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Apprentice Spotlight: Sharon Williams

6 February 2024
Apprentice Sharon talks about her experience and why she chose an Apprenticeship.

Sharon Williams undertook a Team Leader Level 3 Apprenticeship with us to upgrade her career. We spoke to her to discuss her reasons behind choosing an Apprenticeship, how she found the experience and what she has planned for the future.

Sharon celebrated completing her Apprenticeship at the Kent and Medway Apprentice Graduation Ceremony in Rochester Cathedral.

Sharon Williams, Deputy Operations Manager in Urology for East Kent Hospitals NHS University Foundation Trust

Apprenticeship Course: Team Leader Level 3 and CMI Level 3 Principles of Management and Leadership

Apprentice Spotlight Sharon

What led you to choose this Apprenticeship?

“I have been working as a Medical Secretary Supervisor for 7 years with the NHS Trust, and prior to that I was a medical secretary for 13 years, so 20 years total; all in the same department and practically the same job, but laterally with the addition of learning how to be a team leader the hard way.

The supervisor role was due to the Trust restructuring, and I was moved up a banding, but after doing essentially the same job in the same department for 20 years, I knew I wanted to progress.

I became very aware when looking at applications that came through to us, the qualifications people had, and that if I wanted to move on, I didn’t have any of note. I knew I needed a qualification to progress, which is why I did the Team Leader Level 3 apprenticeship and I have just moved into a new role as a Deputy Operations Manager, so it has worked.

In an appraisal at work, where I was asked about what I would like to achieve in the future, I said I would like to progress and gain a qualification. Internal training was suggested, which would have been fine, but when apprenticeships started up again after lockdown there was no question, that was what I wanted to do, and I submitted an application then and there – driven by my desire to continue with education and progress. I walked in on that first day probably more nervous than any of the full-time students, but they probably just thought I was a tutor.

What have you enjoyed most about your Apprenticeship journey?

“I enjoyed being in the classroom, the teachers, the learning, comradery, and the facilities were great.

However, I would not have been able to do this unless it had been supported by the college and the hospital. I suffered from an unexpected health condition part way through my course, but thanks to the flexibility of the course and support of the tutors – they gave me the option of pausing the course to rest, but it turned out I was up-to-date and able to continue the course when I felt able – I was able to finish my qualification when originally planned.”

What do you feel you have gained?

“I am pretty convinced that if I didn’t complete this qualification, I would not have been considered for senior roles.”

What is next now that you have completed your Apprenticeship?

“I am considering doing the Level 5 Operations Manager in the future, but it is a lot longer course, so that will be something I will revisit later on. I will take a break from education for now to enjoy the new role, because you really do have to devote the time, but I have enjoyed it and I think I will miss that.”

Where do you hope to be in 5 years’ time?

“For now, I will be getting to grips with my new role, and eventually I may like to go up another banding, but that would not be for some time. My line manager is excellent, so I definitely would not want to oust them!”