I decided to start an apprenticeship with Damar after having no formal qualifications to match a new team leading role. Learning on the job greatly interested me and I wanted to learn new skills that would help me transition smoothly into my new role.

Team leading apprentice at Kingsway Medical Practice

Congratulations to Christina Chadderton, our Apprentice of the Month in April 2017!

Jane Winstanley, Practice Manager at Kingsway Medical Practice nominated Christina for this particular accolade and is full of praise for her:

“Christina is helpful, positive, strong and eager to learn. She has always been a great support to me as her line manager. Christina has been an absolute gift to the practice and despite a great many hurdles has always handled herself and her responsibilities to her team and the practice with grace, efficiency and positivity.  It is a pleasure to work with Christina. I am extremely proud of her and what she has achieved in such a short space of time”.

In her own words, here is Christina’s story…

Why did you decide to start an apprenticeship?

I decided to start an apprenticeship with Damar after having no formal qualifications to match a new team leading role. Learning on the job greatly interested me and I wanted to learn new skills that would help me transition smoothly into my new role. Two of my team members were already completing apprenticeships with Damar and they both found them very interesting and enjoyable.

What was the apprenticeship recruitment process like?

The recruitment process was very straightforward. I met with Debbie Smith, one of Damar’s Business Development Executives and my Line Manager, Jane. We all went through the paperwork together and Debbie explained exactly what I could expect from the course and what was expected of me. I then met with my trainer, Debbie Barker who went through the units and helped me pick the ones that would best suit my role. We then made a clear development plan together so I knew the exact structure of the apprenticeship.

What does your role as an apprentice entail?

My work is evaluated throughout the apprenticeship. My trainer, Debbie assesses my competency in my role by interviewing my colleagues on their opinions on my progress and to gather evidence for my portfolio. I am also assigned coursework to complete for my portfolio. Debbie is available during business hours to answer my questions and to help me if there is any area of my work I am struggling with. We also work through my Personal Development Plan and SMART objectives to assess my progress and how much I have learnt.

What have you enjoyed most about your apprenticeship so far?

I have loved the whole experience. It has been very useful for my job and my progression. What I have found most enjoyable was how supported I felt. If I ever struggled with anything, I could always ask my trainer for help. There was no such thing as a silly question and she made that very clear from day one. I could always email her if I was worried about a piece of work or exam and she would come visit me and go through it with me step by step. This encouraged me and made me feel confident in my work.

Have you got any advice for school leavers looking for the right career path?

I would advise school leavers to consider an apprenticeship. Yes, you gain a qualification and you also get paid, but the most valuable thing is experience in the role. Damar has lots of courses available and having the skills and experience to match your qualification will set you ahead of the rest. It is a win-win situation in my opinion.

How do you feel about winning Apprentice of the Month?

Excited. My trainer, Debbie, rang to let me know as soon as she found out and she was very pleased for me. It made me feel confident in all the work I have done and I felt very proud of myself. Thank You, Damar!

Debbie Barker, Christina’s Damar trainer says:

“Christina has been an exceptional student and has consistently worked to a high standard. She has exceeded expectations within her organisation and has taken to her role as a Team Leader with natural ability. She leads by example and encourages development within her team.  Christina is incredibly supportive, which has resulted in her team having the utmost respect for her. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with Christina over the last 12 months and wish her well as she progresses to her next qualification in management”.

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