In 2020, in response to the economic challenges impacting on both job creation and young people transitioning from education to full time work as a result of the pandemic, NECS sought to provide one hundred new career opportunities across our care system support organisation through the NECS 100 Programme. In line with our social purpose, to create jobs and generate wealth for the communities we serve, a hundred mostly young people were recruited to development positions across three work streams – a graduate programme, graduate internships and apprenticeships.
The NECS 100 apprenticeships are two year, fully funded roles, which seek to develop the required skills, behaviours and competencies of each apprentice. NECS 100 aims to provide each apprentice an opportunity to gain on the job training, practical experience and a valuable qualification to equip them with the attributes to support as many of them as possible to apply for a permanent role at the end of their apprenticeship.
Danielle Cragg, Greta Vitonyte and Lily Greenland joined the Consultancy team as part of the NECS 100 apprenticeship programme within our Consultancy team. Danielle and Greta are part of the Yorkshire & Humber team and Lily is in the North-West region.
Here the trio to reveal a first-person insight on what it is like to undertake an Administrative Assistant apprenticeship with NECS Consultancy.
How did you feel at the start of your apprenticeship?
Danielle: At the start of the apprenticeship, I felt excited. I’m always keen to learn, and this opportunity looked like a great choice for me. Initially I was nervous about what the role would entail, but I’ve loved it so far. I feel I’ve settled quickly within my role and count myself fortunate to work alongside such a supportive team and line manager. I’ve already developed a number of new skills and gained knowledge which in turn has boosted my confidence.
Lily: I have come a long way from my first days in Consultancy at the start of 2021. Because of this opportunity, I have the platform and experience to mature as a young adult whilst launching the first steps of my career. My confidence, vocabulary and knowledge have increased significantly since the start of my role, and I have gained more self-discipline and motivation working alongside my talented colleagues. Each day I am learning and developing new skills, knowledge and experience, which is personally the best part about the apprenticeship route.
Greta: At the beginning I was unsure what to expect from the apprenticeship. I’m originally from Lithuania and English is not my first language. However, by joining NECS I’ve been introduced to the flexible/agile way of working and I’ve also had to get to grips with lots of NHS acronyms! I also feel my ideas have been welcomed and listened to during 1-1s, team meetings and workshops.
What are you currently working on within your role as an apprentice?
Danielle: So far, I’ve had a real variety of responsibilities, with a mixture of ongoing and ad-hoc tasks. For example, I’ve been involved in developing the regional strategy, working on aspects of communications and marketing and also supporting with recruitment for a number of the regional consultancy teams. I also produce a weekly newsletter for the Yorkshire & Humber team, which summarises key healthcare updates.
Lily: I have been involved in several consultancy-wide initiatives such as the Social Mobility project which I presented to the Equity and Diversity board and the ‘Coffee Roulette’ scheme which I presented to an audience of over 50 colleagues. Within my region, I am a co-chair for the Social Committee and promote Health & Wellbeing through operational plans such as ‘Work Out Wednesday’.
Greta: Currently I’m involved with the team’s monthly management information reporting, taking minutes, creating questionnaires and collecting data. Additionally, I also organise the team’s social events, help produce the weekly Yorkshire and Humber newsletter and work on my NVQ Level 3 training courses.
What would you like to do next in your apprenticeship?
Danielle: I’d like to shadow an ICS transformation programme and support the team with more project related work. I’m also keen to complete my Core Consultancy training, which is a four-day external course which is coming up soon. Ultimately, I would like to pass my apprenticeship with a distinction and secure a Junior Consultant role within NECS.
Lily: Next, I would like to develop a five-year career plan. After I complete my NVQ Level 3 qualification, I would like to secure a Project Support Officer role and in the longer-term develop into a Project Manager. I’m ambitious and ready to work my hardest to gain the required experience and knowledge to achieve my goals.
Greta: I would like to cultivate lasting relationships with both internal and external stakeholders as I become more involved with a wider range of consultancy work. I’d also like to learn to analyse quantitative and qualitative data, produce project related reports and successfully complete my NVQ level 3 qualification.
This journey is providing us with lots of opportunity to grow and improve as young professionals. We highly recommend the apprenticeship route as it has given us all a chance to embark on an exciting career that we may not have had otherwise. Thank You NECS!
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