Brierley Park Medical Centre

“APPRENTICESHIPS ARE MUCH MORE ACCESSIBLE THESE DAYS, WHICH IS FANTASTIC NEWS FOR A BUSINESS LIKE BRIERLEY PARK"

A long-established medical centre is embracing the qualities which apprentices bring to practice life and to patient care.

Lorraine Walton, assistant practice manager at Brierley Park Medical Centre, in Huthwaite, has welcomed the attributes of apprentices at the busy surgery, where she has worked at for almost 25 years.

Originally based on New Street, it relocated to a £2.9m modern, purpose-built facility on Sutton Road three years ago.

And with the new building came leading-edge technologies and new staff.

Lorraine said: “We employ 25 staff members including doctors, nurses, receptionists and administration staff. Traditionally, doctors’ surgeries have tended to employ more mature staff as receptionists, so it’s been great to welcome younger members to our team lately.”

Trainee receptionist Emily Gascoigne, 19, is one of those new recruits. Recruited through Vision Apprentices, Emily is studying the NVQ Level 2 in Customer Service, which she is close to completing.

Lorraine said: “Having the opportunity to work with Emily and support her in achieving her qualification, while also helping her to understand a busy medical practice like ours and the systems and processes we use, is very rewarding.

“Emily’s a real asset to the surgery in terms of her skills and abilities; bringing new ideas and innovation to the workplace, which really enhances how we operate.”

Brierley Park has already had success in employing two apprentices through Vision Apprentices, both of whom also studied the customer service apprenticeship upon joining the surgery. At the end of each apprenticeship both were successful in securing permanent positions at the practice.

Lorraine said: “Both thrived in their apprenticeships and we are confident in Emily’s abilities, and are enjoying seeing her make the same progress. She’s working very well in dealing with the public, answering telephone calls, responding to enquiries and making appointments for patients, as well as across a whole range of other administration duties.

“Not only is she hard-working and contributing to the running of the business, she’s also paving a way for her future career. Emily is getting real-life work experience and boosting her learning.”

Emily, from South Normanton, is looking forward to progressing onto the Level 3 apprenticeship later this year. The teenager values the experience she’s had in the job so far, and insists this is preparing her for an even brighter future.

She said: “I feel really lucky that I’ve learnt so many aspects of administration and customer service which, going forwards, will give me lots of career opportunities to explore. I can either go down the medical secretarial route, or the reception and customer service route.

“Everyone I work with, both at the practice and with Vision Apprentices, are really helpful and are encouraging me to get the most out of my apprenticeship.”

Lorraine is pleased to see apprenticeships once again receiving the recognition and status they deserve; forming a key strand of the government’s plans for jobs, training and growth.

She said: “In past times, apprenticeships somehow became a less popular option for young people and I believe a lot of good trades and specialist skills were lost in that era. It’s marvellous to see the profile of apprenticeships, and the study avenues and vocational options open to young people, being valued once again.

“Apprenticeships are much more accessible these days, which is fantastic news for a business like Brierley Park – and for an enthusiastic person such as Emily, who is keen to learn and carve out a rewarding career.”

To find out more about the benefits of taking on an apprentice, call us on 0800 121 8317