An inspiring apprentice on a scheme run by Joined Up Careers Derbyshire has become a finalist in the Derbyshire Apprentice of the Year awards.

Mia Cooper was a runner-up in the category which was part of the 2021 Business Awards run by East Midlands Chamber. The ceremony took place at the Derbyshire County Cricket Club on Friday 12 November.

Joined Up Careers Derbyshire is a local partnership group of health and social care organisations, running initiatives to support recruitment, attraction and retention across the Derbyshire health and social care system, including the Rotational Health and Social Care Apprenticeship Programme.

The apprenticeship scheme aims to equip individuals with the care, clinical and interpersonal skills to provide high quality care and low-level medical intervention to vulnerable adults in Derbyshire. By experiencing five placements in different health and social care settings, apprentices gain a breadth of knowledge and skills to support the local population while also informing future career decisions. 

Mia took part in the second apprenticeship scheme run by Joined Up Careers. The scheme was launched in 2018 with a second cohort, which Mia took part in, running in 2020. It is one of only a few schemes in the country which brings together roles in the NHS, including the community and in hospitals, with social care including experience in care homes. 

As well as helping out in the workplace, apprentices on the scheme benefit from regular ongoing support and training.

It is planned that a third apprenticeship scheme will run during 2022.

Mia has been a hard-working apprentice throughout the programme, including placements with Chesterfield Royal, DHU, Derbyshire Healthcare, Perth House (Derby City Council) and now on her final placement with University Hospitals of Derby and Burton. Mia also completed a two-week insight visit with Inspirative Arts (a private, voluntary and independent sector organisation). 

Mia aspires to complete her nursing after the programme, either via the trainee nursing associate and nursing degree apprenticeship routes or via university.