Apprenticeship Spurs Charlotte to Dream Promotion

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A receptionist who rose through the ranks to Operations Support Manager at a growing healthcare company has described how an Apprenticeship kick-started her career.

Charlotte Gurd, 42, was sceptical about the value of Apprenticeships – thinking they were “just for young people”.

But having completed an Apprenticeship in Management with City College Plymouth she has just been appointed Operations Support Manager at Beacon Medical Group – putting her new-found skills to work in managing three team leaders at the network of GP practices.

She said: “My employers wanted to upskill and invest in the reception management team, so they contacted City College Plymouth.

“I always thought Apprenticeships were just for young people but after meeting our assessor – who was absolutely amazing – I was sold.

“It was quite overwhelming in the beginning, being faced with all the modules and tasks, but you can see yourself ticking them as you go and your attitude changes from ‘I can’t do this’ to ‘I am doing this’ – I really enjoyed learning again!”

Charlotte completed a Level 3 Management Apprenticeship studying functional skills in maths and IT alongside her course. She had been working in healthcare for 15 years and was a key part of developing Beacon’s reception management team – a demanding role working across the group’s busy GP surgeries serving 43,000 patients in the Plymouth area.

Charlotte was one of the 38% of those studying for Apprenticeships in 2017/18 aged 25 or over and an example of the value of ‘adult Apprenticeships’.

She said: “My lecturers made the maths relevant to my everyday life, the examples they gave were calculations I used day-to-day. In the lead-up to our exams my lecturer organised extra sessions to make us all feel more confident – I was so ecstatic when I found out I had passed.

“I can’t thank Beacon enough for giving me the opportunity. I’m already seeing the benefits – just eight months after completing my Apprenticeship I was promoted to Operations Support Manager. I was able to refer to my new knowledge and skills in my interview.”

Charlotte is now planning to start a Level 5 Management Apprenticeship and has been promoting Apprenticeships to her new team.

“I want to encourage older people to consider this pathway as a way to help them grow and develop in their careers,” she added.

Zoe Trevascus, HR and Training Manager for Beacon Medical Group, said: “A pivotal part of any GP team is receptionists and the team needed strong, dynamic confident team leads who were able to support and develop the service.

“We looked for an appropriate training qualification that fitted in around their daily role and City College Plymouth provided us with an Apprenticeship framework that enabled Charlotte to fly.

“Not only has she developed her own skills and confidence, she was ready to apply for and step into a newly created management role just as we needed her.”

To discover how the College can help support you or your organisation’s training needs, please contact the College’s Business Engagement Team on 01752 305026 or e-mail [email protected].