Apprentice finds confidence and a new career path through apprenticeship

Posted on by karen.smith

English | Cymraeg

Digital Application Support Apprentice with ACT

This National Apprenticeship Week we are highlighting the life-changing impact that work-based learning can have, not just on the apprentice but for the workplace they are within.

We spoke to Andrew Walton of Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, who is currently working towards his Digital Administration Support qualification, to find out why he chose this particular path and how it has boosted his professional progression.

We also spoke to Andrew’s manager, Carer Lead Suzanne Becquer-moreno, about the positive changes Andrew has brought to the team.

Andrew dropped out of university following an ADHD diagnosis, finding that the format of study didn’t fit the way he worked. After leaving, he wanted to get a job but wasn’t confident in jumping straight into that environment without training.

Andrew said: “Whilst I am aware most jobs offer training after you join, I wanted to improve my skills in a wider sense rather than learning how to do things at a single company or organisation. As a result, an apprenticeship was the ideal option for me. Here I would be able to work on myself – my confidence, skills and discipline – while also being in a working environment.”

He was drawn to the NHS after receiving support from his GP as a teenager, and after an initial interview with his future manager he knew he had made the right choice.

Andrew added: “After meeting Suzie in the interview, I knew I had found the right place for me to get experience in a working environment and to learn and grow as an individual. I could not have asked for a better place to complete my apprenticeship.”

Since working in CAVUHB, Andrew has found his confidence and communications grow, and found his team to be understanding and willing to adapt when it came to difficulties related to his ADHD.

In turn, Andrew has been able to provide the team with a fresh insight into the digital side of their work through his Digital Application Support qualification.

The DAS apprenticeship is designed for any learner working in a digital office who uses cloud-based systems such as Microsoft 365 or Google for Business. It is aimed at giving a greater understanding of the software they are using every day and to get the most out of it.

Andrew said: “The things that I have been tasked with have played to my strengths. I’ve helped teams to develop SharePoint and internet pages, supported with smaller projects like MS Forms, MS Excel and MS Teams.

“The appreciation shown by these teams after I have finished helping them has massively boosted my confidence and reassured me that my work is helpful.”

Talking about the impact of Andrew’s work within the team, manager Suzanne added:

“Andrew not only brought digital skills to the team that we did not have before, but also a fresh perspective on how we can work and communicate more effectively as a team.

“Andrew has been able to support members of staff who don’t feel comfortable in using digital technology, allowing them to feel confident in accessing tools that have improved the patient experience, and the way in which we have been able to gather meaningful feedback.

“In addition, we have seen Andrew grow in confidence over the last year both in his ability within the role, and his communication skills. Andrew has been a pleasure to work with and embodies the values of the health board which is clearly evident in feedback from his team members, colleagues and the general public.”

Despite providing apprenticeship opportunities in the past, the role of Digital Administration Support was new to the team.

Suzanne said: “It allowed us to evolve the role and support someone to develop skills they could take forward.

“I would definitely recommend recruiting an apprentice, they bring a great enthusiasm to the workplace, along with new ideas and ways of working. It is also lovely to be able to give someone the opportunity to develop their skills and see how much they grow in confidence throughout the placement.”


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