Laura’s Apprenticeship Journey to a Distinction

Hello, my name is Laura. I’m currently employed as an Assistant HR Business Partner at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital King’s Lynn NHS Foundation Trust. I started my Level 5 HR Consultant/Partner apprenticeship with Blue Sky in September 2018, and passed with Distinction in February 2020.


        What does your role involve?

In my current role I provide HR support to the Division of Medicine. I provide general HR advice to managers and employees on routine HR issues, HR policies and procedures, and terms and conditions of service. I also provide HR representation at formal meetings relating to sickness absence, disciplinary matters, and other employee relations casework. In addition, I currently coordinate the job matching process at the Trust, deliver training sessions, and sit on interview panels.


        What was the apprenticeship process like?

Having never completed an apprenticeship before, I was not quite sure what to expect! Overall, the whole process was very easy to follow, with clear milestones/ achievement goals to work towards. The online portfolio took some getting used to, but a member of the Blue Sky team was always contactable if I needed help or advice.

In addition to face to face progress reviews, I also had regular telephone contact with Kate. This was really useful for the nitty gritty HR parts of my course. The nature of the apprenticeship standard also gave me the flexibility to tailor my assignments. This enabled me to include things that I am particularly interested in.


        What is the best thing you’ve learnt?

The whole apprenticeship experience has given me much more confidence in myself, regarding both written pieces of work and taking the lead on HR projects/ initiatives. It has also provided me with a really solid foundation of knowledge in areas such as employment legislation.


        What are you most proud about?

I am extremely proud to have achieved a Distinction for my apprenticeship, and hope this will set me apart from other candidates for future promotional opportunities. I am also very pleased with how my End Point Assessment project turned out – I designed and carried out a staff survey on absence, and then used the results to create a training package for managers (with an aim of reducing staff absence in their departments).


        What would your advice be for those considering an apprenticeship?

You definitely need to be self-motivated to complete an apprenticeship. It is so much more flexible than doing a traditional degree (having done both). Also don’t be afraid to ask questions and utilise the expertise of the Blue Sky Development Advisors – they know what they’re talking about!


        What are your next learning steps?

I am going to spend the next few months putting what I have learnt into practice. I then will be looking to complete my CIPD Level 7 qualification.


Finally, a big thank you to everybody at Blue Sky who has supported me throughout my apprenticeship. I look forward to working with you again in the future!


The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, King’s Lynn

Published 24/04/2020 & Filed in Blue Sky Blog