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Health Data Research UK is the UK's national institute for health data science. This large, independent, non-profit organisation works with health data to enable discoveries that improve people’s lives. Their work focuses on bringing together health, care, and research with large scale data and advanced analytics to make significant improvements to patient's lives. They also provide data apprenticeship opportunities for their teams. 

Last year, Health Data Research UK (HDR UK) formed a partnership with Cambridge Spark to offer an AI and Data Science Apprenticeship Academy for Healthcare professionals that allows people to continue working as they study. Data Science Apprenticeships are paid for through the UK Apprenticeships Levy. They are an excellent way for ambitious HDR UK employees to increase their skills and enhance their career prospects. We caught up with Tammy Palmer, HDR UK Head of People, and three data apprentices during National Apprenticeship Week to find out how HDR UK employees have been applying their new skills to this large organisation.

Holly Murray is a HDR UK Research Manager and a Level 4 Data Analyst Apprenticeship. Her job involves informing and supporting scientific research programmes that use health data at scale to generate patient impacts. Holly evaluates impact by doing responsible research assessments of outputs using data and code to produce research papers. 

"My day-day work involves some repetitive data aggregation"; explains Holly. "I'm cleaning and analysing data manually in Excel. I'm hoping that by learning Python and Pandas, I will be able to automate these repetitive data tasks to increase my efficiency and integrate more data than I could previously which will allow for more analysis, which is not currently feasible with manual workflows".

My new skills are helping to fill a large gap in my CV. In the next three years, my goal is to work more on data strategy than the research programmes themselves. This will be possible with the knowledge of data-driven insights and evidence-based decision making that I am already gaining from the Level 4 Apprenticeship.”

Holly Murray; Health Data Research UK, Research Manager

Stephanie Parrott is a Digital Marketing and Analytics Manager at HDR UK and a Level 3 Data Citizen Apprentice. Stephanie’s role is heavily focused on analytics and data, providing detailed reports and insights about HDR UK’s website and also about the Health Data Research Innovation Gateway.

Stephanie attributes the new skills and knowledge she gained on the Level 3 programme to her fundamental understanding of data and the role that data plays. Stephanie explains; "the Data Citizen apprenticeship has provided me with a base layer of understanding that was missing before I embarked on this course. In the past, when I was asked to provide data insights relating to digital marketing I would be very reactive, providing only what was asked for. Now, with the new skills and confidence that I've gained, I'm making suggestions and recommendations because I can work with new data sources. I can offer more of a strategic direction because I can look more deeply into the insights that I'm managing".

The Data Citizen apprenticeship has provided me with a base layer of understanding that was missing before I embarked on this course.”

Stephanie Parrott; Health Data Research UK, Digital Marketing & Analytics Manager

Kate Sanders-Wilde is a Continuous Improvement and Business Systems Manager at HDR UK and a Level 3 Data Citizen apprentice. Kate added; “my desire to work at HDR UK comes from a strong understanding of the value and opportunities that are possible with the smart use of data. I’m very keen to build my confidence and technical skills with a data apprenticeship so I can work more effectively with data and apply my new knowledge to my job.”

One of HDR UK's strategic goals is to create a highly skilled and world-leading workforce. At the same time, they are deeply committed to investing in developing the key skills and knowledge that their employees need to be successful in their roles.

Tammy Palmer, Head of People at HDR UK, said; “We have been thrilled to work with Cambridge Spark to provide staff members from different parts of the Institute with the chance to gain a formal qualification through the apprenticeship programme. All three are incredibly passionate and committed and it’s great to see their confidence grow as they learn. They are already bringing back new skills and applying those, not only in their own work but sharing their new knowledge with other colleagues too. We know there are still some challenges in bringing more women into STEM roles so it’s great to see these three, talented women being offered data apprenticeships. We look forward to seeing how they progress and we are already planning our next intake.”

We have been thrilled to work with Cambridge Spark. Our apprentices are already bringing back new skills and applying those, not only in their own work but sharing their new knowledge with other colleagues too."

Tammy Palmer; Health Data Research UK, Head of People

Cambridge Spark are currently enrolling for the next cohort of Data Apprenticeships. Use the form below to contact our team and find out how we can help your organisation to build data capability.