Not only has he gained new skills and knowledge to progress his career, but it has also opened up exciting possibilities for the future.
Level 5 HR Apprentice John Norton
Tell us about your role
I currently work as the Divisional Recruitment and Retention Lead for Specialist Services at University Hospital Southampton (UHS). I look after the majority of the recruitment for four specialties (Radiology, Trauma and Orthopaedics, Neuroscience, and Cardiovascular and Thoracic surgery) with a main focus on nursing and allied health professions. I joined UHS in 2013 as an HR recruitment Administrator and I have progressed since.
What is your previous career experience?
I have previously worked in various administrative roles in the NHS while studying for a law degree in the evenings. On completion, I decided not to pursue a legal career but to branch out and follow a career in HR where my degree would be useful.
What prompted you to become an apprentice?
As an apprentice, the majority of the learning is done on the job which I found appealing. Also working for a levy paying organisation meant the apprenticeship could be fully funded.
What is your experience of the programme?
I have nothing but positive things to say about my apprenticeship. It has been absolutely brilliant. My adviser Evelyn Thurley and all the webinar tutors are exceptional. I have been out of education for a long time, but Evelyn has always been supportive and accessible. Her guidance and support are invaluable. Watson Martin’s VLE is very user friendly and has links to all the resources I need. I am just about to complete my CIPD Level 5 qualification and I’m on track to finish the apprenticeship at the end of March.
How do you manage the 20% off-the-job studying time?
My line manager has been very supportive. I have one day a week dedicated to the 20%. As I work autonomously, I found this approach most practical.
What new skills and knowledge have you developed to support your role?
The programme has enabled me to have a better understanding of people practice, business acumen and evidence based practice.
Has the apprenticeship improved your work?
I measure this question in terms of the feedback I have received from other colleagues and management which has been very positive.
What are your ultimate career aims?
I have a passion for community engagement and empowerment. I freelance as a community engagement officer and the apprenticeship has been useful in strengthening core knowledge and behaviours.
What is your top tip to others thinking about starting an HR or L&D apprenticeship programme?
Just do it! Watson Martin’s apprenticeship programme has been inspiring. It has opened my mind to other opportunities and has been a real gamechanger. Evelyn is always reminding me to reflect on everything so I can learn from today what I can improve tomorrow. I don’t know what the future holds but I am very glad I did it!
Inspired by John’s story? Progress your career by enrolling on an apprenticeship programme with Watson Martin today!