NHS Apprentices recognised at regional awards ceremony

17 December 2014 Photo of Duncan Matthews and Sophie Thompson

Outstanding Business Admin apprentices, Duncan Matthews and Sophie Thompson

Two College apprenticeships who are combining working for the NHS and studying at City and Islington College have been recognised at a London awards ceremony.

Duncan Matthews, 19, who is studying Business and Administration while working at the Whittington Hospital, was named the ‘Apprentice of the Year’ at the Health Education North Central and East London (HENCEL) quality awards 2014.

Sophie Thompson, 18, studying on the same course as Duncan but working at IAPT Enfield (Improving Access to  Psychological Therapies), an organisation that supports patients with mental health issues, was also highly commended for her achievements this year.

HENCEL works in partnership with NHS employers, universities, students, patients, employees, third sector and voluntary services with the aim of developing an innovative future health service in the region.  Each year HENCEL run quality awards that acknowledge and celebrate the excellent work across North Central and East London delivering excellence in multi-disciplinary education, training and work force development.

"I am now a massive advocate for apprenticeships"

Duncan said: “I am very proud to have received this award. I did not gel with education at school and left with 3 GCSEs, but taking an apprenticeship has changed everything. Now I am working in the NHS, earning and learning and have experience to put on my CV such as project management and public speaking. I am now a massive advocate for apprenticeships and work based learning. My ambition in the future is to continue working for the NHS and to possibly progress into legal services.”

Sophie initially progressed to A Levels but struggled. She said: “Starting an apprenticeship at the College was the best thing I have ever done and I feel so much better about my prospects. I am treated like an adult at work and my College teachers are very supportive and have helped me really build up my confidence. I would really encourage others to take the apprenticeship route.”

Earlier this year the College announced the start of a new partnership in the delivery of apprenticeships with the Whittington Health Trust.

The College was chosen as a preferred partner by the hospital which has seen both organisations working together in the delivery of supply chain management, business administration and pharmaceutical apprenticeships.

Director of Employability and Employer Engagement at City and Islington College, Teresa Esan, said: “Duncan and Sophie have been recognised for showing outstanding commitment, initiative and growing maturity in their studies and in the work place. A Levels and university are not for everybody and apprenticeships offer fantastic opportunities for young people to go straight into work whilst achieving a recognised qualification. We are pleased with the progress of the partnership and hope to provide opportunities to more young people like Duncan and Sophie in the near future.”