We spoke to you last year as you were just starting your apprenticeship – how has it been going?
Better than expected. I have completed 90% of the course and all exams 11 months ahead of schedule with just a few modules remaining. This of course is not only down to my dedication to the studying. It is also the flexibility offered by Riverside and, my teams support in helping me with any assistance I needed.
Has the apprenticeship made a difference to your role?
I feel as if both the support I get from the academic studying and the support I’ve received from so many colleagues at Riverside has made a difference in my role.
This wouldn’t have been a role I could step straight into without an apprenticeship route, there is so much knowledge, regulations, compliance, and general professional skills that I have learned along the way. I can’t wait to expand all of this in my career at Riverside.
Do you feel like you’ve developed skills for life?
One hundred percent – Not only have I learned skills and knowledge around Health and Safety. I’ve learned how to hold myself professionally and I’ve became a lot more confident in myself.
At the start of my apprenticeship, I was apprehensive about speaking up in meetings, maybe due to not having the wealth of knowledge I now do in my role. Not only did I learn about Health and Safety, but I also experienced completing site inspections across various Prospect sites, Care and Support inspections in Retirement Living schemes. Being involved in audits for ISO accreditations and also being involved in Business Continuity, Insurance and Health and Wellbeing work. These are all skills I will bring forward with me into life and career.
What are the next steps for you?
Right now, my steps are to pass my exams. After that however there are a couple of options within the Health and Safety Team that I am looking at as they are a brilliant and supportive team. Either to progress in my role as a qualified Health, Safety and Environmental Advisor and has opened my eyes to the world of Insurance or Business Continuity. The apprenticeship has led to many more opportunities within Riverside and I hope to progress further here.
Would you recommend the apprentice route for others?
Give it a go – if there is a role you’re interested in, you should definitely make the jump. I knew a small amount of health and safety related knowledge before this role, but everyone supports you and teaches you as you progress, until eventually you are able to walk on your own. I didn’t attend university and I’m honoured I got given such a good opportunity to work in a great organisation. Even with the apprentice title in my role, colleagues still respect you and listen to your ideas.