Publish date: 2 February 2024

A senior member of staff has told how an apprenticeship led to exciting leadership opportunities at the Trust.

James Hudson is a senior crisis care practitioner working in the Hounslow Assessment and Treatment Team.

He started working for the Trust in 2020 after moving back to London and was offered the role of Band 6 crisis care practitioner.

He said: "Since starting work at the Trust I would regularly check on the weekly Training Matters emails sent by the Learning and Development team. On one of the emails there was an invite to join an online presentation on the Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship hosted by the University of West London.

"It was at this event that I was introduced to the Trust's vocational development and apprenticeship manager who has been my main advocate for my professional development into leadership."

The apprenticeship marked the first time James had studied anything related to healthcare in 15 years.

He joked: "It brought me into contact with professionals from other sectors of the UK economy, from professional rugby union players, video game designers, civil engineers to zookeepers. At the start of the apprenticeship I could never have imagined sharing fitness ideas with professional athletes or asking a zookeeper how they manage to get a vet near the teeth of a tiger for a dental check-up. Bringing all these professionals in one room to work together was an incredible three-year experience in itself."

The qualification James achieved as a Senior Leadership MBA Degree Apprenticeship and said the main benefit has been to his self esteem.

He explained: "It had taken a battering over many years as a result of many failed promotion interviews for management positions.

"In a measurable sense, I have come out of the apprenticeship with a promotion to a Band 7 Senior Crisis Care Practitioner with Ealing Crisis Assessment and Treatment Team in November 2022, a Master of Business Administration MBA) with Merit, and the professional recognition of being a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute (CMgr FCMI)."

CMgr FCMI is the highest status that can be awarded in the management and leadership profession, and recognises individuals with exceptional strategic management and leadership skills.

James added: "An apprenticeship certificate was the icing of the cake of the MBA, it lets everyone know you persevere on an MBA course whilst holding down a full time job. Apprenticeships are all about worthwhile perseverance, and are afforded more respect now than they were 16 years ago when I left school, potentially due to the evolution of the Degree Apprenticeship.”

You can find out more about careers at West London NHS Trust here