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Danielle’s apprenticeship journey

Tuesday 18th January 2022

Danielle’s apprenticeship journey
Pictured; Danielle Cragg, Apprentice Administrative Assistant

Hi, I’m Danni and I started working for NECS in April 2021 as part of the NECS 100 programme. I am an Apprentice Administrative Assistant working within the NECS Yorkshire and Humber Consultancy Team.

The NECS 100 programme is constructed of Graduate and Level 3 apprenticeships which aims to generate employment and help people to gain new skills. My apprenticeship is within the Consultancy team which consists of on the job training and dedicated time to complete a Level 3 Business Administration qualification. I have one off-site learning day a week and monthly visits with my tutor to go over any new work which has been set.

At the age of 34, I’d never really considered becoming an apprentice as I considered myself ‘too old’. I had the same impression I imagine most people had of apprentices being people coming straight out of education. I applied for the NECS apprenticeship after being made redundant from my job as a Visual Merchandiser due to the COVID-19 pandemic. An apprenticeship seemed like the perfect opportunity to develop existing skills and learn more up to date ones, whilst gaining a qualification I could use in the future. In February 2021 I attended the assessment centre for the role. As soon as I heard the presentation about NECS, their values and what they do I was very excited and meeting various members of the Yorkshire and Humber team on the day only made me want to work there more. The team were so friendly and seemed to be really passionate about the work they did.

I was a little nervous at first as I didn’t have any previous experience of working in healthcare, and I had my worries about whether I would be able to do the role and would I be able to complete the work required for the apprenticeship.

However, I needn’t have worried as applying for the apprenticeship was one of the best decisions I could have made. I love working for NECS as it gives me the opportunity to learn and develop in an organisation which really values and supports its team. The Yorkshire and Humber team could not have been more supportive and have really helped me to grow and develop over the past 6 months. I am constantly given opportunities to stretch myself and learn new skills to help me to not only meet the criteria for my apprenticeship but to help me to develop the skills needed for a future career in consultancy.

During my first six months at NECS I have been able to develop my organisation and facilitation skills by becoming involved in recruitment events for both the Yorkshire and Humber and the North-West teams. I have also been able to develop my IT skills and presentation skills by producing documents and PowerPoint presentations to share with the team at meetings. Working on an Integrated Care System Transition Programme has given me the opportunity to enhance my stakeholder management skills and whilst understanding the changes to legislation which are affecting the NHS at the moment.

My apprenticeship with the NECS 100 scheme ends in March 2023 and beyond that my aim is to remain with NECS and ideally the Yorkshire and Humber team in a Junior Consultant role. I feel I have truly caught the ‘Consultancy bug’ and cannot imagine working anywhere else now.

Find out more about NECS Consultancy here: NECS Consultancy