24/08/2023 | Press releases

‘An apprenticeship kick-started a new career for me’

Sophie worked in retail before she joined the NHS. But when the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020 she made a move into admin, taking up a temporary role with NHS Professionals at East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (ESNEFT).

Her talents in the COVID-19 testing team didn’t go unnoticed, and her manager suggested she apply for a more permanent position as an automation developer, which meant taking an apprenticeship and training alongside the role.

Sophie applied, got the position, and began her new role in a completely new area while grasping the opportunity of the apprenticeship.

Blonde-haired woman in white shirt and glasses looking at camera
Sophie Keeble

Sophie said: “I’d never heard of automation when I joined – it’s about building processes using specific software and technology. But when I joined ESNEFT I was working with data from the COVAC site where staff book their COVID-19 vaccinations and tests results were logged, so I saw some of how it worked and found it really interesting.

“Being able to develop my knowledge and learn more about it through an apprenticeship and training has been such a benefit to my role.”

Sophie officially started the Level 4 Business Analysis Apprenticeship in September 2021 and finished in May this year qualifying with a distinction.

“I’ve learnt about business analysis technology, how to engage with stakeholders, process models and techniques for applying it all,” she said.

Sophie was given set time within her role to have training days and one-to-ones with a tutor for the apprenticeship, as well as build her portfolio and prepare for her final interviews.

She added: “Every week I had a day when I could meet up with my tutor or our small working group which was great. I was the only person working in the NHS so it was really helpful to hear from everyone else working in similar areas in different organisations.”

To complete her apprenticeship, she had to put together a portfolio and complete two final assessment interviews.

“I’ve had a very supportive manager, Jon, and doing the apprenticeship alongside training has been a great learning experience and really helped me understand the area. When I look back I realise how far I’ve come. It’s all clicked for me and kick-started a new career.”

Jon Cameron, associate director of ICT and Sophie’s manager, said she works in a very specialist area of IT with no previous experience but has really proven herself and developed her skills.

He added: “Apprenticeships offer such a great opportunity to those hoping to move on and up in their career, or in Sophie’s case to open a door to a new role in a new environment.

“There are so many apprenticeships available and being able to train while being paid on the job is really beneficial. Sophie proved herself with her previous role and we’re pleased she took on the apprenticeship and the role – she’s been a great asset to the team.”

There are a wide variety of apprenticeships available at ESNEFT. Visit our website to find out more.

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