#MyCWPApprenticeship - Karina Smyth

Karina Smyth had already worked for CWP for 18 years when a colleague recommended she sign up to an apprenticeship. Three years on Karina is enjoying her role in the Older Adult Mental Health Team at the Stein Centre in Birkenhead. This is her Apprenticeship Story…

“I have worked in a number of administration roles at CWP since moving to Merseyside from Dublin in 1995. These roles have been varied and also spread across many teams and localities.

“I started in the local drug and alcohol service, which at the time was based at St Catherine’s Hospital in Birkenhead, before securing a role as a Personal Assistant to the Trust Board – a role which I enjoyed for more than ten years!

“My working life then changed completely when I joined the community mental health team where I interacted with lots of different people and within a very diverse environment. 

“I have gained lots of experience through the many years I have worked within the Trust but I never thought I would get the opportunity to access free training and also get a very useful qualification.

In 2014 Karina completed modules in English, Maths and IT as part of a Business Administration Apprenticeship. 

“Completing an apprenticeship with CWP was great because the course was designed to fit around my workload.

“Throughout the 12 month course I would spend one day a week with colleagues at either Bowmere Hospital or West Cheshire College where we would complete our apprenticeship modules.

“Every session I attended was very interesting. I found the facilitators very approachable and their method of delivering classes was very good; particularly given the fact that most of us on the course had not been in a classroom environment for many years!

“It’s fantastic that the Trust is currently encouraging staff to participate in apprenticeships. If you get the opportunity to take part then you should definitely go for it! 

“My apprenticeship has given me an improved understanding of my role and developed my confidence within the workplace.  Maybe it could do the same for you too?

To find out about opportunities at CWP please visit the “Working for us” pages.

Visit the ‘Our People’ campaign to read more CWP staff blogs.


Photo: Karina Smyth at the Stein Centre, Birkenhead


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