Last week was National Apprenticeship Week, an annual week-long celebration of apprentices, recognising the positive impact they make to communities, businesses, and the wider economy.
At Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (ASPH), we believe apprenticeships are worth investing in. We are committed to continuing to build our apprenticeship offer, diversifying our workforce and supporting our apprentices to get the most out of their experience. The Trust offers a wide variety of apprenticeships in patient-facing and supporting roles.
To celebrate National Apprenticeship Week, we would like to shine a light on one of the apprentices we currently have working with us at ASPH.
Rachel is a Student Midwife Apprentice:
“After years of feeling unfulfilled in a previous role in marketing, I embarked on a mid-life career change to become a Maternity Assistant, with the ambition to eventually go on to become a Midwife. However, the prospect of a self-funded degree, with thousands of pounds of debt and no regular income, a mortgage to pay and a family to support was daunting. When Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, gave me the opportunity to apply for the Midwifery Apprenticeship Degree (MDA) at The University of West London (UWL), I jumped at the opportunity to be paid whilst studying and was lucky enough to secure a place.
“Now in my third and final year of the apprenticeship, I can reflect on the value that my experience as a Maternity Assistant has added to being a student midwife in practice. It has given me increased confidence in clinical environments, enhanced communication skills, knowledge of breastfeeding support and experience of emergency situations, as well as the reassurance of familiar faces of colleagues when starting in practice. Adjusting to full time study was initially challenging after a 17-year break, however the support of the weekly online meetings with my Apprenticeship Learning Support Tutor (ASLT) both during teaching and practice weeks, have been invaluable. Alongside the weekly ASLT meetings I have had regular tripartite meetings with the Clinical Practice Education team and ASLT, which has given the opportunity to ask questions and update my employers on my progress and set targets.
“I have felt hugely supported by both ASPH and UWL and there has been very open and accessible communication throughout. When I am at university in lectures with my fellow apprentice midwife Naomi, alongside our non apprentice cohort, and when working with other students at ASPH, I feel part of a strong community, and the support we have given to each other has hugely enhanced the MDA experience. It has been fantastic to see more midwifery apprentices from ASPH joining the programme each year, and I know already that they will become amazing midwives. I hope that this incredible opportunity continues to be available to others in the future, at a time when more accessible routes into midwifery are needed more than ever.”
If you would like to find out more about the apprenticeships we offer at ASPH, visit: https://www.ashfordstpeters.nhs.uk/apprenticeships.