Olivia Fuller, Occupational Therapy Assistant
National Apprenticeship Week (14 – 18 March) is co-ordinated by the National Apprenticeship Service and designed to celebrate apprenticeships and the positive impact they have on individuals, businesses and the wider economy.
Claire Dhaffir, Widening Participation Officer is responsible for apprenticeship programmes at the Trust.
“People often think apprenticeships are something only available for school or college leavers. However, at the Royal Berkshire we offer a wide range of internal and external programmes for people of all ages and skills,” said Claire.
“They provide a route into a wide variety of careers and are an excellent opportunity to earn, gain work experience and achieve nationally recognised qualifications at the same time.
“We run a variety of apprenticeships that provide a package of on-the-job training and qualifications. We are currently offering; Business and Admin at level 2 and 3 and a range of health awards including Clinical Healthcare Support, Maternity and Paediatric Support, Allied Health Professions Support and Peri-operative Care at level 2 & 3."
Olivia Fuller, Occupational Therapy Assistant, completed her apprenticeship at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in July 2015 and is now putting the skills she learnt into practice while she considers her next career step.
She said: “I have always been interested in a career in health care and at school I thought I might want to be a midwife or mental health nurse, but just wasn’t sure.
“After my GCSEs I was keen to go to college to gain further qualifications and opted for a BTEC Applied Science Level 2. However, I realised it wasn’t the career path for me and decided to study a Level 2 Health and Social Care qualification. Once I’d finished I wasn’t sure what my next step should be.
“I decided to start looking for apprenticeships and saw an advert for an Occupational Therapy Assistant, I researched what would be involved, applied and was successful. I completed the apprenticeship in July 2015 and am now employed as a permanent member of staff.
“The apprenticeship has given me a wealth of practical experience, and I’m now working on Caversham and Emmer Green Wards helping to rehabilitate a wide range of patients while I consider my next career step. I’m thinking it will be undertaking an Access to Healthcare course to enable me to gain the right qualifications so that I can apply to university to be a fully qualified Occupational Therapist.”