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An apprenticeship was just what the doctor ordered for Alisha

A desire to be independent, earn her own money and learn new skills all motivated Alisha Shackleton to undertake a City & Guilds apprenticeship in Business Administration – and she’s never looked back!

Alisha, who is 19, works as a medical secretary at the Oakside Surgery in Plymouth.

She enjoyed how the Level 3 apprenticeship – supervised by regional training experts Swatpro Academy - helped her do her job and understand best practice.

“I liked learning while in work because I felt productive, I would come in each day and get stuck in because I wanted to learn the different aspects of the job I was doing,” she explains.

Her dedication has earned her a distinction in her City & Guilds End Point Assessment – and the admiration of her employers who are keen for Alisha to work in a variety of roles and progress with them.

“By doing this apprenticeship I can already see how much this has helped my future,” she notes.

Working in the practice wasn’t her first choice, post GCSEs.

Alisha says she had no definite career plans and she did a beauty course at a college which, though enjoyable, she realised was not her true vocation.

“I now wish that I could go back and choose the apprenticeship I wanted first so then I could've furthered my career even more by now, but I believe that everything happens for a reason and one day I will get to where I want to be even if that takes a little bit of time.”

She is full of praise for her Swatpro Academy trainer/assessor Stacy Harrall-Phillips.

“I couldn’t have gotten through this apprenticeship if it wasn’t for Stacy - she stood by me every step of the way.

“No matter how much I struggled she was always there to help me, put my mind at ease and nothing was ever too much.”

Asked if she’d recommend an apprenticeship, she doesn’t hesitate: “I would say go for it!

“I feel that although I'm still young, I have already gained a lot of knowledge and experience.

“If in the future I ever want to find a career outside of healthcare, but still in business administration, then I'm one step ahead and I feel I have more of a chance."

An apprenticeship was just what the doctor ordered for Alisha