Student Shelley shortlisted for Lancashire Apprenticeship Awards

A Nelson and Colne College student has been shortlisted for the Lancashire Apprenticeship Awards – and is encouraging others to following in her footsteps.

Shelley Gill, 46, from Burnley, is one of the finalists in the Higher Apprentice of the Year category – where she will go head-to-head with three other students from across Lancashire for the coveted title.

The event, which aims to provide a platform to recognise, reward and celebrate, organisations and institution, will take place at Lancaster University on 27 March.

Shelley admits: “I felt really honoured to be nominated by my tutor at Nelson & Colne College, Julie Garrigan. I wasn’t expecting it! She’s so supportive and she just gives me positive feedback and encouragement all the time.

“I’m really excited to be going because it is hard work doing apprenticeship when you’re working full time, but I’m so proud of what I’ve achieved.”

Shelley is currently studying for her Institute for Leadership and Management level five apprenticeship diploma, which she is due to complete by October.

Shelley, has worked for East Lancashire Healthcare Trust (ELHT) for 20 years, beginning her career as a receptionist. She has gradually progressed, taking on more responsibility within the Trust.

In 2021, Shelley began studying at Nelson & Colne College as part of her management trainee programme. She was identified by her line manager as part of the Trusts’ commitment to succession planning.

She said the course – which has taught her about organisational strategy and objectives, continuous improvement within organisations, project management, financial management, building relationships and leading people – has given her confidence and belief in herself.

She said: “I have been a Deputy Centre Manager for some time and an opportunity to be a COAS stands for Centralised Outpatients and Administration Services (COAS) trainee manager was shared, but they had to complete the qualification. Once the qualification is complete, you move up to the next pay grade and become a centre manager. I had already been doing the job, so I felt like it was the next step.”

Shelley is keen to put her new skills into practice. She has already identified a project to showcase her project management skills – which aims to standardise procedures across the 12 health centres across the trust to improve training, booking and patient experience.

She said: “Before enrolling on the course, I wouldn’t have tried to tackle this because I wouldn’t know where to start – and now I’ve got the knowledge. My colleagues say I’ve grown in confidence, and I regularly share what I’ve learnt with them.”

Shelley encouraged anyone of any age to continue their studies.

“If there’s anybody out there that is thinking about doing an apprenticeship, just go for it! I’ve had the best experience and the best two years. I’ve learned so much, and I’ve had so much support from Nelson & Colne College. Once you qualify, those are skills you’ll have for life.”