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Sally Evans’ mid-life career change came when she applied for the position of theatre stores apprentice at Walsall Manor Hospital, part of the Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust.
In this role, the mother-of two took a Level 2 Supply Chain Warehouse Operative apprenticeship with PTP, achieving a ‘Distinction’ in her end point assessment.
She has since been promoted to theatre stores operative at Walsall Manor Hospital, responsible for everything from arranging broken door repairs to making sure complex surgical tools are available whenever needed.
Sally, aged 48, from Walsall, said: “Doing an apprenticeship at my age was a little scary but it was a steppingstone to finding my perfect job and I wouldn’t hesitate to do it all again.
“I finally feel like I have a career that I love and not just a job to pay the bills.
“Don’t ever think just because you are older that it is too late, as apprenticeships are the building blocks to getting where you want to be.”
Sally had previously worked part-time as a supervisor at the Spar store on the Walsall Manor Hospital site.
But once her children had grown up, she wanted a different full-time career and explained how she started looking for a new job back in January last year.
She said: “I’d always wanted to work in the NHS but I thought I was too old to start retraining.
“When looking through the NHS website for a clerical position I spotted a job as a theatre stores apprentice, and it sounded perfect.
“The apprenticeship was very informative and my PTP tutor was always guiding me, encouraging me to be more confident and trust my own judgement, even when I doubted myself.
“I now have a much better understanding of how procedures can help your working life, how they can make things easier and keep you safe.
“I discovered that I like learning new things, and my job allows me to do that as each day is different.
“I’m constantly finding new and better ways to optimise time and efficiency within my own little area of the stores.”