skip to content

For staff


Vocational training is a great way for assistant staff to gain important professional skills. It benefits them, their teams and departments, and the University as a whole.

If you have used one of the University’s 280 lifts recently, there is a strong chance that you got to where you were going, quickly and safely, thanks to either Lee Hilsden or Scott Herrington.

Lee and Scott work as part of a small team in Estate Management that is responsible for carrying out routine servicing and safety inspections of all lift equipment across the University.

They are also two of approximately 40 assistant staff who have this year benefited from University-supported vocational training, having recently completed an NVQ level three in Lift Maintenance and Repair.

Vocational training is an important part of the work carried out by the Personal and Professional Development team, and there are various avenues of support for assistant staff who wish to learn while they earn.

Lee and Scott received support from the CareerStart@cam scheme, which is aimed at employees who are new, or fairly new, to their jobs, often having joined the University from school or college. Training can also be undertaken through other schemes – the VQ fund and the Employee Development Initiative, for example, while the Finance Division offers support for assistant staff who wish to pursue accounting and purchasing vocational qualifications.

Trainees will typically spend four days a week at work, with a fifth spent studying or training on a day-release course. A wide range of University employees benefit from vocational training, with recent attendees coming from a range of occupational backgrounds, including animal technicians, catering managers, mechanical workshop technicians and administrators.

Vocational training brings benefits to both staff and the University, says Jessie Monck, Development Consultant in the Personal and Professional Development team. “It motivates staff and is a recognised reward,” she says. “It helps the University recruit the right people, and, in difficult-to-recruit areas, vocational training can help the University invest in individuals with potential, helping them acquire specialist skills that they will pass on if they progress in their jobs at Cambridge.”

Assistant staff who are interested in finding out more about vocational training should call the Personal and Professional Development team on (01223) 332343 or visit its website.

Staff can also find out more at a drop-in session on 16 May between 1 and 2pm at 25 Trumpington Street.


31 January 2013


Claire Currington, Team Leader in the Visitor Services Department at the Fitzwilliam Museum, obtained an NVQ Level 3 in Business and Administration, and an NCFE Level 2 in Managing Diversity.