David Lewis - Estates Assistant Manager

Engineering Careers in the NHS

People never think about the diversity of roles in the NHS and the wide variety of opportunities that are available. Here one employee explains how an Apprenticeship opened up a career pathway in Engineering.


Dave Lewis is now the Estates Site Manager at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital, his career pathway through Estates and into a Senior Management position was made possible through the Shrewsbury and Telford Hopsital NHS Trust (SATH) apprenticeship programme, investment in his education and his own hard work to excel at both college and in work.


Dave started at the Trust with very basic Engineering Qualifications; City & Guilds 20-10 and Performing Basic Engineering Operations Level 2 NVQ were completed after he left school.

He joined the SATH Estates Team as a Mechanical Maintenance Assistant at Band 2. Soon after his appointment to the Trust his Career path started.

Dave explains how the Apprenticeship route has helped him to progress in his chosen career - “In 2006 I had been offered an opportunity by my manager at the time, to go through an apprenticeship (Level 3 Engineering), the Trust were willing to develop my skills and support me financially to go to college so I could eventually become a Mechanical Technician. I gratefully took the opportunity and committed myself fully to the advanced apprenticeship course which took three years to complete, picking up student of the year and gaining distinctions along the way. Following a further two years in higher education I studied and completed a HNC/HND in Electrical Mechanical Engineering.  The apprenticeship programme and subsequent Higher Education has given me greater choice in my career path with the NHS.  I have worked in various roles within the Estates team, being exposed to a wide variety of experiences and gaining expertise from being an Apprentice, Mechanical Technician, Decontamination Technician, Assistant Manager which have all enabled me to now progress to being a Site Manager”

“Sucession planning is important to the Trust and particularly Estates, our skillsets can be very niche and difficult to aquire within industry due to the environment that we operate in. The Trust Apprenticeship programme is an established way to improve skills and help provide career choices and progression routes for both our existing substantive staff and our prospective employees whatever their education level.”


Estates Apprenticeship opportunities within the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust

Both the Royal Shrewsbury and Princess Royal Hospital, Telford sites have a dedicated Estates Team who cover a wide variety of skills to service and maintain the buildings in which we deliver care to our patients and the community while also providing a safe workplace for over 6000 employees. A hospital environment is quite specialised, in order to keep it safe and everything in good working order 24/7 every day of the year requires people who are skilled in:

  • Mechanical                        
  • Building craft (carpentry)
  • Painting/Signwriting                      
  • Electrical
  • Grounds                             

Specialist equipment can include: Heating and Ventilation Systems, Medical gas, Air handling units, Decontamination, Fire Systems, Lifts, Bed Head Services, Low voltage and High voltage electrical Systems, Water and Drainage Systems

Over recent years Apprenticeships have been utilised to develop our people especially with Mechanical and Electrical skills. In 2021 it was recognised that to be able to continue to deliver a high calibre service there needed to be an investment in opportunities to bring younger people into the team. Therefore in September 2021 six new Apprenticeship posts were recruited to across the 2 hospital sites:

Two Apprentices undertaking Level 2 Carpentry & Joinery to be achieved over 24 months

Four Apprentices undertaking Level 3 Engineering Technician- - Mechatronics Maintenance with 2 specialising in Electrical and 2 specialising in Mechanical, this takes 4 years to achieve

During 2022 the Estates Team within the Trust are planning to recruit further Apprentices to undertake these Apprenticeship programmes. Recruitment and advertising is likely to start during the Summer and will be advertised through the Trusts recruitment website: www.jobs@sath.nhs.uk


For further information about roles in this area see the national Health Careers website links below:



Engineer | Health Careers

Carpenter/joiner | Health Careers

Estates services | Health Careers