What it’s like being an apprentice at NBT

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Apprenticeships are a great way to learn practical skills and get hands-on experience whilst earning a qualification that will lead to better employment prospects in the future. But they don’t just benefit staff – they also enable employers like North Bristol NHS Trust (NBT) to nurture talent within organisations. At NBT, our apprentices play an important role in supporting our staff to deliver the best possible patient care. 

National Apprenticeship Week is a chance to shine a light on what it’s like being an apprentice with NBT. The week’s theme is ‘Skills for Life’, so we asked some of our recently graduated apprentices about how their apprenticeships helped them, both personally and professionally. Here are their stories:  

Apprentice Spotlight : Sofia’s story

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Radiographer Sofia De Afonso Queijo has successfully completed her Team Leader/Supervisor Level 3 apprenticeship and was recently recognised with the “Apprentice of the Year” in her qualification category at our NBT Apprenticeship Centre Awards event.   

The apprenticeship enabled Sofia to get promoted from her role as a Senior Radiographer to Superintendent. Since her promotion, she has also become a practice educator. When asked about her experience, Sofia said:  

“My apprenticeship has had a hugely positive impact on my career as it allowed me to understand and support my team better so they can perform the important work they do. My manager and colleagues were incredibly supportive and helped me to be able to achieve my apprenticeship.” 

Apprentice Spotlight: Ana’s story

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Ana Ynga Sambrano successfully completed a Level 3 Senior Healthcare Support Worker apprenticeship with a distinction. She was also recognised as an ‘Apprentice of the Year’ in her qualification category as well as receiving the Highly Commended Sandra Hicks award at our 2023 NBT Apprenticeship Awards. 

Ana said she undertook the apprenticeship to be the best carer she could be and to give patients the best care possible.   She said:  

“I enjoyed learning and gaining new knowledge that helped me improve in my job. The apprenticeship helped me feel more confident, support my colleagues and patients better, and I’m excited to be able to continue growing in my chosen career path.”  

Ana said she also had “incredible” support from her line manager and her assessor, who were both influential in her success. She says she would encourage anyone considering developing their healthcare career through an apprenticeship to “go for it.” 

Apprentice Spotlight: Alessandra’s story

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After moving to the UK from Italy, Healthcare Assistant (HCA), Alessandra Iannello completed a Level 2 Healthcare Support Worker Apprenticeship at NBT. 

Since university wasn't an option for her, Alessandra chose an apprenticeship where she could study and get paid at the same time. 

“I really enjoyed studying and was surprised at how manageable I found it with a full-time job. My colleagues were supportive and offered lots of advice. The apprenticeship helped me grow and develop professionally and changed me as a person.” 

Alessandra is continuing her apprentice journey through a Level 3 Healthcare Support Worker Apprenticeship. She says her apprenticeship has opened doors for her and brought her closer to her long-term career goals and would recommend a healthcare apprenticeship to anyone considering one. 

Apprentice Spotlight: Paulina’s story

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Paulina Surma provides senior-level admin support to our Neurovascular and Neurosurgery teams. She has completed a Level 2 Customer Service Practitioner apprenticeship, and was also recognised as 'Apprentice of the Year' in her category at the NBT Apprenticeship Awards.  

When asked about her apprenticeship experience, Paulina said:  

“I chose to do an apprenticeship because I wanted to develop myself. I enjoyed the study days and meeting other staff at NBT. The apprenticeship helped build my confidence and enabled me to progress my career further.” 

Paulina is now undertaking the Level 3 Business Administration apprenticeship at NBT, and would encourage anyone considering an apprenticeship to go ahead and apply.