Stepping into the boss' shoes

Monday 5 March 2018

Alastair Gourlay and Louie Rogers

A former apprentice has been given a rare opportunity to swap places with the director of capital estates and facilities at Guy’s and St Thomas’.

The job swap exercise, which sees apprentices and managers shadowing one another during National Apprenticeship Week (5-9 March), encourages managers at the Trust to consider employing apprentices to fill vacancies.

Louie Rogers began his apprenticeship at the Trust in September 2012 and is now a permanent member of staff as an engineering maintenance specialist.

He is one of 258 apprentices employed by the Trust since its apprenticeship programme scheme began in 2012. Of those who completed their apprenticeship, 72% have gone on to permanent or temporary jobs as a result of the programme.

Louie shadowed Alastair Gourlay, Director of Essentia, which is Guy’s and St Thomas’ capital, estates and facilities directorate. Mr Gourlay in turn spent time in the engineering workshops at St Thomas' to get a better understanding of how apprenticeships can help to develop staff.

Louie, 24, from Deptford, who features in a recruitment film created by the Trust to showcase its apprenticeship programme, says: “When I tell people I’m an electrician in the NHS sometimes they think I’m a handyman. But what we do has a big impact on the way things run at our hospitals.

“It’s our job to control what time the lights come on and to check the building controls system that make sure the air is regulated in theatres, for example, so that the medical teams can carry out procedures.

“Lots of my friends went to university and have student loans. The great thing about this apprenticeship is that I’ve been learning on the job the whole time. I still got to university but I’m not going to wind up in debt.”

Alastair Gourlay says: “It’s been fantastic for me to walk in the shoes of an apprentice and for him to walk in mine, even for a short time. It’s allowed me to see just how invaluable apprenticeships are. Over the years our apprentices get to know our hospitals like the back of their hand.

“Apprenticeships can be a great way of seamlessly transferring knowledge and experience. By doing this we’re retaining people with huge potential, who are committed and dedicated, which of course is beneficial to our patients and staff alike.”


Last updated: March 2022

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