To mark National Apprenticeship Week (3rd – 7th February) Northamptonshire Health and Care Partnership (NHCP) is announcing that it recruited over 300 apprentices in the last 12 months, up from 243 last year. They are also highlighting why apprenticeships are an excellent route into health and care for people of all ages and how the NHS and other health and care organisations in the partnership are benefitting from their skills.
New apprentices were recruited onto a wide variety of apprenticeship programmes in health and care and also in administrative roles in business, HR and finance at Kettering General Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust and Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, as well as in Primary Care, St Andrew’s Healthcare and adult social care.
Apprentices could start at level two or three, which is entry level, but they can progress through to degree level and post graduate qualifications.
Two Northamptonshire NHS Trusts are also running innovative schemes for apprentices. A Learning Ward has been created at Kettering General Hospital NHS Foundation Trust where groups of up to 20 young school leavers at a time are interviewed for apprenticeship positions, at different times throughout the year can undertake training to work as apprentice healthcare assistants on the wards.
A new pilot scheme for a two-year nursing associate apprenticeship has also been created by Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust. This brings in two ‘brand new’ students fresh from their A-levels to undertake this direct route to nursing qualification. This is a new nursing role that bridges the gap between healthcare support workers and registered nurses.
Laura Lydia Watts, Project Manager for Apprenticeships and Work Experience at NHCP says, “In Northamptonshire we really value apprenticeships. We recognise the important role they currently play and will play in addressing skills shortages and boosting our current and future workforce, as well as enabling individuals to gain on the job training and build their knowledge and experience. One of our key strategic advancements for 2019 was the agreement across our partnership to ‘gift’ apprenticeship levy to our employer partners. This has seen new apprenticeship opportunities created in Primary Care, with four individuals working across medical practices in Northamptonshire receiving training funding from Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundations Trust to enable them to complete their nursing associate level 5 qualification. This is the first transfer in the county between NHS health and care organisations to occur.
“Over the past three years we have developed more apprenticeship programmes, as health and care providers across the county are seeing the benefits apprentices can bring to their teams. For anyone considering a career in health or care in Northamptonshire, whether in a clinical or non-clinical role, apprenticeships open up lots of opportunities for individuals of all ages and at all levels. The scheme really is beautiful in the fact that you earn whilst you learn, you are fully supported throughout your qualification which mirrors academically that of a university qualification and once you complete, the opportunities for progression and further study really are endless.
Niall Spencer, in his forties is a nursing associate apprentice at St Andrew’s Healthcare. He says one of the positives of undertaking an apprenticeship course is there is no student debt.
Niall explains, “I am in my forties with a mortgage and family, it is a massive advantage to learn and develop whilst not adding any student debt. The apprenticeship course is a very convenient way to earn and learn. The flexibility is fantastic, combining work, family and university life whilst completing the apprenticeship.
“I have taken a step back, to go forward. At St Andrew’s Healthcare there are many opportunities to progress as it’s a big organisation with a diverse range of patients and wards, as well as a variety of roles. I would definitely recommend the apprenticeship route to everyone, as it gives an enormous amount of opportunity as well as lots of flexibility.”
Elanor Jones is a 21-year-old ESR Administrator (Workforce Systems Administrator) who has been working at Kettering General Hospital since June 2019. Elanor did not have any qualifications when she left school so getting a qualification from an apprenticeship programme is a huge bonus for her.
Elanor says, “There are great career opportunities for apprenticeships in healthcare, with the variety and diversity of roles within the NHS, which makes it such a great place to work. The best thing about being an apprentice is getting the experience as well as getting paid.”
Northamptonshire Health and Care Partnership and all employer providers will be celebrating their most promising apprentices at the Northamptonshire Health and Care Partnership (NHCP) Apprenticeship Celebration Event 2020 taking place at the Park Inn in Northampton on Friday 7th February.
Several of Northamptonshire’s health and care providers are part of the ‘Best of Both Worlds’ recruitment campaign. The campaign unites the University of Northampton, Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust, Kettering General Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (KGH), Primary Care and St Andrew’s Healthcare in recruiting doctors and nurses to relocate and live and work in Northamptonshire.
Part of the campaign is focused on recruiting apprentices across the county. For more details on apprenticeships available visit: www.bestofbothworlds.uk.net/northamptonshire-apprenticeships/
For more information on other vacancies visit: www.bestofbothworlds.uk.net