Evan, Training Administrator, NHS Borders

I’m Evan. I work for NHS Borders as a training administrator.

What did you first do when you left school?

After failing all my subjects in 6th year, I went to Borders College in Galashiels to do an HNC in Administration and IT, which I actually studied for this time and ended up passing!

What attracted you to working in the NHS?

Growing up, I saw how much attention the NHS got on the news. I think I picked up on the togetherness of the staff in the clinical areas I saw, so I thought it must be the same in admin offices. When I got the chance to do some work experience, I realised there was the same level of friendliness and wanted to stay!

How did you get started?

A few months after completing my college course, I got 2 job offers on the same day. The first was an apprenticeship at a housing association a few miles away and the second was a 6-month temporary job in a local furniture shop. I went for the latter, as it seemed more convenient at the time, but I probably should have gone for the apprenticeship!

After finishing the temporary contract at the furniture shop, I was unemployed for a while, until I ended up doing work experience in the NHS. Luckily a temporary job came up and I got that! The job then became permanent and I've now been here for 4 years. Through those periods of being out of work, I learned to never give up, as you never know what can happen!

Describe your day-to-day role

My day usually consists of replying to emails, answering phone calls, managing room booking calendars, and administering the training course booking system. Also, a big part of my role during Covid has been assisting course participants in the use of technology and Microsoft Teams.

What skills are the most important for you to do your job well?

You need good technical knowledge of computers and Microsoft Office packages. The ability to prioritise and work in a team to complete tasks has also been essential. Most important though, is good communication skills, especially working in such a big organisation. When giving out advice, it’s vital that any information you send out is accurate.

What advice would you give a school leaver thinking about working in the NHS?

Even if you haven’t had the best school exam results, there are so many courses you can do at colleges around the country. If you do well there then opportunities will arise to work within either clinical roles or admin and IT-based jobs, or within support services.

Tell us what makes you proud to be a key worker during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Working for the NHS is what has made me happy to be a key worker during the pandemic. Even though I work in an administrative role, it has made me proud to be just a small cog helping to keep things going.