Real-life story - Tim Cocklin

A spell of working in an HR department made Tim realise it was an area he'd like to work in. He's now studying a foundation degree in HR as an apprentice. 

Tim Cocklin Recruitment officer
Employer or university North Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust
Salary range Unknown

How I got into the apprenticeship

I left school at 16 and started my A-levels at a different sixth form with the aim of becoming a teacher. But I found it too similar to secondary school and it wasn’t for me. So I left and started at college the following year, whilst working, and completed my AS levels and an apprenticeship at a fishmonger’s, and did some work experience in a primary school.

I decided that teaching wasn’t my passion after all and decided to try a few different roles to help me decide what I wanted to do. A spell of working in the HR department where I was working made me realise HR was an area I was interested in.

I didn’t have any suitable experience or qualifications for a career in HR but I came across the NHS and applied for an apprenticeship as a ward clerk. I didn’t get that, but was asked to come back for an interview for a role working in either recruitment or organisational development. 

What I do

I was successful at interview and joined the recruitment team as an apprentice in May 2016. I completed my apprenticeship the following March and became a permanent member of the team.

I’m a recruitment officer looking after the medical staffing side of things as well as the clinical support services, with a side role of administering the trust’s sports, arts and social club. I’ve recently started working on recruitment for clinical support services too.

The best bits and challenges

The best thing about the job is the sense of reward in knowing that even though I am not a clinical member of staff, I am still playing an active role in providing the best level of care to our patients by ensuring we have the right amount of medical staffing in our departments.

The only challenges that I have at present are changes that are made to the terms and conditions and spending a lot of time making sure that I am as knowledgeable as possible as no one likes surprises! 

Life outside work

Outside of work, I try to lead as active a lifestyle as possible, and enjoy music as I play the piano and love trying new experiences. I’m part of the trust sports, arts and social committee and we organise some fantastic events for the staff which helps to take the stress off things.

Career plans and top tips for others

I’m currently studying a foundation degree in human resources as an apprentice, which is a level 5 CIPD course.

I’d recommend an apprenticeship to anyone and am loving my time at North Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust!

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