A chat with Daniel Wintle
In early 2019, we had placed an advert on NHS Jobs to recruit our next batch of apprentices. Daniel’s Mum Louise, who works within our host Trust MPFT at Haywood Hospital, had seen this and noticed that some work experience was an essential requirement for application, so she contacted us to find out how Daniel could arrange this, with a view to him applying for an apprenticeship.
As Daniel had already completed a number of IT qualifications including HNC in Applied IT (merit), he was encouraged to apply for the apprenticeships anyway. After submitting an excellent application he was shortlisted for interview. Whilst he was not offered an apprenticeship on this occasion, he was such a strong applicant that we decided to retain him on the Trust’s ‘Talent Pool’ for any future vacancies, following some work experience, which would help Daniel to understand the culture of the NHS and specifically the role of IT within the NHS.
Daniel’s work experience took place from 1st to 5th April and he spent time with our IT Teams gaining an insight into the services they provide.
For the remainder of 2019, Daniel kept in regular touch, whilst enhancing his skills and knowledge, by undertaking voluntary work and temporary jobs. At the same time, we ensured he was kept up to date with news of any upcoming opportunities which he could potentially take advantage of.
By December 2019 we were ready to start recruitment of the next batch of apprentices and because Daniel had been retained on the Talent Pool from the previous March, we were able to immediately set a start date for him without the need for further application or interview.
Daniel commenced with S&SHIS 2nd Line on Monday 6th January 2020 and because he’s able to drive, is already actively engaged in delivering and setting up of IT equipment throughout Staffordshire and Shropshire.
The S&SHIS Work Experience and Apprenticeship processes have enabled Daniel to understand the culture of S&SHIS and wider NHS as well as gain the necessary knowledge and experience to apply for more senior and permanent roles within IT.
Read about Daniel’s experience below.
How did you hear about the S&SHIS Work Experience Programme?
Through applying for my apprenticeship. I heard it being mentioned when I was being interviewed.
How did you find the application process to apply for work experience with S&SHIS?
I don’t recall applying for work experience, but the application process for the apprenticeship was straightforward enough, and I don’t think the application form asked any questions that were unnecessary or too difficult to answer.
Which team(s) did you work with during your work experience?
Mostly 2nd line engineers with a bit of 1st line added in. I have a driver’s license, so they made it a priority to get me working with 2nd line as much as possible.
Did you feel your work experience was well planned – what did we do well and is there anything you feel we could have done better?
I thought the work experience was well planned for someone that wanted to apply for 2nd line. In retrospect I do wish it lasted for another week and that I got more time to spend outside in the van, but as a whole I was quite happy with how it was organised.
Did you feel that you were made to feel welcome and well supported during your placement with S&SHIS?
All the staff I worked with were very supportive and did their best to make me feel both welcome and involved.
What were the highlights of your work experience with S&SHIS – what aspects did you enjoy the most?
I personally enjoyed just going out with the engineers to all these different health centres and surgeries and getting an understanding of what the culture of the NHS workplace is like. It also feels both satisfying and rewarding when you can deal with their problems face to face and have them express their gratitude to you in person.
How do you feel this work experience helped you to secure your current role with S&SHIS?
It helped give me a better understanding of what the role involves before going in to my apprenticeship, and it gave me a chance to become familiar and get on good terms with the people that I would be working with.
How did you find the application and interview process for your apprenticeship? Is there anything we could have done better to help you?
Nothing springs to mind honestly. I have always struggled with interviews to some degree, but that’s mostly due to my lack of experience with them as well as my Asperger’s hindering both my self-confidence and social skills.
Since commencing your apprenticeship, what have you learnt so far and do you feel you’ve had adequate support to achieve?
So far I’ve learnt how to build machines for the NHS, how to set up docking stations, ITIL, and how CMDB, SCCM and Active Directory work. I’ve had lots of support from the staff and they’ve all been very friendly towards me.
With regards to your apprenticeship qualification, what feedback could you offer to NSCG (Newcastle College)
With course content:-
Not much that I can think of. I think some of the questions for some of the units can be vague, but my tutor’s been able to support me whenever I feel like I’m struggling.
With tutor support:-
Nothing negative. It was a struggle to get in touch with her at first, but besides that she’s been very nice, generous and supportive. She’s a wonderful tutor.
What advice could you offer to anyone else interested in a career in IT?
Make applying for an IT course your first priority. Go for a degree if you think it’ll help improve your chances of getting your dream job, but don’t neglect your CV.
There’s plenty of voluntary IT jobs out there that will give you an idea of what working in IT is like, and they’ll let employers know how far you’re willing to go in order to secure an IT position for yourself.