Degree apprenticeship leads to promotion for public health professional
This week (Monday 6 February – Sunday 12 February) is National Apprenticeship Week. The theme this year is ‘Skills for Life’, with the week bringing together businesses and apprentices throughout the nation, to promote the skills you can develop to help build your future.
Here at the University of Salford, we are celebrating by sharing the stories of some of our fantastic apprentices. Jim McGlynn is studying a Public Health Practitioner Apprenticeship Degree. The apprenticeship was offered by his employer, Bury Council, and he felt it would support his career pathway.
The return to studying was something he was initially unsure about, he says. “At first, I found it very challenging as I had been out of formal education for some years, but the wrap around support from the university and the course lecturers has been second to none and they have helped me to adapt. The content is very interesting and aligns with my work, and I have enjoyed using the academic learning in my job role.”
Jim explains he is most proud of passing the modules and submitting his portfolio. “I do not class myself as an ‘academic’ person and have to be really engaged in a subject in order to absorb information. So, to be able to tell people that I am now in my second year at university are words I never thought I would hear myself say!”
As well as the achievement of completing university study, Jim has also been successful in getting a promotion at work in recognition of his efforts. “Due to a timely restructure within our own Public Health Team, I have had the opportunity to successfully apply for the role of Public Health Practitioner for Mental Health and Wellbeing. This wouldn’t have been possible if I hadn’t been engaging in an appropriate professional qualification in public health, due to the application criteria.”
In the future, Jim wants to continue working in public health. “I hope to utilise all my learning to build a reputation of being an excellent Public Health Practitioner and to really make a difference to my local community. Also, to keep up with CPD to maintain and increase my knowledge around Public Health topics.”
And what advice would he give anyone considering a degree apprenticeship for themselves? “You must be wholly invested in doing the degree, do not take it lightly. There is a lot of work that needs to be completed, and although support is available, you must be able to also work on your own initiative. Make sure you will be supported fully by your employer throughout your studies and think carefully about the time commitment needed to complete the work!”
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