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03 Mar 2021

Careers in care

Modern apprentice, Hannah’s story

South Ayrshire Council shared their story of modern apprentice, Hannah Spence, and her experience and dedication to her role working during the pandemic.

Hannah started her Business and Administration Modern Apprenticeship (MA) in August 2019 with the health and social care team to provide administrative support to a new project team. The aim of the project was to provide home carers with all the client information needed on a mobile device in the community to reduce the need for paper files.

Hannah Spence (image)

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, Hannah has worked from home since March 2020. Hannah was determined to offer the same amazing level of support and quickly adapted to a different way of working. She worked extremely hard and continued to support carers via telephone and Skype to ensure the service ran smoothly and the clients continued to receive quality care in their homes. 

Growing in confidence

Hannah’s biggest achievement is that she has grown in confidence enough to deliver training to home carers, which is something that she never thought she would be able to do as the thought of speaking in front of a large group terrified her! Around 300 home carers have now been trained on using the system. Feedback from both her supervisor and home carers has been outstanding and every single home carer feels fully supported by Hannah and the impact this has had on the team has been amazing.  

Hannah’s self-awareness has developed throughout her MA as she recognised gaps in the training so created a step by step user guide which has been issued to every member of staff and has greatly reduced the time needed to support carers in the community.  

Gaining a permanent position

She was successful in gaining a full-time clerical position in April with the care at home team as she was so flexible with working from home and was able to continue to provide home carers and clients with exceptional service. Hannah is always looking to take on additional responsibility and is constantly impressing her supervisor and colleagues with her enthusiasm and willingness to tackle any problem head on.

Over the past year, Hannah has successfully completed her MA and achieved her SCQF Level 5 in Business Administration which is amazing considering the difficulties over the past year.  She has also put herself forward to study a SCQF 6 in Business Administration, which she started in November 2020 as she feels that this higher qualification will enable her to progress within South Ayrshire Council. 

Award nomination

Due to her hard work and determination Hannah was nominated for the Scottish Apprenticeship of the Year 2020 Awards and she has made it into the final three nominees for the SCQF Level 5 Category.  The online ceremony takes place on Thursday 4 March.

SVQ Assessor, Lynn McGeechan said:

‘I have been really impressed with how Hannah has grasped every opportunity to develop her skills and the differences I have seen in her personally and professionally are amazing. Hannah started her MA as a quiet, shy young lady who did not believe in her own ability and she has blossomed into a confident communicator, outstanding trainer and efficient administrator. I had no hesitation in nominating her for the Scottish Apprenticeship of the Year 2020 Awards due to the work that she undertook during an extremely difficult period. I wish Hannah luck and look forward to see her shine at the online awards ceremony.’

Hannah Spence said:

‘The modern apprenticeship has benefitted me in many ways from building my confidence, allowing me to build on my current skills/develop new skills as well as allow me to gain a qualification that will help me work my way up in the council.

I was over the moon when I got nominated as I felt my colleagues had recognised the hard work I had put in since joining South Ayrshire Council in 2019. When I found out that I was then put through to the final three it was a shock as I never thought I could achieve something like this, even being nominated is a big accomplishment for me.’

Supervisor, Lynn Frew said:

‘Hannah joined our team as a modern apprentice initially she lacked confidence in her presentation skills and was apprehensive about training carers.  Many of the care at home team have worked for many years as carers and are not technology minded. Hannah challenged herself to present and provide training face to face and over the phone to around 300 carers. This ensured that care at home clients received assessed care delivered to a high standard. Hannah has now transformed into a confident and respected member of the team and is approached by carers and managers on a daily basis for advice and support. During the coronavirus pandemic Hannah played a vital role, she was committed to supporting staff and took the initiative to provide support out of hours when this was required. Hannah is now a dedicated, confident capable young woman who is mature beyond her years and gives 100% to every task. Hannah has now secured a permanent post and will be a massive loss to the project team.’

Contact information

Sandra Wilson
Communications Officer
Scottish Social Services Council