Lauren Weigh

Learning and Development Assistant

Sometimes it pays to take a different path to the one chosen by your friends. Enter award-winning member of staff at Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust, Lauren Weigh, who decided to take up an apprenticeship instead of going to university, which turned out to be one of the best decisions she has made.

Lauren won the ‘Learning for Work Award’ at the Adult Learners Week Central Regional Awards on the 12th June and was very surprised to have won the award.

“It was for learning at work, we put in the nomination the year before so when we heard that I had won the award, I had actually progressed even further in my role and gained a secondment assessing new apprentices.

“That was something more to add into my testimonial, but, I was shocked to have won the award as Adult Learners Week is quite a big event.”

Lauren, who is 22 and from Sutton Coldfield, went through Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust’s Apprentice Scheme before taking on her role as a Learning and Development Assistant and now is working with the current apprentices to improve their skills by offering her experiences.

“I don’t know where I would be if I hadn’t done my apprenticeship.

“When I started in the Diabetes Centre at Sandwell, working on reception, I never knew that I would end up working in Learning and Development, especially assessing the current apprentices,” Lauren said.

As part of her apprenticeship, Lauren gained many qualifications and vital experience that was essential when she was applying for a permanent role within the organisation.

After choosing an apprenticeship ahead of university, Lauren got the chance to take a different approach to the rest of her classmates and friends.

“The majority of my friends went to university and by the time they had finished studying, I had completed several qualifications, earned some money and gained experience which a university student may not have.”

The award is yet another confidence boost for the young member of the Learning and Development team, and Maxine Griffiths, who nominated her for the award, believes that she has an exciting career ahead of her.

“Lauren is a true ambassador for on-the-job learning and Apprenticeships. She recently won an outstanding Apprentice Champion of the Year award at Health Education West Midlands for her progression and for championing this as a chosen career pathway.”

Having worked with the apprentices in her job, it is these young professionals who Lauren sees as her heroes.

“When they first come to our Trust, they ask me for advice as I have been in their shoes and they see what I have achieved as an achievable target.