Meet our NUH Apprentice of the Year 2018, Leila Howard

Since 2017, close to 400 new Apprentices have taken their first steps towards a career in the NHS and all it can offer at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust (NUH).

Over 15,000 staff are employed at NUH in a variety of roles. The Apprenticeship route offers new starters the chance to learn alongside hands-on practical experience, as well as offering existing staff a development pathway.

Leila Howard, 18, is employed as a Healthcare Assistant at Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham. She recently completed a one-year Apprenticeship at NUH, and has been reflecting on her experience, which saw her win the Apprentice of the Year accolade at the 2018 NUHonours Awards – NUH’s internal annual staff award ceremony.

Leila said:  “I decided to join the Apprenticeship scheme as I liked the idea of hands-on learning, while still earning. Although I was studying Health and Social Care in college, I had always wanted to become a nursery nurse - but when I saw the opportunity to join NUH, I jumped at it!

“Juggling practical work alongside studying to be a Healthcare Assistant was a lot to take in to start with, but you soon get into the swing of things. Initially I started off working on weekday shifts alongside attending college and having study days, but the more you get into the role and working with different teams, the easier it becomes.

“I particularly enjoyed working alongside staff that had been doing the role for a while, as they could show me best practice.

“Healthcare Assistant training has made me strong-minded and taught me an understanding of how to handle people from different backgrounds and areas – both staff and patients. It makes you determined to deliver the best patient care. You get to meet so many people as a Healthcare Assistant and Apprentice.”

Michelle Place, Apprentice Lead at NUH, said:  “We are extremely proud of all of our Apprentices at NUH and congratulations to Leila on winning the NUHonours Apprentice of the Year Award! It is so important to highlight the investment that NUH is making in Apprentices and these awards raise the profile of all of our Apprentices and the hard work and commitment they make.

“Leila is a great example of how an Apprenticeship can take you places in the NHS. There’s so much on offer – from business management to plumbing and heating. We know our Apprenticeship offering attracts exceptional candidates, who really are the next generation of leaders and influencers in our fantastic NHS.”

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Leila said: “I would recommend the NUH Healthcare Assistant Apprenticeship to anyone. What I have learned during my time has been invaluable. Working closely with colleagues has allowed me to pick up things quickly and the mix of studying and practical skills has been great. I now have a Care Certificate which I can take anywhere, alongside practical skills and knowledge.”

Leila Howard