Apprenticeships: Salford City College apprentice becomes the youngest employee at the Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust

4 September 2017 

Seventeen-year-old Alex Whittle, from Tyldesley, has secured an apprenticeship at the Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust in their communications and public relations department, through Salford City College.

Alex became the youngest employee at the trust after being placed there in June by the college’s Apprenticeship Team.

She will go on to gain a Diploma in Creative and Digital Media from Salford City College, all whilst working and earning a salary.

The young apprentice said: “When it came to what I wanted to do after my GCSE’s I didn’t like the idea of sitting in a classroom for six hours a day, as I am very much a get up and go person.

“I didn’t want the debt of university and lectures don’t appeal to me, as I prefer to learn how to do things myself rather than always being in a classroom environment.”

Apprenticeships provide an avenue for students where they can ‘earn while they learn’. Working in their chosen profession in a trainee role, learning on the job as oppose to in a classroom. They are assigned an assessor from the college and set assessments based on the work they do during their employment, which provides evidence for their qualification.   

“I am very much supported where I work and I am surrounded by people who want me to be the best that I can be and help develop my skills.” – Alex Whittle 

“The traditional degree route wasn’t for me but I am hoping, with my manager’s support, to complete my degree whilst working here.

“Eventually I hope to move up in the industry itself, whether this is opening up my own business or becoming a communications officer or manger sometime in the future.”

Lorraine Hesketh, Communications and PR Manager at the trust said: “Alex joining us has been a great learning experience for the rest of the team and we are really pleased to have been given this opportunity to welcome Alex to the family.

“I would certainly encourage other managers to really consider taking on an apprentice, as in the short time Alex has been with us she has really become a valued and well-respected colleague.” – Lorraine Hesketh

Learning and Development Manager, Anne Forrest, who implemented the apprenticeship programme at the trust, said: “We are really pleased that Alex is finding her apprenticeship so worthwhile.

“Undertaking an apprenticeship is a rewarding experience and can open the doors for young people to gain a foothold in the career of their choice.” – Anne Forrest

If you think an apprenticeship might be for you, why not contact the Salford City College Apprenticeships Team on 0161 631 5000, or via email at

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