National Apprenticeship Week

Throughout the week, Angus Health and Social Care Partnership is promoting the positive impact that modern apprentices have on individuals and the workplace.

Meet Kiera Balfour.

Kiera Balfour, 19, from Forfar, started working in Clova Ward in Whitehills Health and Community Care Centre, Forfar, in November 2018.  Kiera said “After I left school I went into full time work.  Then I went to University to study nursing but realised Uni wasn’t for me so I went back to work.  My brother saw the advertisement for the Modern Apprentice so I applied.  I’m still working full time but I’m working towards the qualification I wanted in the first place.”

Clova ward provides care to elderly people with a variety of medical needs.  “I’ve learnt such a lot in the three months since I started here.  I’ve had moving and handling training to make sure I don’t cause injury to the people I am working with or myself. I’m getting a lot of practical training in relation to dementia and I’m going to start Dementia Ambassador Training.  I wouldn’t get this opportunity if I was at University.  I’m also learning about a range of communication skills and how to talk effectively with patients and the people I work with.”

“Everyone has been so welcoming since I started here and are happy to help me and answer any questions that I have.  I take patients observations, for example their temperature, blood pressure, I help people to feed themselves and I try to make sure people are happy.”

Kiera will be working on Clova Ward as a Modern Apprentice for 2 years.  When asked about the most rewarding part of her job Kiera said  “It’s that feeling that you’re making a difference to people’s lives especially when someone goes home, that’s really nice to see.”

“I am being supported to earn my SVQ2, which is really good.  There are lots of other courses that I can do while being a Modern Apprentice.  As well as all the experience of working on the ward, I’m doing a job that I really enjoy, getting paid for it and learning at the same time.”

When asked about what advice she’d give to anybody thinking about taking up a similar role Kiera said “If there is a Modern Apprenticeship for the kind of job you’d like to do, I would definitely say do it. It’s been the best thing that I’ve done.  I wish I’d done this as soon as I’d left school.  I’m really happy with where I am right now”

If anyone is interested in a modern apprenticeship they should look out for adverts on either SHOW https://jobs.scot.nhs.uk/  or My Job Scotland https://www.myjobscotland.gov.uk/. Adverts should appear on these sites over the next few weeks.

Tomorrow we will be talking about how volunteering can be a stepping stone to a Modern Apprenticeship.