Celebrating apprenticeships at Essex

  • Date

    Mon 4 Mar 19


To mark National Apprenticeship Week, (4 to 8 March 2019), we’re taking a look at our fantastic apprenticeship schemes which have helped students develop vital skills and experience in the workplace.

Nursing apprenticeships

Our Healthcare Assistant Practitioner Higher Apprenticeships have been hugely successful, and 100 per cent of our apprentices who completed their studies in July are still working in the NHS with 38 per cent of these apprentices having now progressed to Registered Nurse Degree Apprenticeships.

Suzanne Scott is a Registered Nurse Degree Apprentice and works in Acute Care at East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust. She explained why she wanted to do an apprenticeship in nursing: “For many years I planned to further my education to become a Registered Nurse but I wasn't in a financial position to do so, particularly while my children were young. When the opportunity came up to train while working, I was very excited to apply!”

Suzanne was able to balance her work, student, family and social life during her apprenticeship and explored what she could bring to the role of registered nurse.

She said: “I have been loving my time at University of Essex, the staff, students and overall feel of the campus are fantastic. I feel very lucky to be able to study towards my BSc Nursing while employed, for me, it would not be possible without the Nursing Degree Apprenticeship program.”

Suzanne hopes to continue working in Acute Care after her apprenticeship.

She added: “With a Nursing degree there are so many potential areas of employment, I know I will always have an exciting and rewarding career.”

Danielle Standing, Matron from the Acute Medical Unit at the Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust says taking on nursing apprentices has been rewarding experience.

She said: “Having the opportunity to grow our own staff into the future nursing team is a fantastic opportunity. Apprentices are able to work full time alongside attending university which allows them to apply their new knowledge and skills and gives them the chance to apply this in practice much earlier than a normal nursing programme.”

Digital and Technology Solutions Degree Apprenticeships

Students on the Digital and Technology Solutions (DTS) Degree Apprenticeships have excelled in their studies, and 100% of our apprentices have progressed into their second year with a First.

DTS apprentices are high achievers and regularly achieve well above the class average, and developer Alex Frost scored an almost perfect score in his first year.

He said: "Applying to work as a developer alongside my studies has been one of the best decisions I've ever taken. It's hard work and not for the faint hearted, but it is incredibly rewarding.”

Alex said that his apprentice allowed him to gain knowledge at university and put these into practice in the workplace.

He said: “Programming is a vocational skill and there are few substitutes for practice, so the experience gained in the workplace means you'll have already encountered many of the concepts taught at university.”

Adam Fox, a DTS apprentice at Derivco Sports in Ipswich, said both working with a company and learning in a classroom has given him a deep understanding of software development.

He said: “I’m learning both at uni and at work, it’s amazing. It’s great to get the lecturers side of it and the professional side of it. The whole point of getting a degree is finding a job afterwards, but over the three years of this apprenticeship I’ve already learned these job skills.”

After the apprenticeship, Adam feels he has many job opportunities available to him.

He said: “There’s a lot of jobs in computer science. I’m lucky that the industry that I’m interested in has a lot of jobs. After the apprenticeship I would like to see whether I want to continue in software development or do I want to branch out into databases, AI, robotics, see what tickles my fancy after the three years.”

Adam encourages anyone seeking a career in computer science to apply for an apprenticeship.

He said: “I’ll be working alongside people for three years, both getting a degree and how to get a job, so I would recommend anyone to do it as it’s perfect, I couldn’t say anything bad about it.”

For more information on apprenticeships at Essex, please visit