NAW2021 – Supporting apprenticeships into our digital delivery teams
The NHS Business Service Authority is celebrating National Apprenticeship Week. In our latest blog, Jammie Hannant from our digital team reveals how a group of apprentices are developing their digital careers and making a real impact to services for the health and care sector.
My name is Jamie Hannant, I’m a Digital Team Manager within the Digital team at the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA). I’m responsible for the day-to-day line management of our ‘Academy’ staff team members, which includes a mixture of apprentices, student placements, and junior staff members.
We’ve been supporting apprenticeships for a while now and we have always been keen to grow our team and attract new talent. We saw gaps and opportunities within our delivery teams to bring onboard new members of staff, not only to grow our services, but also to diversify the makeup of our teams.
Every day our apprentices are making an impact. We currently have 10 apprentices working across a total of nine of our delivery teams. Some of our apprentices are working on our longer standing services, such as Healthy Start, Manage Your Service, and NHS Pensions. While others are involved with the NHSBSA’s newer services such as the COVID-19 project team, which is a critical service supporting the health and care system’s response to the pandemic.
Work on these projects all involve working as part of an agile delivery team, working in two week working patterns which are called ‘sprints’, and using a variety of different applications to complete allocated tasks and to continually develop and improve our systems.
So that’s all well and good for the NHSBSA as an organisation, but what are our apprentices gaining from all of this? What’s great about an apprenticeship scheme is that all our apprentices are able to put the academic learning they complete with their training provider into practice in a live work environment. Initial feedback is suggesting that the learning and theory they gain as part of their studies resonates well with them. They’re able to understand those learnings in greater depth when they’re involved in their project teams day-to-day.
We also ensure that all our apprentices are paired with experienced members of staff who act as their mentors. Working closely with these mentors, who are highly experienced in their fields, gives each apprentice even more opportunities to learn and develop new skills.
Three apprentices from different areas of the NHSBSA also wrote about their experience in another blog post. So make sure you read that too if you are considering an apprenticeship yourself!
As part of our continued growth as a digital team within the NHSBSA, we see apprenticeships playing a key role in our future. We’re already seeing great results at this early stage and hope to replicate this across other disciplines in our teams as we continue to grow.
Apprenticeships are an excellent way to bring in fresh talent, new ideas, and people who can bring a unique approach. I would encourage all organisations to always consider professional apprenticeships when looking to grow their teams.