Apprentice Case Studies - Olivia Goor

Olivia works in our Pharmacy, she undertook the Level 3 Pharmacy Technician (Integrated) apprenticeship, which takes 2 years to complete.

Why did you choose your apprenticeship?

I wanted to do an apprenticeship as I knew university was not for me. After leaving school, I felt lost and did not know what I wanted to do. I did know that I did not like doing exams in school. I went to college for two years to do a level 3 business diploma, and this style of learning (lessons, practical learning, and coursework) suited me well, and I was able to get the top grade – triple distinction star.

I do not like exams and found that the pressure of these did not allow me to perform to my fullest when at school.

I looked at a range of different apprenticeships and found this online and applied. I had never had any pharmacy background, which was daunting; however, it is amazing how far I have come in 2 years. I ‘fell’ into this apprenticeship; however, it does feel like it was meant to be!

Was there any decision between the apprenticeship route and any other route?

I did a level 3 diploma at college, which was the perfect learning type for me. As I mentioned before, I do not like exams and felt this type of learning was not getting the best results from me at school.

I love doing coursework, and being able to work at the same time and put my new knowledge and skills into practice has allowed me to learn so much in the past two years. I am a ‘hands on’ learner.

I had worked since being 16, and the idea of going to university and not having a stable income which would cause my family and me a lot of debt was not for me. If I had a specific idea of what I wanted to do in the future, then this would have been worth it; however, I did not know what I wanted to do, so this would have been a big decision for me to make and a large amount of time and effort spent at university.

Being paid a small amount while learning was the perfect decision for me.

What has been your proudest achievement on your apprenticeship to date?

I am coming to the end of my apprenticeship, and the entry-level pharmacy technician position is a band 4 in the NHS. I applied for this and was successful.

Band 5 pharmacy technicians are ‘higher level’, more experienced technicians. There was a band 5 role advertised in my workplace, so I decided to go for it as I had nothing to lose, and I successfully secured a band 5 role at my current workplace, where I wanted to stay.

I am the first student pharmacy technician to ever go straight into a band 5 role in my workplace. This is my proudest achievement not just in my apprenticeship but in my life!

I am set to complete my course in 20 months even though it is a 24-month course.

How do you see your apprenticeship helping you in your career progression?

Before starting the apprenticeship, I had no career. I now have found a job role I know I will do for life. There are so many different areas of healthcare that pharmacy technicians can get involved with. I want to explore the different roles a technician can have. There are also a lot of progression opportunities.

What would your advice be to anyone thinking about doing an apprenticeship?

It is a great way to transition from school/college into a working environment. It is an excellent option for people who do not want to go to university and are unsure about what they want to do.

Rather than just going straight into work, you can get a qualification while earning money. Even though the money is not as much as a regular job, the benefits in the long term of having a qualification and a potential career are worth it.

In my opinion, after two years of an apprenticeship, a person is much further in their career development than a university student. Not only financially, but the invaluable knowledge and transferable skills learned in the workplace prepare you ready for working life.