First-rate care, First-rate people, First-rate value


First Community is committed to supporting apprenticeships and recognises the value of combining studying with practical, work-based learning.

A wide range of paid apprenticeships across a variety of roles and departments are offered at First Community, including:

  • Accounting Professional level 7
  • Dieticians Master’s level 7
  • Digital & Technology Solutions Professional level 7
  • Healthcare Science Practitioner – Audiologist level 6
  • Nursing Associate level 5
  • Pharmacy Services Assistant level 2
  • Professional Accounting level 4
  • Registered Nurse level 6
  • Senior Healthcare Support Worker level 3
  • Senior Leader level 7

As part of the organisation’s dedication to providing career development opportunities to its staff, currently First Community only recruits internally to its apprenticeship programme.

The best way to get on to one of our apprenticeships is by securing a role with us. Our current vacancies can be viewed here and do ensure you check the page regularly so you do not miss out on suitable role.

You can meet some of current apprentices and learn more about their learning journeys below.

Charlotte Nye

Charlotte Nye

Charlotte is an Occupational Therapist’s Assistant and is studying the Occupational Therapist degree level 6 apprenticeship.

She said: "I witnessed first-hand the amazing care my colleagues offer to the local community, and I wanted to continue providing that vision as a qualified Occupational Therapist.

"It gives me the opportunity to put in to practice anything I learn whilst at university. Being able to work alongside the course has given me the opportunity to trial these ideas before bringing them back to my peers and reflecting why this treatment is the best approach.

"It has given me confidence in myself and my abilities within the role. My colleagues are so supportive and are constantly helping me learn from real life experiences. I have loved meeting new people whilst at university and can honestly say I have made some lifelong friends! The support I receive is amazing, I am fortunate enough to have a supportive manager and a great team. I have a workplace mentor who helps me meet my required targets alongside a tutor within university who will support me with any additional queries.

"My favourite thing so far has been having the opportunity to explore different placements. Occupational Therapy can be separated into several different roles, so it has been great to explore the similarities/differences within the different sectors and meeting new people all whilst developing new skills!

"I was worried about how I would cope working full time and studying however my manager is so supportive and First Community always promotes work/life balance. An apprenticeship will give you the opportunity to learn on the job."

Susi Care

Susi Care

Susi is an Paediatric Physiotherapy Assistant and is studying the Assistant Practitioner Foundation degree apprecticeship. 

She said: "I work as a Paediatric Physiotherapy Assistant, a role I love and this qualification will enable me to carry out my current role to a higher standard and more confidently. I am hoping to become a fully qualified Physiotherapist in the future and this apprenticeship will contribute to that end goal.

"It’s a two year programme with weekly studies led by the university incorporating lectures, seminars, workshops and practical learning sessions. I will study eleven modules in total including developing clinical skills, human anatomy & assessment, principles of care, accountability & ethical practice and leadership. I will have the opportunity to select five elective modules to contextualise the learning to my work speciality.

"I’ve prepared myself as much as possible but it’s always a bit nerve wracking taking on something new. But know I can do it. I also have a very supportive line manager and team around me who I know will encourage me every step of the way.

"I'm very excited and I can’t wait to get started!"


Amy Medlicott 

Image of Amy Medlicott

Amy is an Audiology Assistant and is studying the Healthcare Science Audiology Practitioner degree apprenticeship.

She began her apprenticeship in January 2021 and is due to complete it in July 2025 and the apprenticeship will see her gain at BSc in Healthcare Science (Audiology).

She said: “I was motivated to do an apprenticeship because I want a career I can learn and evolve within, and I find Audiology very interesting. My learning is varied and includes attending classes in person at university as well as virtually.

“This is supported by workplace learning and placements in Audiology settings to practice and develop my skills. Alongside this I undertake research, self-guided learning, complete assignments and take exams to demonstrate learning.

“My favourite thing about the apprenticeship is clinical studies, I enjoy practising and learning about the different tests we can do on patients and it’s interesting to learn about how the tests work.

“I am learning about how to deal with the stress of working and studying, as well as learning about how to be a more empathetic, conscientious, and confident practitioner. Hearing loss has such a big impact on people’s lives and helping people with hearing loss is a very rewarding job.”


Kim Davies 

Image of Kim Davies

Kim is a Dietetic Assistant Practitioner studying a Master’s degree apprenticeship in Dietetics and Leadership. After studying for a degree in Human Nutrition, she took up a role as a dietetic assistant and was keen to learn more.

Motivated by her interest in dietetics, last January, she started her graduate apprenticeship, which will see her become a registered dietitian.

She said: “I have enjoyed learning additional skills that have made me more confident as a dietetic assistant. This has developed the scope of the role and enabled me to take on more responsibility.

"Being able to put my learning into practice in a supported environment has really helped me to develop the skills I have learned during my time at university.

"I have gained a lot of personal satisfaction after passing each module, it has been incredibly challenging, but I have felt a real sense of accomplishment and achievement.

“My advice to anyone considering the same apprenticeship would be to ensure you can dedicate the time outside of work to complete additional learning. Being able to manage your time well is so important to ensure you are keeping up to date with your studies, as well as managing your workload within your job.

"It has been a fantastic opportunity – I would recommend it to anyone interested in a career in Dietetics.”


Lucy Quartly 

Image of Lucy Quartly

Lucy is in the unique position of having completed not one but two apprenticeships since joining First Community.

In September 2019, Lucy started her first Nursing Associate Apprenticeship and qualified in July 2021. That October, she embarked on another two-year programme to consolidate her previous learning as a nursing associate and build on it further to achieve the full Registered Nurse degree.

In January 2023, Lucy submitted her final dissertation and she’ll complete her degree this summer.

She said: “I knew I wanted to go into nursing as I have always loved taking care of people and I always put people first. I just had to find a way to progress into a registered nurse without attending university full time as I didn’t feel very academic. I therefore applied for a job at Caterham Dene Hospital to gain experience in that field of work. I then learnt about the apprenticeship, and it was completely up my street.

“By working practically on a ward, I was able to get used to the working environment and had chances to observe and work alongside nurses which aided my knowledge and skills. I was able to gain an understanding of the structure of a nurse’s day on the ward.

“Apprenticeships are a great way of completing qualifications as you can work and use the theoretical knowledge in practice, as well as speaking to colleagues for help and support for assignment or questions.”


Wesley Bevis-Roadnight

Image of Wesley Bevis Roadnight

Wesley is completing a registered nurse degree apprenticeship. It’s a four-year, level 6 apprenticeship which he says will see him fulfil his dream of becoming a registered nurse once complete.

He said: “I have always had a passion for nursing, and during the Covid-19 period, the opportunity came up to join First Community and progress my nursing career. My manager knew I had a passion to progress and supported me to apply.

“Being able to work and study alongside each other, as well as the support I have received and continue to receive [is what I enjoy most about my apprenticeship].”

If you are exploring apprenticeships as part of your future career planning, read our top tips below.

Apprenticeships include the requirement to achieve English and Maths qualifications at GCSE grade 4 or above*. Achieving these before leaving full time education will give you a head start in your apprenticeship, and we recommend you focus on these qualifications during your compulsory schooling.

If you do not achieve the grade four, you will be supported to achieve this as part of the apprenticeship alongside the technical studies.

*There are specific adaptions for those with a special educational need, learning difficulty or disability to encourage fair access to apprenticeships.

Some apprenticeships require no existing qualifications to enrol. However, most degree apprenticeships have a requirement to first hold a minimum level 3 (broadly equivalent to 5 ‘A’ levels) qualification in a related subject. 

You may choose to achieve this in full time education but did you know achieving a relevant level 3 apprenticeship will also count?

Researching the apprenticeship you wish to study and the universities offering them will give you an understanding of the qualifications you may need.

Please see below for an example of apprenticeship pathway to higher education.

A series of vertical boxes that give an example of apprenticeship pathways to higher education. The first box is for a healthcare assistant, the second box is for a nursing associate, the third and fourth box are pathways to becoming a registered nurse.

Before choosing your future career, consider finding out more about the role and if you can get a taste of what it's like through work experience. You will gain valuable insight into the daily life of NHS staff which will help you get a feel for if it's for you.

Attend career events to talk to practitioners and find out what they love about the job, the challenges they face and why they recommend working with the NHS. Think through the questions you have and go prepared to grill them.

With the world at your fingertips, it is easy to access articles, presentations and research that will give you a better understanding of the healthcare environment. This will give you the edge at interviews and demonstrate your initiative and commitment to learning. If you need support visit your local library where qualified staff can assist with searches.

The professional bodies for different healthcare disciplines are often a good place to start and frequently publish articles and information which is available to non-members.

We recommend the following resources which contain information on more than 350 apprenticeships available within healthcare.

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