BNSSG Healthier Together

Apprenticeship stories

Health and social care organisations in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire provide a variety of apprenticeships to attract job seekers with the exciting opportunity of a rewarding career in health and social care and to upskill the current workforce.

Find out about current health and care apprenticeship offers in our area

Watch North Bristol Trust’s video above to find out more about how an apprenticeship can set you on an exciting career path for life.

Feature on Assistant Practitioners Apprenticeship

18 months duration

New developments for this apprenticeship include the apprenticeship adding on extra unit for those who would like to focus on Physiotherapy or Occupational therapy. The course also allows for this who want to go onto to other AHP professions such as Speech and Language and Dietetics to gain extra knowledge in these areas to help support transition onto a Level 6 Degree Apprenticeship in the future.

Cayleigh (pictured) is a Community Support Worker in the South Gloucestershire INT covering 4PCN and Network 4 – and has been with Sirona for 2 years and really enjoys her role and wanted to develop her career with us. She told us:

‘The apprenticeship means that I get to learn a lot of new skills from knowledgeable and experienced colleagues, while also studying for a qualification alongside it. It is hard work but it is absolutely worth it. When I finish this apprenticeship I will aim to work towards an apprenticeship degree in physiotherapy to advance my career further. I know the competition is really high for the Level 6 Degree apprenticeships but having completed the AP L5 I should have much deeper knowledge to support that application.’


Fiona is a Trainee Nurse Associate apprentice working in one of our South Gloucestershire INTS – The Stokes Integrated Network Teams and told us what this meant for her.

‘The apprenticeship has given me access to career progression and education that would have otherwise been impossible for me to access. I am now a year into the TNA programme and I have learnt so much, it’s not easy juggling a young family, work and study but it’s definitely worthwhile. There is so much support available from both work and university. As part of the apprenticeship Fiona as a TNA can deliver some supervised nursing tasks to the people in her area and get full support from her Band 5 and 6 registered nurse colleagues, observing new skills.’

Find out about Trainee Nurse Associate Apprenticeships


Year 2 Physio apprentice (in purple) and his Physio Assessor Jamie, Senior Physiotherapist, both work in the Falls Service.

Ian and his partner also had their first baby boy during the apprenticeship first year so Ian had his plate full on all levels and also experienced the first Physio placement for an apprentice in Childrens Services. Ian told us:

‘The physiotherapy apprenticeship has allowed me to study and gain a qualification that I would not have been able to do otherwise. It has offered me the opportunity to develop myself professionally whilst working full time, which for someone of my age and with a young family this is extremely important to me. I feel very strongly that should the only means of achieving this qualification had been via the traditional route then I would not have been able to undertake it as I’m sure is the case for many others on the apprenticeship programme.
By integrating learning with my full time workload and by having a physiotherapy assessor with whom I already have a good and established professional relationship, I am able to apply my knowledge practically every day as well as feel confident in what I am learning.’


Assistant Practitioner Apprentice – South Gloucestershire INT’s– pictured with Ella OT supervisor and mentor.

We asked Kelly (pictured on left) why she chose to work for Sirona and what her career goals were.

‘I targeted Sirona as a preferred employer as I’d heard they had a really great learning and development programme. I had my eye on the AP apprenticeship right from the start, in the hopes I’ll eventually move onto the OT apprenticeship. My supervisor was fully supportive and even more passionate about this than I was. Now here I am, about 4 months into the AP apprenticeship!’

‘The apprenticeship is definitely stretching me but the training organisation Varsity have been really supportive and obviously want to see their apprentices achieve and work very closely with the Apprentice team. I’m passionate about fellow staff members achieving their goals and reaching their full potential. Given the opportunity I encourage anyone to go for it. What better way to learn is there? On the job, right there in the field and being paid for it!’


Certificate of Excellence – Lisa, Occupational Therapy 2nd year apprentice.

Congratulations to both Lisa and Teresa, who both achieved the UWE Excellent in Placement award for their first placements. Lisa pictured (on the right) with her assessor Kirsty (Senior OT) works in South Bristol Community Hospital in a rehabilitation ward. Lisa, who previously did her Level 5 Assistant Practitioner Apprenticeship with Sirona has worked for Sirona for a number of years and was waiting for the Level 6 to launch and was thrilled to be one of the first to get a place.

‘I feel very fortunate to have a place on the OT apprenticeship, it really is a fantastic opportunity. So far I have loved learning about everything OT as well as meeting some great people on the course.” As part of the 4 year Degree apprenticeship – Lisa attends learning Pods with other apprentices across the area, and working with apprentices from other NHS trusts and employers.’

To find out about the Level 6 OT Degree apprenticeship click here.


Certificate of Excellence – Teresa, Occupational Therapy 2nd year apprentice.

Pictured – Emma – Senior Occupational Therapist, who is happy to support Teresa Pinnell, a 2nd year OT apprentice who also won a Certificate of Excellence from UWE for her 1st placement with AWP Eating Disorder Service. Both work in the South Gloucestershire INT teams.

‘I feel very proud to have had the opportunity of developing my career, by being able to undergo my Occupational Therapy training, this is an area of practice that I’ve been interested in for a long time.’

‘It was only after completing my Assistant Practitioner Apprenticeship (L5) and consolidating my AP role, within my current team that I began to feel confident to go onto aspire to complete my OT training. I feel very well supported by my workplace mentor/colleagues and thoroughly enjoyed my first practice placement, which was in a completely new area of healthcare for me, so it was challenging, but extremely rewarding. I would recommend the apprenticeship pathway to anyone wanting to further their careers and at age 50 now, I would say it’s never too late to do so!’

To find out about the Level 6 OT Degree apprenticeship click here.