NAME, AGE AND JOB ROLE
Name: Christopher Whyte
Job Role: Health Informatics Business Support Apprentice
WHICH TYPE OF APPRENTICESHIP ARE YOU DOING OR HAVE YOU COMPLETED?
Level 2 in IT User Skills [Intermediate] – Completed 2017
Level 3 Software Development Technician [Advanced] – Started 2017
WHO DO YOU WORK FOR AND WHAT DO THEY DO?
I work for Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which runs:
- Blackpool Victoria Hospital
- Clifton Hospital and Fleetwood Hospital
- Wesham Hospital Rehabilitation Unit
- The National Artificial Eye Service
- Blenheim House Child Development Centre
- Community health services for North Lancashire.
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO BECOME AN APPRENTICE?
I chose to become an apprentice because I definitely knew that I was not suited to all day classroom learning. Being an apprentice means that I still get to do some classroom learning, but I also get to use what I’m learning in every day real world situations (and get paid for it).
Also, I wanted to progress a career in IT with software development, which itself is a very fast changing sector. Taking the University route would have meant that I may have missed out on current techniques or programs or methods used now. Having the ability to work with what’s available and to grow as the sector grows means that I can more fully understand what I’m working with and what can be done with it.
WHAT DOES YOUR DAY IN YOUR WORK LIFE INVOLVE?
As of writing this, I get to help design, maintain and update some hospital systems that are used by various members of staff. These systems have the sole purpose of allowing staff to make better use of their time, by allowing them to spend less time writing out the same information over and over again, as well as to communicate between each other more efficiently.
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY AND WHAT IS THE BEST THING ABOUT BEING AN APPRENTICE?
For me, it has to be the sense of community. Before I came here I felt a little more isolated than I’m used to, so now after getting to know quite a few of my colleagues (medical and non-medical), it feels more comfortable coming into work and asking for help (occasionally).
WHAT ARE YOUR CAREER PLANS AND WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE DOING IN 5 YEARS’ TIME?
I want to do something big, but I haven’t figured out my ground-breaking idea yet. I would love to have my own business at some point in my life, and develop something that becomes a “house-hold name” in various countries or revolutionises the world in some way.
In 5 years’ time, I would love to be in a managerial position with the NHS, after having a couple of years using my programming skills to develop a few systems to make the hospital environment flow more smoothly.
WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT?
In my own life, I’ve always planned ahead with a lot of things. To be truthful, my greatest achievement hasn’t happened yet but I know for sure it’s coming.
GIVE US ONE FUN FACT ABOUT YOURSELF!
I was born in Perth, Scotland and raised in Glengormley, Northern Ireland. Now I live in Blackpool, England, so you could say I’m an Irish Scottish Man in England near Wales. (Probably not a fun fact, but I thought it was neat)
WHAT IS THE BEST PIECE OF ADVICE YOU WOULD GIVE TO SOMEONE THINKING ABOUT BECOMING AN APPRENTICE?
I would say to consider every option available to them. However, I could also show them this little table I made:
|No Loans to repay||UK Average £44K Debt at the end to pay off|
|Qualifications and Experience||More Qualifications than Experience|
|Ability to stay employed with current business||Have to start looking for a job|
|Paid a Salary WHILE learning||No Salary, but a huge loan|