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Hafsah aims high to reach her goals


The Trust is celebrating National Apprenticeship Week with the news that Hafsah Rana, one of our Business Administration apprentices, has been shortlisted for the 2019 Public Services People Managers Association (PPMA) Apprentice of the Year award.

As a shortlisted applicant, she will receive two days of personal coaching, development and competition at Warwick University Business School.

Hafsah, who was born at the John Radcliffe Hospital and lives locally with her family in Marston, has been working with a Human Resources team based at the JR since September 2017.

Like many young people, at the end of Sixth Form she was not sure which way to go. University, she felt, was not for her. She looked on national websites for apprenticeships, but it was attending a Recruitment Event for young apprentices held by Oxford University Hospitals that led to her taking up an apprenticeship with the Trust. 

"I had the chance to meet the Apprenticeship Team in person, and that helped me decide that the Trust was the place for me" says Hafsah.

"They nurture you and look after you so much, and you learn so much from them - they treat you like a colleague, not a little kid! 

"I had been worried that at 19 I would be too old for a Young Apprenticeship, but that wasn't the case at all. I also worried a bit about whether I would meet people my own age - but you see lots of the other apprentices, and they are all young people just like you."

Her 'A' Levels - in Business Studies, Media Studies and ICT - enabled her to apply directly for a Level 3 apprenticeship. She has particular interests in both the public sector and business, and is hoping to continue her studies in the workplace up to degree level and beyond. 

The apprenticeship is her first experience of working full-time and gaining the kind of workplace skills, for example building good relationships with colleagues and acting professionally, that are so important in work environment.

As an HR apprentice she is involved in vital work on the recruitment and retention of nursing staff, a top priority for the Trust and the NHS nationally.

It was the Apprenticeship Team, along with her immediate Manager Carol Forde-Johnston, who encouraged her to fill in an online application for the accolade of PPMA Apprentice of the Year, and she was surprised and delighted to receive an email congratulating her on making the shortlist.

"Everyone in the office was so happy for me," says Hafsah, "they're very supportive.

"I would definitely recommend an apprenticeship for anyone in my situation. I wish they had promoted them in schools more too - although I think that is changing now."

National Apprenticeship Week 2019 runs until Friday 8 March, and the winner of the PPMA Apprentice of the Year award will be announced after that date, when the shortlisted candidates have completed their personal coaching.

Find out more about our apprenticeships and our upcoming Recruitment Event at