03 January 2019

ELFT Apprenticeship Programme is designed to grow and develop skills needed for the future in our services. The apprenticeships often result in permanent roles offered to the apprentices within the service where they did their apprenticeship. This is the case with our former apprentice, Lauren O'Sullivan. Read Lauren's insightful story and find out more information on how to become an ELFT apprentice at the end of the page.

Lauren O'Sullivan started her one year apprenticeship in May 2017 at John Howard Centre. She was in the role of Medical Secretary from May 2017 - February 2018, and has been in the role of Referrals Coordinator since February 2018.

Lauren O'Sullivan: 'Doing this apprenticeship was my starting point into the NHS and I hope to continue on and progress even more'.

How did you find your apprenticeship with ELFT?
I found it really intriguing as I never knew the NHS even offered Apprenticeships, so when I came across it one day whilst job hunting I just knew I had to go for it and apply. I would always recommend starting out as an apprentice or even taking an apprenticeship and working your way up.

What have you learnt in your time here?
I have learnt so much in my journey so far. Never had I worked in Admin before, let alone Mental Health. I started out as a Medical Secretary when I first started my Apprenticeship here at the John Howard Centre and in the last few months of my time as an Apprentice early this year was asked to become the Referrals Coordinator for the Unit. In this job there is always something new to learn every day, I am just a completely different person to who I was when I first started and I am just glad this this role has brought me out of myself more.

Do you think doing this apprenticeship helped you secure your permanent role with us?
Yes I do. Doing this apprenticeship was my starting point into the NHS and I hope to continue on and progress even more.

How have the team you worked with responded to you?
Really well. My current team were quite anxious when they heard an apprentice would be taking on the Referrals Coordinator role and I am just so glad I managed to show them that I was capable and that they did not need to worry. I adore everyone in my team so much, it is a nice little work family and we all get along really well and support each other as much as we can.  

What have been the biggest challenges?
Having to adapt from one role to the next, when they were very different roles. Also going into the Referrals Coordinator role was one of my biggest challenges as I am a very shy person, and get quite a lot of anxiety in new settings and around big crowds so having to deal with new people every day and taking minutes for our weekly meetings was difficult for me at first, but I got on with it.

Why did you choose an apprenticeship with ELFT?
My Mum actually always told me to go into Admin because I did not really know what to do with myself after College as University was just not an option as it has never interested me. So I started looking more into the apprenticeship route and found it would benefit me more especially that you’re getting paid whilst you learn. What caught my interest was the fact Forensic Photography was something I was always interested in, so I thought why not try Forensic Mental Health and it is probably one of the best things I have decided to do.

A new apprentice role is now open with ELFT, as an Apprentice Administrator. Click here to apply for the Apprentice Administrator Role by Wednesday, 16 January 2019.