From education to employment

Celebrations for our fantastic apprentices

The achievements of Kent NHS apprentices were celebrated at a colourful graduation event in August.

Each of the 64 apprentices was given a certificate to mark their achievements, watched by their family, friends and colleagues.

Chief People Officer at Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust, Victoria Robinson-Collins, said:

“Apprenticeships are a real success story for us. I’m delighted we have now trained 222 colleagues through our scheme since 2018.

“Our apprentices include 17 fully-qualified registered nurses and 27 nurse associates, as well as assistant practitioners, physiotherapists, dental nurses, occupational therapists, business administrators and chartered managers.” 

Programme Manager Sue Sharman, who completed the Senior Leaders Apprenticeship after working in the NHS for 35 years, said:

“My journey into nursing wasn’t straightforward. I left school at 16 without the qualifications I needed, but that didn’t deter me. I was still able to complete an access to nursing course and, in 1987, I went on to complete my registered nurse training.

“Taking on the role of programme manager in children’s services later on in my career at KCHFT, I encountered a whole new area of learning, which is what led me to complete my apprenticeship in senior leadership. It has helped bring together new learning and I have been able to put my new experiences into practice, improving client outcomes. 

“Juggling the demands of work and study is never easy, but the off-the-job hours supported this to allow me to achieve a good work life balance. If I could summarise my apprenticeship in a few words they would be: exhausting, challenging but most of all rewarding.”

Cassie Parks was part of KCHFT’s first cohort of registered nursing degree apprentices (RNDAs) to complete the four-year programme this year. She said:

“Achieving a first-class honours is something that I am incredibly proud of. I am now working in the Health Visiting Team and my next step is to apply for health visiting training. Words can’t describe how happy I am. Without the apprenticeship I wouldn’t be where I am today; studying and working is not easy by any means, but it is definitely worth it.” 

Last year, 76 people enrolled onto apprenticeships at KCHFT and there are 217 colleagues on an apprenticeship today.

During the past five years KCHFT has more than doubled the number of apprenticeships on offer, including 26 different programmes ranging from level two to level seven Master’s degrees. 

Find out more about a rewarding career with KCHFT here.

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