Apprentices from an NHS Trust are celebrating top marks.
100% of Customer Service apprentices from Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust (CNTW) have successfully completed their programme with a first-time pass. And 85% have achieved a Distinction, the highest grade possible.
This figure is way above the national average; data from the Department of Education shows that the overall pass rate for apprentices was 64.2% in 2019/20 and the rate for business admin, which includes customer service, was 54%.
CNTW currently has 29 apprentices on the Customer Service Apprenticeship which began in 2019.
The apprenticeship lasts for a minimum of 14 months and the apprentices’ core responsibility is to provide a high-quality service to their organisation. This can include dealing with orders and payments, offering advice and support, or gaining insight through measuring customer satisfaction. The apprenticeship builds on customer service skills and knowledge of the service.
Annette Connor, Apprenticeships and Career Developments Lead at CNTW, said: “This is a fantastic achievement. It hasn’t been the easiest year for apprentices and our training provider Rove did a great job in keeping learners engaged and motivated during the pandemic. It is also down to the support and advice our teams give apprentices every single day.
“As one of the region’s largest employers, the programme provides an important role in supporting our local area and providing opportunities for people. Our apprentices have played a great supporting role in very challenging times and we look forward to continuing to grow our programme and bring in new apprentices.”
Workforce Officer Ashdon Henry said: “Getting the distinction is something I’m really proud of, especially going through it in the current climate and adapting to the challenges that came our way. I couldn’t have done it without the support of the team and my colleagues. I’m communicating with people from all across the Trust every day from a wide range of roles, all with different queries. I’m getting first-hand experience working in a busy, fast-paced environment which has really prepared me for the future. The whole apprenticeship scheme is something I’m really thankful for and feel it has prepared me well.”
Erin Robinson, System Support Officer, said: “I have learnt so much completing my assignments and it gave me a huge confidence boost knowing I had the knowledge to effectively communicate and demonstrate customer service skills.”
Business Administration Assistant Chloe Campbell said: “I strongly feel I have gained a lot of confidence within my working role as well as my standard of work from joining the course. I feel that the apprenticeship has provided me with specific skills that I am now able to use in my day-to-day work.”
Buyer Hannah Calder said: “My apprenticeship allowed me to gain skills such as answering the phone and writing emails appropriately and also improved on my teamwork and IT skills. Doing this apprenticeship was amazing idea as it allowed me to become more confident in what I do. It has also allowed me to learn more about the NHS as a whole and all its different sectors. The apprenticeship allowed me to gain a permanent job with Procurement where I’ve been able to show my team what I’m capable of.”
87% of apprentices stay in a role within CNTW, with the majority having a career in the team they trained in.
Annette added: “A Customer Services apprenticeship is a great entry point into the NHS. It equips apprentices with the requirements and skills for a variety of services and settings. It also gives younger apprentices experience of the world of work and the opportunity to earn while they learn.”
CNTW is a leading apprenticeship employer, aiming to support and grow local talent for the benefit of service users. The Customer Service apprenticeship plays an important role in supporting teams throughout the Trust.
Apprentices can apply via NHS Jobs and Find an apprenticeship (findapprenticeship.service.gov.uk) or contact CNTW’s Academy Team on CNTWacademy@cntw.nhs.uk
CNTW is a leading provider of mental health and disability services in the North East and north Cumbria.