National Apprenticeship Week 2022: Apprentice Blog
February 10, 2022

National Apprenticeship Week 2022: Apprentice Blog

Please note: This article was published on February 10, 2022 and may contain information that is no longer current or up to date.
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Kelly, a mother of three from Coventry, had been out of work for 18 months, leaving her last job while pregnant with her third child, and decided it was time to build a career for herself.

Kelly wanted a reliable job with hours that would allow her to be there for her children and, after lengthy research, decided that Coventry College would be the place to retrain herself. She has since secured a role within the NHS through a Level 2 Customer Service apprenticeship.

I have always worked in retail as either a store assistant or store supervisor as I love customer service and the different challenges it brings each day. However, retail can be unreliable with zero-hour contracts and unsociable hours, which wasn’t always practical with two children and another on the way.

I worked as a cleaner for a while to try and manage my time better but unfortunately due to circumstances out of my control and a bereavement, I lost my job while I was pregnant. I faced a long time out of work, and a real challenge to earn a living while raising a young family.

I wanted to find career where I would never be in that position again, while still having time to look after my children and watch them grow up. I struggled for 18 months. I wanted to give them a better life and make them proud, and I knew being part of the NHS would help me to do those things.

After a lot of thought and research, I applied for an apprenticeship in customer service at Coventry College. After two interviews, I got my place within a GP practice and it has turned my life around for the better.

I began my apprenticeship in January 2021, working at the Priory Gate Practice in Coventry City Centre in a role that offers security and flexibility, and where a good attitude and the right qualifications go a long way.

I will gain Level 2 Customer Service Practitioner qualification in April, and I have really enjoyed the course and gained some valuable new skills. I already had some experience in customer service, but I have learnt so many new things along the way.

Doing an apprenticeship has changed my life so much. I have gained a permanent position at the practice, which means our family can enjoy amazing days out and holidays and live a much more comfortable life.

I am proud of my job and hope to build a career from here. An apprenticeship is a fantastic way to start a career and get your foot in the door to what could be a permanent position. The great thing about this sector is that I am not confined to GP admin jobs, and I can make the transition into other areas within the NHS.

I have made some lifelong amazing friends along the way too. Without their support and guidance at times, I would have been lost.

With hard work, dedication, and the right apprenticeship, I have landed myself a reliable job, learned new life skills, and gained confidence thanks to the support of my college assessor and managers. My children and family are immensely proud of me and our lives will forever be changed because I took a leap of faith. I am so happy I did.