1. What did you do before the Apprenticeship programme in NHS Tayside?
I came straight from 6th year at school. I also worked part-time at a country resort, while still at school.
2. Tell us why you applied to be an apprentice in NHS Tayside?
I had been accepted at University to study engineering before I applied to be an Apprentice. A lot of companies ask for experience as well as your degree and I felt with an apprenticeship you are able to have both. You can have the hands-on experience in the work place as well as your degree. The advert in the paper was for an Apprentice Estates Officer in Electrical Engineering.
3. What are you doing in your Apprentice Programme?
I am an Apprentice Estates Officer in Electrical Engineering. It is a 5 year in-house apprenticeship. For the first 3 months I did foundation craft skills for an electrician with Michelin Tyre Training School, who were the external provider and then in year 1 and 2 I did Craft Skills and maintained log books which were signed off by qualified electrical or mechanical engineers in the work place. This gave me the equivalent of a SVQ. I am now in the 3rd year of my apprenticeship. In the first year I completed the 1st year of a Bachelor of Science degree (Access Course) and then progressed to Bachelor of Engineering Building Services on day release for four years at Glasgow Caledonian University. In my final two years I will also complete my professional skills log book which is signed off by the senior electrical engineer. The evidence recorded in the log books is certificated by the Institute of Healthcare Engineers and Estates Management (IHEEM). I am working towards becoming an Engineering Technician.
Sarah was awarded the Best Overall Performance within an Engineering and Build Environment at Glasgow Caledonian University this year.
4. When will you finish – and what will you do then?
I will finish in June 2019. I hope to apply for a post as a full-time Estates Officer (if there is a vacancy). I would like to undertake the training to become an Electrical Authorised Person for low and high voltage systems and to have more training in mechanical systems. If I am not able to stay in NHS Tayside I hope there will be a vacancy for an Estates Officer somewhere else in the NHS.
5. What’s the best thing about this Apprenticeship Programme?
The best thing has been the wide range of experience in different electrical and engineering systems. Being able to apply theory to practice and also having a good working knowledge of systems helps me with understanding the theory. It really helps me learning theory and practice together.
6. What would you change?
I enjoy my apprenticeship programme and would not change anything.
7. What are your plans for the future?
I would like to study a Masters Degree in Engineering or Management I have not quite decided yet. This would help towards becoming a Chartered Engineer.
8. What advice would you give to young people considering their career options?
There is a lot of pressure on young people to decide at a very young age what you want to do. I would advise people to take their time and try and get as much work experience as you can. Volunteer if you can and it helps you find what suits you and don’t do something because someone tells you to do it. Always do what is best for you. I would recommend becoming an Apprentice.
9. What do you think of NHS Tayside as a place to work?
NHS Tayside a very supportive and a good employer. There is a lot to learn and also get a wide variety of experiences.