Medical Matters: Age is no barrier to apprenticeship opportunities that enable you to achieve your full potential

Torbay Weekly

Medical matters -  Suzanne Hubbard, apprenticeship lead at Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust (TSDFT), talks about apprenticeship opportunities in a wide range of clinical and non-clinical sectors:

What I really love about apprenticeships is that they are open to everyone!

Age is no barrier and I have been lucky enough to undertake a number of apprenticeships schemes which have led to me securing my current role.

I now have the pleasure of watching many of our fantastic apprentices who, having joined us as Level 2 apprentices, progress through the apprenticeship levels and gain confidence, knowledge and skills which allow them to fulfil their dreams and aspirations to become fully qualified professional practitioners.

It is a real privilege to be a part of someone’s career journey and see how apprenticeship opportunities have enabled so many to achieve their full potential.

Apprenticeships are an ideal way to join the NHS, gain a qualification and start an exciting career!

This year, National Apprenticeship Week takes place from Monday, February 7, to Friday, February 11.

It is usually celebrated with open days and various other face-to-face events but, due to the pandemic, these events have been temporarily postponed and replaced by virtual online events.

These virtual events are proving extremely successful and we will be holding our apprenticeship virtual online event, Introduction to Healthcare Apprenticeships, on Friday, February 11.

This event is for anyone who is interested in joining the NHS, specifically Torbay and South Devon, and we will have professional leads on hand to offer advice about our apprenticeship schemes and progression routes, along with tips and advice on how to complete an online application form through NHS jobs.

Our organisation is a passionate advocate for apprenticeships and, as one of the largest organisations in the region, we continually strive to provide as many amazing opportunities as possible for people from all walks of life.

As a result of this dedication, we have supported over 450 existing and new employees to undertake a wide variety of apprenticeships both in clinical and non-clinical careers since 2017.

We offer a diverse range of apprenticeships, from a Level 2 customer service qualification to a Level 7 Masters in advanced clinical care.

Apprenticeships are a fantastic way to learn new skills and gain knowledge while earning a salary, and we provide lots of support while our employees undertake apprenticeship qualifications with training providers such as local colleges and universities.

They gain hands-on, practical skills, helped and guided by colleagues from across our organisation.

This includes 1:1 mentoring/buddying from an experienced team member, and help with personal development.

Apprentices are also supported by a dedicated college/university training officer, a professional tutor and line managers.

Apprenticeship qualifications are fully funded and paid for and all apprentices are entitled to a minimum of 20 per cent protected study time.

We already support over 50 different subjects and professions, and the list of opportunities continues to grow, with more and more qualifications becoming accessible each year.

From health care support worker, nursing associate and occupational therapist apprenticeships to accounting, digital marketing and human resources apprenticeships, the list is really impressive.

If your ambition is to work in a caring profession within the NHS and you are considering careers in professions such as nursing, midwifery or allied healthcare - such as occupational therapy, physiotherapy, podiatry, radiography - we are able to support you through apprenticeship levels and on to BSc Degree apprenticeships, enabling you to become a fully qualified practitioner, without incurring any university fees, and all while still earning a salary.

If you are interested in starting a fantastic career within the NHS through an apprenticeship scheme, please join us on Friday, February 11, between 9.30am and 11.30am for our virtual open day online event.

Everyone is welcome and we look forward to meeting you! Look out for more event details on our Facebook page @TorbayAndSouthDevonFT and on our Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust LinkedIn page.

You can find out more about our apprenticeship opportunities at