Sarah, NHS

NHSGGC is the largest health board in the UK and provide healthcare to over 1.2m people employing around 38,000 staff, around 80% of whom are non-medical. Hear from Sarah, who is 20 years old and stays in Carntyne in the East End of Glasgow.

'I've been in care from the age of eleven and when things were going downhill, that's when I realised I wanted to get out there and do something with my life.

Prior to joining NHS 24 as a Communications Apprentice, I had a job in Youth Work and Childcare for around two years. I always had an interest in Admin and when the opportunity came up through Who Cares Scotland, I had to take it.

I've been a member of Who Cares? Scotland for approximately five years and I received upcoming job vacancies through email on a regular basis. I wanted a change in career direction and when I saw the advert for NHS 24, I thought to myself it would be silly not to go for it – and whether or not I was successful, at least I tried. Shortly after applying, I was contacted by a woman from the organisation called Carolelynne asking if I could meet with her in person to discuss the post further. I then met with her and she told me a little bit more about the post and then asked me about myself and my background of being a young person in care. It went really well and she was lovely – she agreed to progress my application and arranged for me to attend an interview skills training day with the other shortlisted applicants for the three roles within NHS 24. It was very informative and helped me gain the confidence I didn't currently have for job interviews!  I got the interview for my two chosen posts and I was selected for my preferred one, which was Communications.

The whole recruitment process was done in steps and when I found out I got the job, I was ecstatic! It was hard saying goodbye to all the young people I worked with in my previous job but I knew that this was an opportunity not to let pass me by. I'm also in year two of my Social Services HNC and although it's been tricky juggling it around having a full-time job, it has all been worth it!

The whole Communications Team have been so lovely and welcoming and always provide support with my apprenticeship! In my role, I do a varied amount of different things and every day is different. I assist with Social Media marketing, I'm involved in the development of campaigns, I play a part in putting together the organisation's internal magazine named INSIGHT and help promote Breathing Space – a service that supports people throughout Scotland who are low or anxious. I get out and about too. There are two other bases – one in Clydebank and another in Edinburgh where I get to work in and am able to get to know the other members of the team, who have also been really nice.

I am now in a much better place than I was before and for once in my life, I feel settled and accepted for who I am. My SVQ Assessor Joe has been really supportive as well and I'm really looking forward to developing my career within NHS 24. This has helped me gain new skills and knowledge within the public sector and will benefit my future career in business admin as it's giving me experience in a real work environment. The most rewarding part about my job is working as part of a team and being able to grow within an organisation I am passionate about.

I would recommend anyone who gets this opportunity in the future to take it and learn new skills to help them develop in their career. For me, an apprenticeship is really beneficial because you are able to learn on the job and gain an important qualification at the end of it. It is a great way to gain real work experience and confidence as well as enhance your CV. You are also supported throughout which is really helpful in order to obtain the qualification.

My future career plan is to hopefully progress further with the possibility of going on to have a permanent role within NHS 24. It's a brilliant organisation to work for and I am proud to be a part of it.'

Did you know that NHSGGC are seeking to recruit around one in six school leavers in the years ahead? Find out more about Apprenticeship opportunities, click here.

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