Inspired by the care his mum received whilst being treated for cancer, Michael Fagan knew that he wanted to pursue a career in healthcare where he could be there to help others.

His journey began as a sport and exercise science student, but during his first year at university Michael knew this way of learning was no longer the best route for him. After seeing an opportunity to join Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (LUHFT) as an apprentice Healthcare Assistant (HCA), he decided to take the leap to start a new career in the NHS and joined the Trust in September 2022.

Michael, who is from Bootle, said: “I was really impressed with the way my mum was cared for in hospital and wanted to be part of the profession from then on, helping to care for others. When I joined as an apprentice, from my first day at Aintree on Ward 32 my whole experience has been amazing. I’ve been fully supported by my team, manager and mentor. 

“The apprenticeship has given me the opportunity to work and train in a way that suits me, by learning from highly skilled colleagues that I work with. I am proud of some of the great feedback I’ve got from fellow staff and managers. The patients also give me positive comments, which I find very rewarding.”

Michael with his colleagues on Ward 32

The 20-year-old is one of over 700 apprentices currently at LUHFT, a figure which includes a mix of new colleagues who have just started their journey in the NHS, alongside current staff who are undertaking apprenticeship programmes, such as coaching and women in leadership. 

Michael’s apprenticeship has resulted in a rapid progression in his career, and he’s now secured a promotion to work as a higher level HCA on Ward 32 at Aintree University Hospital. He was even voted Employee of the Month following a nomination that recognised how highly motivated he is in all aspects of his job and studies.

He added: “I’ve really enjoyed it. I tell everyone to do an apprenticeship as it is a great way to start a career in healthcare. I want to further progress in my role and when I have developed all the skills needed at this level, I would like to train to be a nurse by enrolling on the Trainee Nursing Associates (TNA) programme.”

Debbie Martin, Ward Manager on Ward 32 at Aintree University Hospital, said: “Michael has been such an asset to the team. He has grown in confidence in such a short space of time and has been such an enthusiastic learner. Michael is an excellent example of the Apprenticeship programme - his future within the NHS will most definitely be a bright one!”

Liverpool University Hospitals has been working to widen its apprenticeships offer, and the Apprenticeships team have been visiting local schools and colleges to give students an insight into apprenticeships and career prospects at LUHFT. Current Trust staff have also had the opportunity to attend a number of ‘Listening Lunches’, sessions where they can find out more about apprenticeship qualifications they can enrol in. 

To find out more about an apprenticeship at LUHFT, visit the Trust’s careers website.