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Poplar HARCA Employment and training team supporting people into work

“Personally, I have received a lot of help from the team and if it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t come this far!” Find out how Biti’s experience of a Pre-Apprenticeship programme and finding work as an Office Assistant.

Biti Khatun took part in our Pre-Apprenticeship programme, designed to help develop personal skills, confidence and office etiquette. She’s had great success; after applying to our services and completing the programme, she secured a job at St Bartholomew’s hospital and is due to start a new position as Office Assistant in Royal London Hospital.

We spoke to Biti about her experience in the Pre-Apprenticeship programme and how receiving employment support from the team has helped change her life. If it wasn’t for the team, she says, she wouldn’t have come this far! They were reliable, hardworking and fun when it came to teaching her qualifications, supporting her applications and improving her interview skills.


Check out her full interview below!

What were you doing before joining the Poplar HARCA Employment & Training team, and how did you find out about our service?
Before registering with Poplar HARCA Employment and Training team, I was actively searching for jobs.

As I was actively searching for jobs I came across ‘Poplar Harca apprenticeships’. After applying, a staff member, named Riaz, kindly got back to me within a few working days – which was brilliant considering I was applying to companies that do apprenticeships and they never got back to me!

What was your experience like in the Pre-Apprenticeship programme?
I thoroughly enjoyed my experience in the programme and have gained qualifications in Equality & Diversity and Mental Health Awareness. The tutor we had was very skilled, teaching us many valuable skills, knowledge and information. I have learnt something new every day!

The sessions weren’t boring at all, because it wasn’t all about just working in the NHS, it was also to do with normal life stuff that we should be aware of on a daily basis.

What has been your experience with the Poplar HARCA E&T team supporting you?
Well, personally, I am very grateful that I was given this opportunity. The team members were very friendly and they have helped me in every step of the way. The advisor I was given, Alex Green, is very hardworking.

He made sure that my supporting statement stood out as much as possible because I had so much experience from my past jobs that I didn’t really know how to talk about it in my statement. Also, not to forget the interview tips that I’ve received from him and have used them during my interview with the NHS.

How has it changed your life?
After completing the pre-apprenticeship program, I received vacancies from Riaz and applied to them straight away. At the first interview, I wasn’t successful and this made me quite upset, but I was told by Riaz not to give up and that there would more vacancies coming my way. Thankfully I wasn’t the type of person to give up! I had to be patient, and luckily this led me to another interview which I was successful at.

I then started to work in St Bartholomew’s hospital as an outpatient receptionist for a few months which I’ve enjoyed so much and, after coming across some internal vacancies and having successful applications, I am now waiting to start my new job!

What skills have you learnt?
Working at St Bartholomew’s hospital as an outpatient receptionist, my duties included checking patients in on their arrival. I have learnt to update the patient’s information on Cerner (CRS), am now able to book patient’s follow up appointments from the doctor’s request, have learnt to deal with patients face to face and am able to answer their queries directly.

My telephone confidence grew with time and I became able to direct urgent calls to other staff through switchboards or other phone system.

What’s the best thing about Poplar HARCA Employment and Training Team?
The best thing about the team is that they are reliable, especially when it comes to them helping us. Personally, I have received a lot of help from the team and if it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t come this far!

Where do you see yourself in the future?
At this current moment, I am starting my new job as an office assistant in Royal London Hospital, which I am very excited about. However, in the future, I would like to work my way up as a supervisor or even apply for managerial roles.

Want to recieve employment support like Biti? Call us on 0207 510 9770 or apply for Employment & Training support on our website.