I always go home with a smile on my face! Holly Smith tells all for Apprentice Week.

Holly Smith

It's the 11th National Apprenticeship Week (NAW 2018) all next week from Monday March 5 to Friday March 9 2018.

During the week, employers and apprentices from across England will come together to celebrate the success of apprenticeships whilst encouraging even more people to choose apprenticeships as a pathway to a great career. The theme for the #NAW2018 is ‘Apprenticeships Work’. 

Here at CHFT we have many former apprentices who are already climbing the career ladders and enjoying being part of the teams on our wards and departments trust-wide.

Here Holly Smith tells  how she has progressed to a band 4 Assistant Practitioner in Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy in just 18 months.

What made you apply for an apprenticeship*?

I have always had a strong passion for working with people and have always wanted to care for people. It is in my nature.I knew that I wanted to work and progress in the NHS, therefore I looked on the NHS jobs website and saw the fantastic opportunity to begin to progress in the Trust through an apprenticeship.  

What was the best thing about being an apprentice?

The best thing about being an apprentice was that I knew I was going to gain the knowledge that I needed to be able to progress. I was given many opportunities to work within different teams and work in a multidisciplinary way to gain more knowledge and to help me reach my dream of becoming a healthcare professional.

It was made very clear about how we could progress and we always got the support we needed to succeed within the Trust.

How has your career progressed since you completed your apprenticeship?

Being an apprentice in the Trust has helped me to progress from an Apprentice to a band 2 in Orthopaedics, a band 2 in the Medicine and Elderly Complex Care Team and then gave me the skills I needed to become a Band 4 Assistant Practitioner in Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy.

What would you say to anyone considering an apprenticeship in the Trust?

I'd say go for it. I wanted to be a midwife but didn't get into university. When I got the apprenticeship in the Trust I saw not getting into midwifery as a good thing and kind of a blessing you could say because I have honestly never been this happy in a job.

It brings me so much joy every single day. I always go home with a smile on my face.

I had never thought about doing Physiotherapy or Occupational Therapy before but completing the apprenticeship gave me the insight and the opportunity to do this and I would not want to be doing anything else.

I am very thankful for the Apprenticeship and the Calderdale and Huddersfield Foundation Trust and am looking forward to my future in the Trust.

Holly's three  messages of advice for apprentices

  1. Be determined
  2. Take every opportunity
  3. Show initiative


* Apprentices fall into two main categories:

  • Entry Level - a new member of staff who trains on the job to learn that role, and ultimately achieves the apprenticeship qualifications. New entrant apprentices usually start on a level 2 apprenticeship (12 - 18 months duration), occasionally level 3 depending upon the job role.
  • Existing staff members, who will be learning some new skills within their normal role. This type of apprenticeship should be thought of as a way for existing staff to receiving training recognised through qualifications for the job that they are doing. Existing staff will retain their salary, terms and conditions. They are not an apprentice per se, merely undertaking an apprenticeship course of study. Apprenticeship training is available at all levels for existing staff. This can range from level 3 (advanced – 18-24 months) to level 7/8 (post graduate – 3-5 years).

Apprenticeships are available to all, regardless of age or pre-existing qualifications.

If you have any questions about apprenticeships please email our  Vocational Learning Team on vlt@cht.nhs.uk