Naveed is currently a student on the Human Resource Management - Level 5 Higher Apprenticeship (CIPD).
After a 15-year career at Lancashire Fire and Rescue, a family bereavement prompted Naveed Sharif to re-think his choice of career.
With an impressive two masters qualifications to his name – the second in Managing Equality and Promoting Diversity – Naveed was keen to put them to good use.
"One of the things my Mum always said to me was ‘I really want you to utilise your qualifications’ so that encouraged me to take stock of what I was doing with my life."
Naveed successfully applied for a specialist safeguarding practitioner’s post at Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust and a new career path was born.
It wasn’t long before Naveed’s career really started to take off.
Just 18 months later, he began a secondment as a senior manager with the Northern Care Alliance. Then the global pandemic hit and he was seconded again, this time to manage a PPE Fit Testing team of 20,000 staff across 5 sites from North Manchester General Hospital.
"I was getting proactively involved with a lot of HR related work (inclusion, diversity etc) at this time and a colleague suggested putting myself forward for the Human Resource Management Higher Apprenticeship with B&FC.”
"I’ve been a professional student for years so I loved the prospect of a new academic challenge, but I also realised that as an EDI professional this qualification – with CIPD accreditation – would provide the development and credibility needed to take my career to the next level.”
Naveed put in his application and was over the moon when it was accepted.
"The learning experience has been phenomenal, absolutely second to none. I’ve studied at various HE institutions and you get a feel for just being a number in some of those organisations but at B&FC you definitely feel like a person ¬– it’s very student-centred.”
While on the course, Naveed landed the role of NHS Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Manager and Operational Lead for Improvement for the whole of the North West. Now that the COVID-19 vaccination programme is underway, he’s temporarily helping to oversee its mass roll-out across the region.
"It’s been a massive learning experience but the learning I’ve had and my development have allowed me to navigate through it. I genuinely believe these opportunities wouldn’t have been possible without this course – I can’t sing its praises enough!”
Naveed has his sights set on a level 7 course next but for the time-being at least his focus will be putting theory to practice in the roles he’s assigned to currently.
In the midst of a pandemic, with a young family and also providing cover for the Fire and Emergency Support Service as part of the British Red Cross, that’s probably more than enough to be going on with.
B&FC student Naveed Sharif