My name's Ruth and I'm the risk coordinator for NHS Borders. I started as the risk facilitator in January 2020 and began a Modern Apprenticeship in Business and Administration in March 2020. I was then promoted to risk coordinator in November 2021, following completion of my professional qualification in Enterprise Risk Management.
I'd heard about apprenticeships before, throughout my time at school. However, these were encouraged a lot less than applying to university or college, so the information regarding these was scarce. I decided to find out more about this particular apprenticeship and finally sent in my application.
I chose to do this Modern Apprenticeship instead of going to university, to develop my skills and further my learning. I found that business and administration was a great area to do this, as these skills are widely transferable and can be called upon in loads of different roles.
With respect to my career goals, once I completed my Modern Apprenticeship, this led to me getting the opportunity to undertake a professional qualification. As well as achieving my apprenticeship, I'm now chartered in Enterprise Risk Management and belong to an international professional body.
The apprenticeship also gave me a base to progress my career within NHS Borders and I'm now in a management position within the organisation.
There's no such thing as a typical day in my team. I could spend the day doing anything from answering emails, to auditing the risk register, to building new risk management training sessions.
When I was doing my Modern Apprenticeship, to balance the time between work and study, I was given a couple of hours of protected time one day a week to study by my manager. I was also able to link a lot of my work activities to the apprenticeship requirements, which made finding evidence and time to undertake the work a lot easier.
Any additional work I hadn't managed to finish, or felt necessary to review, was completed in my own time out with working hours, but this was really rare. My tutor was also incredibly supportive and helped me prioritise which study areas to focus on, while still getting my work tasks done.
In my current job I love the diversity of the role. Every day is different and I speak to so many different people, which allows me to build connections and develop relationships with other colleagues within the organisation.
I would highly recommend completing a Modern Apprenticeship with the NHS. This is one of the best decisions I've ever made, as not only did I find a secure job at the end of it, I picked up valuable life skills along the way, whilst getting a wage at the same time.
Even if learning isn't your comfort zone, you'll receive support from both your tutor and line manager to enable you to succeed.