Pamela Crehan was one of our 2021 Apprenticeship Award winners, having taken home the Award for Exceptional Contribution for her outstanding work during her time at St Helens and Knowsley Hospital NHS Trust. After completing her Apprenticeship, Pamela started her studies at Liverpool John Moores University and is currently working towards gaining a Nursing degree which she hopes to use to return to the hospital in a new role.
We got in touch with her to find out how she’s getting on a year after her award win…
Q. Hi Pamela, lovely to catch up with you! Do you mind telling us a bit more about your Apprenticeship at Cheshire College?
A. My Apprenticeship was a Level 3 Healthcare Support Diploma, which I studied at the hospital I had previously worked in – St Helens and Knowsley Hospital NHS Trust. My employer funded my Apprenticeship, so I decided to take the opportunity to better my knowledge and increase my job prospects. I have now completed the Apprenticeship and I’m in my second year at Liverpool John Moores University studying a Nursing degree.
Q. What made you pursue this Apprenticeship in particular?
A. I worked as a Health Care Assistant before I started the Apprenticeship and I was accustomed and enjoyed working in the sector, so I knew that this was the area I wanted to work in. The course taught me how much extra knowledge there is to understand and has enabled me to study at university to become a nurse, which I didn’t think was possible beforehand.
Q. What new skills and knowledge did you learn during your Apprenticeship?
A. I knew a lot about healthcare in the hospital before I started the programme from my years working on site, however I learnt so much academically through the Apprenticeship. It taught me how to research and use articles as well as study modules, which has been invaluable preparation for the university study I am now doing. I may return to the hospital to work after I have gained my nursing qualification, as I loved learning on the job as an Apprentice there.
Q. How did Cheshire College – South & West support your journey?
A. My assessor was great; she was always available and offered me support regularly. It was comforting to know that she was only a phone call away and there to help me out if I ever needed it.
Q. How did it feel winning an Apprenticeship Award last year?
A. It completely took me by surprise, I didn’t know that there was an award for Apprentices. I was so happy to be nominated and I’m really glad that I had the opportunity to do the programme at my workplace where I had the support of my colleagues.
Q. Why should other learners consider an Apprenticeship?
A. It’s a good way to take your career in the direction of your choosing and it opens doors to you. The knowledge you gain from working practically through an Apprenticeship teaches you things that aren’t teachable in a classroom. You learn things that you didn’t know you needed!
Q. Do you have any wise words or advice for the winners of this year’s Awards?
A. My advice would be to always pursue your dreams. You’ve got to make things work for you and open the door to all opportunities that are presented to you. It’s never too late to follow your dreams.
You can find out more about Apprenticeships at Cheshire College – South & West here.
Throughout this week Cheshire College has been shining a spotlight on Apprenticeships as part of National Apprenticeship Week! To see what we’ve been up to, and this year’s Apprenticeship Award winners, head over to the College’s social media accounts.