NAW2022 Blog

Meet Our Apprentices: Alex, Abraham, and Emma tell their story

Here at the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA), we encourage colleagues to explore opportunities to develop themselves and their careers within the organisation.

We had 38 colleagues start an apprenticeship with us over the last 12 months and currently have 88 colleagues working towards their apprenticeship qualifications. We also had 12 colleagues complete their apprenticeship qualifications over the past 12 months.

In celebration of National Apprenticeship Week 2022, we will be hearing from three of our colleagues who are in the process of completing their qualifications.

Alex Greenacre, Abraham Prince, and Emma Dobson talk about their experiences studying for a Degree Apprenticeship, and their advice for anyone considering this type of qualification.


Which Apprenticeship are you studying and what does this involve?

 [Alex] I’m studying for a Digital Technology and Solutions Degree Apprenticeship at the University of Sunderland which involves learning about a large variety of computing disciplines, including areas such as networking and web / front-end development, before moving on to more in-depth software development.

[Abraham] I am also studying for a Digital Technology and Solutions Degree Apprenticeship.

[Emma] I’m studying the Software Development Apprenticeship which involves on-the-job experience and working towards completing a four-year degree in Digital and Technology Solutions.


Why did you decide to study for an Apprenticeship?

[Alex] It provides me with an opportunity to learn and grow in my position in a real-world environment, while also being able to expand my skills at university.

[Abraham] I wanted to be able to work and gain experience in the field of my choice, as well as work towards a degree.

[Emma] I wanted to do an apprenticeship as I knew that going to university wasn’t going to be as beneficial to me. I learn best from doing the job and gaining experience, and with this apprenticeship, I had the opportunity to do the degree too.



What is your current role at the NHSBSA?

[Alex] I’m a Software Testing Apprentice in the Transforming Exemption Checking Service (TECS) team. I test the software to ensure that it is bug-free and meets the NHSBSA’s standards.

[Abraham] In my organisation I am currently a Backend Software Developer, working on the Healthy Start digital service.

[Emma] I'm currently a Backend Software Developer Apprentice, working on the Medical Examiners service. Previously, I have done HTML and CSS with the pensions team.



How did you get into your current role?

[Alex] I worked as a Software Tester in my previous role, before deciding to further progress my development in my current role, all while gaining my degree.

[Abraham] I was assigned to the role by the professional lead for developers, who believed that it would be a good fit for me and the team.

[Emma] I’ve always had an interest in the tech industry and studied IT throughout my GCSEs and A-Levels. During the final year of college, I decided to start learning how to code which I enjoyed. That led me to apply for this apprenticeship, as I wanted to improve my knowledge and start off my career in IT.



What has been your proudest achievement in your apprenticeship so far?

[Alex] I played a major role in testing a large software project, ensuring new features were bug-free before rolling out the software to more users.

[Abraham] My proudest achievement in my apprenticeship is receiving positive feedback from my lead delivery manager, the professional lead for developers, and my mentor. All for the work that I had completed.

[Emma] So far, my proudest achievement was when I was able to code a full page on a website, from scratch, and see it working and implemented. This showed how far I have progressed, as before the apprenticeship I would never have been able to do that.



What are your plans for the future?

[Alex] To continue working in the Software Testing position before moving on to more advanced roles.

[Abraham] After this, I hope to either continue my role in my organisation or continue my education further by taking a masters.

[Emma] Once I complete my apprenticeship, I’m aiming to have a career in Software Development, where I can progress to being a Full-Stack Developer or even into a role such as ‘Scrum Master’ one day.



What advice would you give to someone considering an apprenticeship?

[Alex] I would highly recommend to anyone considering this type of role to go for it!

[Abraham] I think that taking an apprenticeship was the best decision I’ve made regarding my education. If anyone is considering it, they should definitely try to find an apprenticeship in the field they want to work in. Sometimes, schools only talk about and encourage going to university. You should talk to your career adviser about apprenticeships, I’m sure they will help you.

[Emma] I would say go for it! It may be a different path to university and to what others may be doing, but in the end, it’s worth it because on-the-job experience is just as valuable as a degree. You also pick up workplace skills such as collaboration and time management which are extremely beneficial.



Are you feeling inspired and thinking about an apprenticeship? Find out more.