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Taking an apprenticeship opportunity has led to a flourishing new career

Nikki’s apprenticeship story is really inspiring. Taking an opportunity with an apprenticeship has been essential for her career development in health and social care. From her first role as a Support Worker, she progressed to Team Leader and now to Service Manager. Her apprenticeship has broadened her career opportunities within Lifeways and has led her to working with other managers to develop and enhance the quality of service provided.

During her apprenticeship Nikki undertook a research project by analysing survey results and presented a qualitative and quantitative summary. Specific measures that demonstrate the impact Nikki made include the improvement in Area Internal Quality Audit stats. One service she inherited was audited in August 2016 and scored 77%. Nikki used skills and knowledge developed from her apprenticeship to improve that service, and when audited again in November 2017, scored an outstanding 100%. Another service she took over was audited in 2016 at 60% then again in September 2017 at an impressive 99%.

Nikki says: “When Lifeways gave me the opportunity to develop in this field I jumped at the chance. I worked hard to become Team Leader, and then when I was offered the position of Service Manager, I realised I had potential. I wanted to develop this potential and demonstrate that I could go beyond my basic knowledge and broaden my understanding of the sector as a whole. In the beginning of my role, my main challenges were the managing of teams – an area heavily covered within the course content. I wanted to be the best I could be, and this course helped me achieve this.

I feel I have proved to myself that it is never too late to train and learn! I enjoyed developing my understanding of regulations and legislation – I always knew what they were but being asked to analyse them helped me to understand the how’s and the why’s. I have enjoyed being able to transfer the knowledge I gained to my daily working practice and improve the quality of the services I manage to a high standard. I have also found the management of staff training aspects useful – I have been able to build teams that function well and benefit the people we support and the staff themselves.”

Nikki’s manager Lynn said: “Nikki has worked exceptionally hard to achieve this. She has juggled work/family life to ensure she develops in her role as a manager. Nikki is feeling excited about the events and feels it has all been worthwhile. Nikki acts as a good advocate for learning.”

Nikki has gone on to win a prestigious award at the Lifetime Learner Achievement Awards in Bristol.

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