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"Fantastic opportunity" for apprentice Luke

​A former ICT apprentice who is about to fulfil his dream of studying for a degree while continuing to work at Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) has spoken of his delight at being given a “fantastic opportunity” to further develop his skills.

Luke Rivens, who lives in New Costessey, begins his Digital Technology Solutions degree apprenticeship at the University of Suffolk this month. He will complete the three-year course while continuing to work as a Field Support Technician for NSFT, which sees him travel to various Trust sites help colleagues experiencing IT issues.

It is the second time the 22-year-old has completed an apprenticeship, as he originally joined NSFT in December 2015 as an ICT apprentice before securing a permanent position just eight months later after completing a Level 3 Diploma in IT for Users.

While completing his degree apprenticeship, he will spend one day each week at university while working during the remaining four days, as well as completing coursework in his own time.

“The degree apprenticeship is a fantastic opportunity to gain a degree while continuing to work full time,” said Luke, who will specialise in network engineering. “It gives me the chance to go to university without building up huge amounts of debt, while I’ll also come out with a qualification which benefits both myself and the Trust.

“The course commits me to continuing to work for NSFT for the next three years, which is great as I absolutely love working for the Trust and it gives me the chance to pay back them back for the support I have received.

“I have always been passionate about mental health and the Trust’s work. Even though I am not clinical, I like the fact that I am able to play a small role in a big machine by helping the doctors, nurses and team leaders who have face-to-face contact with the patients.

“Having the degree under my belt will open up more options for me, and give me the chance to consider doing more work on IT infrastructures or within project management. Ideally this would be with NSFT as I personally received care from the Trust when I was younger so would like to give something back.

“I would highly recommend apprenticeships. My initial course opened the door to my ideal job and gave me a foot on the ladder in the NHS as well as the opportunity to do a degree, which is brilliant.”

For more information about apprenticeship opportunities at NSFT, contact Jane Stringer on 01603 421564 or by email at

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