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Nursing an ambition? Apprenticeships can help!


Gemma Forster will be the first to admit that the academic atmosphere of formal education didn’t suit her.

She was diagnosed with ADHD – a condition that made focusing on schoolwork difficult at times.

However, 18-year-old Gemma harboured an ambition to work in nursing and thanks to training with Swatpro partner the Royal Devon & Exeter NHS Foundation Trust she has taken huge strides in launching her career.

Gemma was one of 25 new recruits taken on by RD&E last year to undertake an Apprenticeship Standards qualification as a Healthcare Assistant. She works at Exmouth Community Hospital.

“We are very proud of Gemma. She has become a truly excellent Healthcare Assistant,” says Claudia Trick RD&E’s Lead in Vocational Training.

“She did very well with the clinical side of her training, has shown an excellent attitude and has had plenty of help and support with the classroom learning from specialist trainers and her colleagues at Exmouth,” Claudia adds.

It’s the kind of one-on-one specialised help that the experienced training providers in Swatpro excel at – and help that in Gemma’s case has paid dividends.

Gemma received a merit in her end-point assessment and will now work as a Senior Healthcare Assistant in the acute wards of one of RD&E’s busy Exeter hospitals.

Ultimately, she hopes to be able to become a fully qualified Nurse and would like to eventually work with children in paediatric care.

In the meanwhile, Gemma’s dedication has been recognised by her winning a People’s Choice Clinician award in RD&E’s Extraordinary People contest.

Gemma won the annual prize after being voted for by staff and patients at Exmouth and members of the public. All more proof that Apprenticeship Standards and an experienced Swatpro training provider can be a fast route to going places.

By being a Swatpro partner, RD&E benefits from the wealth of experience and shared good practice from the leading training providers in the South-West.

“It allows us to deliver the very best training opportunities to our staff,” Claudia concludes.

Nursing an ambition? Apprenticeships can help!