We’re incredibly proud of the apprentices that have joined Athona in the past few years and that have gone on to graduate from our successful apprenticeship scheme. Gemma, Resourcer Apprentice for our Psychiatry division, is our most recent graduate who has secured a full-time job continuing in her role on the permanent psychiatry team.

We asked Gemma a couple of questions to see how she has found her time as an Athona apprentice and what her career aspirations are now she has graduated from the apprenticeship scheme. Here’s what she had to say:

What were you doing before you started as an Athona apprentice?

I was at college full time completing my A-Levels and was contemplating my options; whether university was for me or taking the route of an apprenticeship.

What made you choose an apprenticeship scheme in recruitment?

I knew it would be a career I would find interesting. I know how it felt to be given my first part time job while I was at college, so to be able to make someone else have that same feeling of landing themselves a new job was something that really interested me.

How have you found the apprenticeship at Athona?

I have been really supported by my external apprenticeship assessor at TheLightBulb and my whole team at Athona. Being part of the psychiatry team and having supervision from experienced recruiters has been really beneficial and provided me with guidance from people who already know the business inside out.

How was the support and guidance you received whilst completing your apprenticeship?

I have been given constant support from Jo and Nicola (members of Athona’s HR team) as well as from my team. They have lead training sessions to help me improve my skills in areas such as headhunting, organisation and time management – all of which are really important skills in recruitment!

How did you hear about the Athona apprentice scheme?

I attended an apprenticeship open day in my local area and got to meet Jo and Nicola that day. They explained to me what recruitment is (as I hadn’t really thought about it before) and why it could be something I could excel in.

They explained that they were recruiting for apprentices and the kinds of tasks the job role included and from then on I was interested.

What part of the apprenticeship did you most enjoy?

I really enjoyed working as part of a team. As a resourcer you support your recruitment consultant by supplying them with available doctors you have sourced, so when they make a placement with one of your doctors you have recruited, it feels like you have brought a lot to the team.

What has been a highlight of your role?

My highlight so far has been placing my first psychiatry consultant into their first position at the particular grade. I also received a lovely testimonial from the doctor I placed, which highlighted how much of a difference the right job role can make to someone’s life.

What have you learnt most about during your time at Athona?

I have learnt a lot about what the doctors we work with have to go through. Before getting this job, I didn’t understand what recruitment was and didn’t even really know what psychiatry was. Now I’m working as part of a small team placing excellent psychiatrists into outstanding hospitals.

What advice would you give to others looking to start an apprenticeship?

I would say it is important to look into how you can progress in a company and if there is room for career development. At Athona, you can start as an apprentice resourcer (which is the role I had) and progress from trainee recruitment consultant, to a senior recruitment consultant and then onto business manager. This is important as it’s good to know there is room to develop your career.

Now you’ve secured a permanent role with Athona, what are your career aspirations for the future?

I am delighted to have been made a permanent member of the team! I hope to progress with my resourcer role and help train new resourcers that join the team.

Have you recently received your A-Level or GCSE results and are now looking for a job role where you gain a recognised qualification, workplace skills and earn as you learn? Then check out how you can become Athona’s next graduate apprentice.