National Apprenticeship Week 2024: Skills for Life

For National Apprenticeship Week this year, we are shining a light on the talented apprentices within the Health and Safety Executive and showing the positive impact they have, for both the individual and the organisation.

The theme for National Apprenticeship Week 2024 is “Skills for Life”; reflecting on how apprenticeships can help individuals develop the skills and knowledge required for a rewarding career. But also, how greater use of apprenticeships can help HSE to develop a talented workforce that is equipped with future-ready skills.

We interviewed two apprentices at very different stages of their careers. This is what they had to say…

Anne Strype, Health and Work Branch

Anne Strype in a cap and gown at her graduation
Anne Strype at her Level 6 apprenticeship graduation

My name is Anne Strype. I am a 47-year-old mum of 2 and I have worked as a Policy Advisor in HSE for 15 years.

I never dreamed I would be able to achieve a degree at my stage in life, so when the opportunity was suggested to me (by my line manager at the time) I jumped at the chance.

I did a Level 6 Chartered Management Degree Apprenticeship. This included modules such as Operational Strategy, Project Management, Communications, and Leadership. These areas are highly relevant to a policy role, and I was able to incorporate the skills I have learnt into my work very quickly.

I am not naturally academic, but I tackled it one module and one assignment at a time. I have to admit, it was extremely challenging trying to balance a high-paced policy role, my training with QA, and my family life.

However, as the course progressed, the skills I was learning through my apprenticeship helped me with this, and I have built confidence along the way. I also had great support from my apprenticeship skills coach who was always there for me through the highs and the lows with great advice and guidance.

I am pleased to say I graduated in October 2023 with the Awards Ceremony held at the Southbank Royal Festival Hall in London which was an AMAZING experience!

I am extremely proud of my achievement of a 2:1 in my Degree and Distinction in my Apprenticeship and so grateful for the opportunity that was offered to me by HSE. I highly recommend anyone considering an apprenticeship to go for it. You won’t regret it.

Jake Rutherford, Operational Support

Jake on his second day in the office

I’m Jake Rutherford, I am 18 years old and I started at HSE two days ago!

It’s a bit surreal that I have started my apprenticeship during National Apprenticeship Week, but I’m hoping to get a lot out of this apprenticeship at HSE.

I left college last year and started working in a pub which I did enjoy however it wasn’t regular work and it didn’t provide me with a good work-life balance due to working late nights and weekends. I also couldn’t see a career or longevity, I wanted something that would give me a career.

I spoke to a few family members as my Mum and two of my cousins work in the Civil Service and told me about the apprenticeships they offer. So, I looked on the Civil Service Jobs website and found this administrative support apprenticeship at HSE.

I didn’t know much about health and safety but since starting it’s mind-blowing how much HSE covers from the inspections and investigations to our science and research.

Everyone is very friendly and I haven’t been thrown in the deep end, I’ve felt very supported by my team. I’m excited to get stuck into my role and working the investigations team on their reporting, it sounds so interesting!

As it’s only day three, I’m not entirely sure what my career path within HSE or the Civil Service might be, but I’m excited to see where and what I’ll be doing once I finish my apprenticeship.