Hospital staff are celebrating after more than 800 people have successfully completed an apprenticeship, which has helped them into their chosen career over the last seven years.
With hundreds of different schemes running from school entry level to Master’s degree, there are lots of exciting opportunities on hand for local people trying to get onto the job ladder, as well as those staff already working for the NHS who want to develop their careers.
In fact, there are now even more opportunities available after Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust (NLaG) and Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust (HUTH) moved to a ‘group’ management model, making it the 12th largest trust in England.
As part of National Apprenticeship Week which runs from 5 to 11 February, the Group is showcasing how it’s growing its own workforce for the future of its hospitals – Hull Royal Infirmary, Castle Hill Hospital, Grimsby Diana Princess of Wales Hospital, Scunthorpe General Hospital, Goole and District Hospital, as well as community services in North Lincolnshire.
As well as the people who have already completed their courses, the Group also has more than 450 people currently on a programme. The Group offers clinical and non-clinical apprenticeships, with people learning through a mix of on-the-job training and studying towards formal qualifications.
Lucy Vere, one of the Group’s leads for education and development, said: “Apprenticeships are a great way of bringing new people into the NHS and also a way of developing our existing workforce. It is important to remember that although apprenticeships are a great way for school leavers to start their careers, we have opportunities available across our sites for both new and existing colleagues; in nursing, pharmacy, finance, healthcare sciences, occupational therapy and within our estates teams, to name a few.
“Many of those starting out as apprentices are still with us, having gained qualifications, secured permanent roles or promotions, and in many cases, they are now carving out careers for themselves within their chosen department or clinical speciality.”
The Group is always looking at extending the number of schemes it offers and, in a first for the area, NLaG is now offering not only T-Levels in healthcare, but also business and engineering. These are two-year courses for 16-to-19-year-olds which are aimed at supporting young people to develop their skills, knowledge and to thrive in the workplace. Hull, instead of offering T-Levels, is one of the biggest providers of work experience placements for schools on the north bank and clinical apprenticeships for school leavers.
As part of the national awareness week, HUTH is offering more than 60 vacancies across all nursing apprenticeship levels, including the Registered Nurse Degree, Trainee Nurse Associates, Apprentice Healthcare Support Workers and Apprentice Healthcare Assistants. An open evening is being held on Wednesday 7 February between 4:30pm and 6:30pm in the Wellbeing Centre, Entrance 2, Castle Hill Hospital, where people can find out about these opportunities, as well as vacancies in the customer service and admin teams. It’s also open to existing staff to talk through development opportunities.
The Group is also proud to be working collaboratively on a joint Senior Leader Apprenticeship opportunity, which officially launches during the awareness week. This innovative, online Level 7 (equivalent to Master’s level) will support existing, senior colleagues to develop their skills and knowledge.
Rachael Simpson, an apprentice working at Castle Hill Hospital after completing the healthcare assistant apprentices (HCA), is now on the Registered Nurse Degree Apprenticeship (RNDA) programme. She said: “I started volunteering when I was 16. While doing this I met someone who was doing the HCA apprenticeship and I realised I would really enjoy that role. I now work on Ward 9. I love working with the team, but my favourite part of the job is the contact I have with patients – being able to help them and make them feel comfortable on our ward. Looking to the future, my aim is to become a registered nurse by 2026.”
Katherine Bosanquet, who works at NLaG, has been with the Trust for 22 years starting out in admin. Over the years she has completed various apprenticeships in administration and more recently management. Katherine, who is now the Training and Apprenticeship Manager, said: “Apprenticeships have helped me develop my confidence within the working environment through hands-on learning, expanding my knowledge and skills within my chosen field. Completing an apprenticeship has given me the opportunity to build relationships with staff within other areas, at all levels.”