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Apprenticeships - Administrative and clerical

This page outlines the opportunities for external candidates interested in direct entry apprenticeships in administrative and clerical roles.

Please also see Direct Entry Apprenticeships

For opportunities for existing staff please see the HR Consult pages on Connect.

Administration roles and opportunities

There are various roles in administration in the NHS that span a range of functions and services; important services which make staff members a part of the wider healthcare team. Administration as a job type is a very broad term and can include entry level roles up to senior management roles.

The apprenticeship standard undertaken for the related apprenticeship, and role occupied, aims to develop a highly transferable set of knowledge, skills and behaviours that can be applied in a variety of situations and sectors Apprenticeships in administration contribute to the efficiency of a department, developing time management, organisational skills and being a team member. Duties might include using IT and admin skills to update information, using the patient information system (EPIC), word, excel and other bespoke systems.

Depending on where the apprenticeship role is based it might include reception duties, preparing clinic letters, updating spreadsheets, assisting with diary management, ordering goods and financial duties etc.

The flexibility and responsiveness required allows an apprentice to develop a wide range of skills. In a customer service role, an apprentice might be working in the Contact Centre, an office or clinical environment.

These roles are usually the first point of contact for anyone who contacts the hospital. You may be dealing with patients or relatives, other hospital staff, or other stakeholders such as external health services or suppliers to the hospital providing face-to-face communication, telephone correspondence and emails. Finance staff may be based in office areas within the hospital or offsite.

You will work closely with other admin colleagues. You may also work with clinical and non-clinical managers.

You may be dealing with the day to day queries from departments, assisting with or producing the upload of figures for the month end process, assist with producing reports, handling payments for goods, arrange payment of invoices or supporting the payroll function of finance.

If you work within the Payroll department the main duties may include gathering, creation and processing of payroll-related information to ensure employees are paid on time and accurately as well as internal and external reporting of Payroll information.

There are opportunities for development following appointment into a permanent post; we have many staff who have advanced at CUH following their initial apprenticeship in a wide variety of roles including posts within administration, human resources, finance and line management, and others who have moved across into clinical job roles.

We have provided information about a previous apprentice and their development at the end of this page. You will find below a summary of the types of administration apprenticeships that CUH can offer.

Types of administration apprenticeships

Customer Service Apprenticeships

The Level 2 roles are recruited to on a regular basis throughout the year. For all current vacancies go to our Current Vacancies page and click on Administration or Apprenticeships page. For the level 3 apprenticeship you may need to gain a permanent job role at CUH first.

Customer Services Practitioner (Level 2)

Apprenticeship Duration: 18 months

This is one of our most popular non-clinical apprenticeships. This is regularly offered to external candidates wanting to start their first customer service or admin based job role. This can also be offered to internal staff who need to up-skill with the qualification.

Customer Service Specialist (Level 3)

Apprenticeship Duration: 18 - 24 months

This is a good step up from the level 2 Customer Service qualification or someone with some existing customer service experience who can supervise or mentor others. This is usually offered to existing staff.

Business Administration apprenticeships

These roles are recruited to on a regular basis throughout the year. For all current vacancies go to our Current Vacancies page and click on Administration or Apprenticeships page.

Business Administrator (Level 3)

Apprenticeship Duration: 18 -24 months

This is offered to external candidates who require a more administrative based qualification rather than customer service. They can be based in a range of departments. The job role is more demanding than within a level 2 role, where it requires the candidates to run a project and supervise or mentor others, which might include people on work experience or volunteers. This is also offered to existing staff as well as direct entry.

Finance and Payroll apprenticeships

These roles are recruited to on an ad-hoc basis when there is a vacancy. For all current vacancies go to our Current Vacancies page and click on administration or Apprenticeships page.

Accounts / Finance Assistant (Level 2)

Apprenticeship Duration: 15 months

This includes a Foundation Certificate in Accounting for AAT. This role is available to external candidates when there is a vacancy available.

Assistant Accountant ( Level 3)

Apprenticeship Duration: 18-24 months

This includes a level 1 qualification in book-keeping and an AAT Advanced Diploma in Accounting. This role is available to external candidates when there is a vacancy.

Payroll Administrator Apprenticeship (Level 3)

Apprenticeship Duration: 18-24 months

Whilst studying this apprenticeship candidates will be able to register as a student member with the Global Payroll Association (GPA) and the Chartered Institute of Payroll Professionals (CIPP) This is a new offer to the Trust and currently and may be offered to external candidates as well as being available to existing staff already within the department.

Apprenticeship Stories

Below is a selection of stories that show you how some of our previous apprentice's have developed.

Marc - Workforce Co-ordinator

Listen to Marc talk about his journey (opens in a new tab) from an apprenticeship in Recruitment to a Manager in Estates and what is involved in his role.

Megan - Directorate Support Manager

Directorate Support Manager Megan explains more about her CUH Career journey, starting with her apprenticeship with the Paediatric Day Unit.

Listen to Megan's story here (opens in a new tab).

James - Service Manager

James describes his journey at CUH and the training he has completed starting with an apprenticeship, working his way up in administration. James now oversees the Opthalmology department. Once you start in an administration post, there is a variety of career pathways available to you.

Listen to James' story here (opens in a new tab).

Josh - Communications

Listen to Josh talk about his journey into an apprenticeship and his progression in his career so far (opens in a new tab).

Working as Digital Marketing Apprentice during 2020

My official role is Digital Communications Apprentice – it’s always been difficult to tell people what I actually do at work, but with the Covid-19 healthcare crisis the role of Communications has become increasingly recognised in the hospital and hopefully outside the NHS too.

There are a huge range of non-clinical departments, not just at CUH but almost every trust in the country, and they all complete important tasks related to the medical practices which clinical staff undertake.

For example, our role in communications is split into individual teams who handle different areas:

  • My role within the Digital Team revolves around our website, social media, and other digital channels.
  • Our internal team manages staff comms, such as daily newsletters, bulletins, wider staff meetings/events, etc. ]
  • The external team talk to press, the media, external companies, and regional NHS teams to ensure that our trust maintains a good reputation.

It sounds like a lot, and it is! Our team works hard to ensure that the correct information is always being communicated to the relevant people, whether than be information on how to get to your appointment on the website, a CUH interview on the evening news, or helpful advice on staying safe, all this information runs comes from or runs through the communications team.

As a department we work very closely with other areas of our hospital, especially upper levels of management, when important announcements must be made around our visiting policy and staff safety, this has become a lot more important during the Covid-19 crisis.

Not only has it been fantastic to meet more people outside of my department, but interesting to understand what is happening at the higher levels of non-clinical departments. Had I not been in this role or within the NHS, I’m not sure I would’ve had the opportunity to take on so many different projects and improve my skillset so quickly, and whilst I would have been within a similar role, it would have been in a completely different environment, where there are a lot more constraints and fewer opportunities to not only experiment but work with different people.

Until my interview I didn’t know what to expect from this position, but a lot of people don’t when it comes to NHS non-clinical roles, but like any organisation or business, each NHS trust has lots of different moving parts that rely on each other to deliver patient care.

In an increasingly digital world especially, the need for Communications and specifically my role in Digital Communications is extremely important, and I am quite proud with some of the short-term digital solutions we have implemented as a team over the Covid-19 crisis.

There’s really a big range of opportunities to learn in a field that interests you within the NHS, and from an apprenticeship you are near guaranteed to also discover something new you enjoy that you never thought you would. It’s really fantastic for young people to gain a qualification as well as workplace skills in a world where you seemingly need more and more experience for most ‘average’ job roles.

I’m looking to stay within the same area at CUH if an opportunity arises after my apprenticeship, if not then I would be up for a new challenge at another Trust within the same field of communications. Regardless of going into a new role at CUH or elsewhere, I have been assured that I will receive support to get me wherever I want to be Working within my role has helped me decided what path I would like to go down over the next few years.

Heather - Service Manager in Digestive Diseases

I joined Addenbrooke’s in 2010 starting in an entry level apprentice role. I worked as a clinic receptionist apprentice on Clinic 7, Dermatology and Plastic Surgery, whilst working towards my level 2 apprenticeship in Business and Administration.

I was offered a permanent position within six months of joining, when a band 2 vacancy came up and was able to complete my course alongside it.

I then went onto complete my level 3 apprenticeship in Business and Administration. Between then and my current role, I have worked in many roles in the hospital from band 2 to band 6, which include: Clinic Receptionist, Office Secretary, Waiting List Surgery Booker, Pathway Tracker, Clinic Co-ordinater and Directorate Support Manager. I am now a Band 7 Service Manager in Digestive Diseases and love working in the hospital.

I have done several internal courses that have been available to me over the years at Addenbrooke’s and in the last few years have completed my ILM Leadership and Management course and the Mary Seacole (opens in a new tab) NHS leadership course.

I would definitely recommend the apprenticeship route to anyone. I think apprenticeships are great if you are like me and never really enjoyed solely exam based learning, I wanted to learn and earn money at the same time.

I have had existing staff carry out their level 3 and level 4 apprenticeships which has been great to enable them to gain further development and a better qualification to help them progress into other roles within the trust.

Seeing continuous development on an application form is something I look for as a manager.

I am proud that I have started off as an apprentice and worked my way up to the level I am now and I know this is something my manager is very proud of too.