Telford College apprentices are playing a key role in supporting the day-to-day operations of the Severn Hospice.
Latest recruits include Liss Evans from Wellington, and Bradley Lowe from Bridgnorth, who are both earning while they are learning, on level two training programmes.
Liss, 19, from Wellington, is on a business administration apprenticeship, and is currently focused on processing applications for people wishing to help out in hospice shops.
The former Abraham Darby student describes signing up on the volunteer services apprenticeship as ‘the best decision I’ve made’.
“I take a lot of administration off the team leader, so they can go into the outlets and provide more face-to-face support for staff,” said Liss, who originally enrolled at Telford College after her GCSEs to study music.
“I realised it wasn’t a realistic career option, so I started looking for jobs and I found this apprenticeship, which looked perfect.
“Karen Pearse, apprenticeship recruitment specialist at the college, helped me though the process and prepared me really well. She gave me interview tips which were very useful.”
Liss is on a flexible learning apprenticeship, which means she can rotate her working time through different parts of the organisation including retail, reception, lottery, donations and events.
She also gets to spend 20% of her time ‘off the job’, in a part of Severn Hospice which might not be directly linked to her work – helping to increase her transferable skills.
“The best part of the apprenticeship was the first month, I was getting involved in lots of different things including the national conference, and I met lots of friendly people,” she said.
“Starting my apprenticeship is one of the best decisions I’ve made, Karen Pearse at college was amazing, and matched me to the perfect role.”
Phil Brannon, voluntary and support services manager at Severn Hospice, said: “The apprenticeship Liss is on will give her a very good bedrock for whatever business career she goes into.”
Fellow apprentice Bradley Lowe, from Bridgnorth, is on an information communication technology extended diploma course, providing IT support to the hospices in Shrewsbury and Telford, as well as its network of shops.
Prior to this, the 18-year-old was combining his studies with a part-time job at Sainsburys in Bridgnorth – which he said taught him how to communicate with the public and the importance of being a team member.
“I fix computers and tills, and I’m currently working on a large project updating all the system to Office 365,” he said.
“I love learning on the job; it’s the best way to get practical experience. I did complete IT level two and three at college before my apprenticeship but I didn’t get the hands-on experience that I’m getting now – and the salary helps too!
“I’m really happy getting the skills, experience and qualifications as an IT officer and trainee technician, and I’d love to do this at a more advanced level for my career.”
Ben Graham, IT and information governance leader at Severn Hospice, said having Bradley on board had been a real boost.
“The apprenticeship is fantastic. Before Brad came we were drained of resources, but he has helped take the pressure off the organisation, so we can concentrate on some key projects. Brad fits in really well, and he’s a valued member of the hospice.”
Kerry Davies, director of finance and IT at the Hospice, added: “We liaised with Telford College about the apprenticeship vacancies and worked together to decide which frameworks would meet the company’s needs the most.
“We’re investing in the hospice’s future with the support of Telford College, and see apprenticeships and working with the college as a vital part of the future-proofing of the organisation.”
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