Sarah, Communications Modern Apprentice, NHS 24

My name's Sarah. I'm 20 years old. I've been in care from the age of eleven and when things were going downhill, that's when I realised, I wanted to get out there and do something with my life.

Which Modern Apprenticeship are you doing and where are you based?

Prior to joining NHS 24 as a Communications Apprentice, I had a job in Youth Work and Childcare for around two years. I always had an interest in administration and when the opportunity came up through Who Cares? Scotland, I had to take it.

How did you first hear about the apprenticeship?

I've been a member of Who Cares? Scotland for approximately 5 years and I received upcoming job vacancies through email on a regular basis.

Why did you decide to do a Modern Apprenticeship?

I wanted a change in career direction and when I saw the advert for NHS 24, I thought to myself it would be silly not to go for it. I told myself whether or not I was successful, at least I tried.

Shortly after applying, I was contacted by Carolelynn from the recruitment team, asking if I could meet with her in person to discuss the post further. She told me a little bit more about the post and then asked me about myself and my background of being a young person in care.

It went really well and Carolelynn was lovely. She agreed to progress my application and arranged for me to attend an interview skills training day with the other shortlisted applicants for the three roles within NHS 24.

The training day was very informative and helped me gain the confidence I didn't think I had for job interviews! I got the interview for my two chosen posts and I was selected for my preferred one, which was in the communications team.

The whole recruitment process was done in steps and when I found out I got the job, I was ecstatic! It was hard saying goodbye to all the young people I worked with in my previous job but I knew that this was an opportunity not to let pass me by. I'm also in year two of my HNC Social Services course. Although it's been tricky juggling it around having a full-time job, it has all been worth it!

Tell us about a typical day

In my role, I do a varied amount of different things and every day is different. I assist with social media marketing. I'm involved in the development of campaigns, I play a part in putting together the organisation's internal magazine, INSIGHT and help promote Breathing Space – a service that supports people throughout Scotland who are low or anxious.

I get out and about too. There are two other bases – one in Clydebank and another in Edinburgh where I get to work. I'm able to get to know the other members of the team, who have also been really nice.

What do you like most about your job?

The whole communications team have been so lovely and welcoming and always provide support with my apprenticeship!

I am now in a much better place than I was before and for once in my life, I feel settled and accepted for who I am. My SVQ Assessor, Joe, has been really supportive as well and I'm really looking forward to developing my career at NHS 24.

This has helped me gain new skills and knowledge within the public sector. It will benefit my future career in business and administration, as it's giving me experience in a real work environment. The most rewarding part about my job is working as part of a team and being able to grow within an organisation I am passionate about.

What advice would you give anyone who is thinking of applying for a Modern Apprenticeship?

I would recommend anyone who gets this opportunity in the future to take it and learn new skills to help them develop in their career. For me, an apprenticeship is really beneficial because you are able to learn on the job and gain an important qualification at the end of it.

It is a great way to gain real work experience and confidence as well as enhance your CV. You are also supported throughout which is really helpful in order to obtain the qualification.

What are your future career plans?

My future career plan is to hopefully progress further with the possibility of going on to have a permanent role at NHS 24. It's a brilliant organisation to work for and I am proud to be a part of it.