Emma proves it’s never too late to become an apprentice

Emma Williams from Wellington was approaching her 40th birthday, and earning her living as a kitchen assistant. She felt she had unfulfilled career ambitions . . . and decided it was time to do something about it.

So she enrolled at Telford College to complete level two and three AAT accountancy qualifications, and set about trying to find a job.

It was tough – the qualifications were perfect, but employers wanted someone of Emma’s age to have experience too.

After spotting an apprenticeship vacancy at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital for a business apprentice, she changed course and filled in an application.

She hasn’t looked back since. Now aged 40, the former John Hunt School student enrolled on the level two business administration programme in January last year.

After completing the course, she was offered a permanent full-time position with the hospitals trust, where she has become a pivotal member of the team.

“Apprenticeships are the way forward,” says Emma. “I’m grateful that the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust gave me an opportunity.

“One day I hope to be able to bring my accountancy qualifications into use, and would very much like to progress through the NHS in an accountancy role.”

Emma’s current responsibilities are varied, from ward clerk shifts to receptionist duties. She prescribes treatments, books appointments, and organises and manages patient notes – and loves the variety.

Her supervisor Sue Coleman says: “From the beginning of her apprenticeship with us, she showed such commitment to the department.

Emma Williams, left, with Sue Coleman at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital

“She is now the most versatile member of staff, as she has knowledge of all the administration team roles, which she carries out with such accuracy.

“In September Emma was taken on by the trust as a full-time member of staff whilst still being conscientious about completing her qualifications.

“Emma is very highly thought-of by her fellow

team members as well as the clinicians and patients; she is a real asset to the oncology department.”

Sue Gomer, interim director of apprenticeships at Telford College, said: “Emma’s inspirational story is proof that there is no such thing as a typical route into an apprenticeship.

“It doesn’t matter what your age, background or knowledge is, you will find a programme which meets your needs.”

Latest figures show that almost 90% of the college’s apprentices progress either to further training, or a permanent job, when their programmes are complete.

Telford College offers apprenticeships in more than 30 different careers. Learn about our latest apprenticeship vacancies here.

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