This week (6-12 February) is National Apprenticeship Week. It is an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of apprentices and the positive impact they make to communities, businesses, and the wider economy.
As an employer of choice, St Luke’s invests in developing people. We offer apprenticeships across the organisation to give individuals the opportunity to step into a career progressing role and develop their passion.
We wanted to share some stories from our current apprentices and celebrate them and their roles within St Luke’s.
Lewis Kendall, 26, is our Accounts apprentice and joined the organisation in May 2019. An avid golfer for Thurlestone Golf Club, Lewis originally studied Accounting and Finance at University in Swansea, leaving for personal reasons in his second year. However, he soon came across the opportunity to study Accountancy through an Exeter College Apprenticeship with St Luke’s and applied straight away. At the end of last year, he successfully passed his apprenticeship course and last month he also passed the final exam of his Association of Accounting Technicians Diploma.
Lewis reflects back on his first interview with St Luke’s, “I jumped at the opportunity when I saw the apprenticeship as I really enjoyed my time and course at University. My interview with St Luke’s went really well, they gave me a great overall picture of the charity as well as a brief tour of the departments and a chance to meet the team I’d be working with. It was at that moment I knew I wanted to be a part of this great charity and the wonderful service it provides.”
Lewis works within our finance department, the team that are vital when it comes to processing the generous donations we receive.
“When I started I was doing more financial admin tasks, like processing online donations on the fundraising database,” he explains. “As my apprenticeship has gone on my role in the team has evolved to better suit this development. An example of this would be one of my roles now is consolidating data and producing performance reports that are used in the monthly management accounts that are sent to department heads.
“Working for St Luke’s definitely gives me a sense of satisfaction that I don’t think you get if you don’t work for a charity. I feel like the work I do helps to monitor, evaluate and improve the financial position of St Luke’s, therefore contributing to the continuation of the Charity. In terms of the bigger picture I guess the work the Finance Team and I do helps maximise the care we can afford to give to our patients and the support to their families.”
Lewis describes how the apprenticeship has given him the opportunity to learn ‘on the job’, embedding what he learns during his course into his daily practice.
“It’s given me the opportunity to ask questions and apply knowledge learnt from my study leave in the workplace. It’s also been helpful that in asking these questions, my manager and head of department have been able to see how my progression has been going and present me with new responsibilities that coincide with what I’ve been learning. It’s a relationship that’s worked very well and kept my role in the Accounts team really interesting.”
For many school leavers and graduates, the idea of working for a hospice can sound fairly depressing, but working for St Luke’s has given Lewis an insight into the care and services we provide for so many local families.
“I know St Luke’s is extremely admired and respected in the service it provides, but before I started working here I (honestly) will admit I hadn’t had been aware of St Luke’s and the incredible work it does to support end of life patients. In the time I’ve been here I couldn’t commend St Luke’s more in the way it helps its patients and helps support their families and I feel proud that I’ve played a (small) part in it.
“Working at St Luke’s has provided an interesting perspective on my profession. I was the only student in my class that worked outside of a practice so applying the knowledge was sometimes harder than it might have been for others working in another industry or an accountancy firm.
“Since starting, I’ve helped volunteer at our Men’s Day Out and Midnight Walk events. It’s also made me aware of all the ways people raise donations, their enthusiasm in fundraising for us and the stories behind it.
“You feel incredibly proud working for a charity so fondly thought of by so many people.”
If you’re considering a career change or looking to take the next step in developing your role, get in touch with our People Services team to learn more about our apprenticeships and placements. We are currently looking for an IT Apprentice to work alongside our IT team, click here to find out more and apply.
“With the experience I’ve had with St Luke’s I would absolutely recommend an apprenticeship to others, especially if you’re uncertain about going into further education or pursuing a career after GCSE’s and A Levels,” Lewis adds. “It’s the best mix of practical workplace experience and learning I could have hoped for.
“I’ve always felt supported by both my employer and training provider and encouraged to achieve the best results I can in any exams while my knowledge and opinion have been tested in the work place, preparing me for extra responsibilities or the next stage of my career.”
Look out for more of our apprentice’s stories this week…