps address the specific needs of the healthcare sector, ensuring that employees are well-prepared to handle the challenges of their roles, in addition they also play a vital role in addressing workforce shortages by offering a pathway for individuals to enter the NHS, learn valuable skills, and contribute to patient care. By supporting apprenticeships, the NHS invests in the continuous development.

What would you say to someone considering doing an apprenticeship in the NHS?

It is an excellent chance for individuals eager to fully embrace a role and advance in their career. Actively participating in daily tasks provides a thorough understanding of the job, with exposure to various aspects. The distinctive feature is the ability to earn while learning, providing the opportunity to directly see the impact of your work on patients and their care.

Where do you see your career going now?

After completing the apprenticeship, I hope to secure a position as a Medicines Management Hospital Pharmacy Technician. My aim is to work my way up, with the goal of specialising in a specific area. I am committed to a fulfilling and progressive journey within the healthcare sector.

Anything else you would like to add?

Apprenticeships are the way forward, especially for those not keen on exams or university. Opting for an apprenticeship allowed me to dive into the working environment, earn a good wage, and simultaneously enhance my knowledge and skills. It is a practical route that fosters both personal and professional development, offering a well-rounded approach to learning and work experience.