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Northumbria flies flag for NHS in top apprenticeship employers list

Thursday, 26 January, 2017
Northumbria flies flag for NHS in top apprenticeship employers list

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust is the only NHS organisation to be recognised as one of the country’s top employers for apprentices.

The trust has been named in the Centrica Top 100 Apprenticeship Employer list 2016, which is compiled annually by the National Apprenticeship Service and recognises excellence in businesses that employ apprentices.

Alongside multi-national companies such as Ford Motor Company, Sage and Barclays, the listing recognises the trust’s commitment to growing its own workforce.

Widely seen as having one of the best and longest-standing apprenticeship programmes in the NHS, Northumbria has taken on almost 1,800 apprentices over the last 13 years with many going on to gain employment with the trust.

With apprenticeships in health and social care and business administration, apprentices work across the trust’s sites in Northumberland and North Tyneside and are a much-valued part of the organisation’s workforce.

Ann Stringer, executive director of human resources and organisational development at Northumbria Healthcare, said: “We’re delighted to be recognised, for the first time, as one of the very best employers in the country for apprenticeships.

“As a trust, we’re passionate about opening up opportunities for young people and, with the right support, helping them to take their first steps into the world of work.

“For more than a decade, apprenticeships have been an integral part of our organisation with hundreds of apprentices joining us over the years and helping us to develop as an organisation.

“We’re privileged to fly the flag for the NHS in this list and for the success of our work to be held up on the national stage, and we will continue to push the boundaries and look at ways of expanding our programme where we can.”

Sue Husband, director of the National Apprenticeship Service, said: “The Top 100 Apprenticeship Employer list 2016 demonstrates clearly the impact apprentices can have on an organisation.

“Apprentice employers are creating opportunities for individuals to gain the skills and knowledge needed to succeed, up to degree level, while working and earning.

“These Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers are making a difference to the lives of their apprentices by investing in their future. In return, apprentices are helping employers to develop a skilled, qualified workforce to build a stronger economy.

“I hope the success of these Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers will mean more businesses across England aspire to follow their example and to find out for themselves how apprenticeships help to grow a skilled and highly qualified workforce.”

The list was announced at the National Apprenticeship Awards, which took place on 20 January in London.

After a tough selection process the most exceptional apprenticeship employers from all of the National Apprenticeship Awards employer categories went forward to feature in the list, which showcases the breadth of employers who now offer apprenticeships.

The trust recruits apprentices throughout the year with the next posts due to be advertised on NHS Jobs – www.jobs.nhs.uk – in the summer.

Former apprentice Will finds a career and love thanks to Northumbria apprenticeship

Community staff nurse Will New is one Northumbria employee who would not be where he is today without the trust’s apprenticeship programme.

Will completed a healthcare apprenticeship in early 2012, enabling him to gain the necessary qualifications to embark on a nursing degree at Northumbria University.

After graduating in March 2015, Will joined the trust, taking up a role in North Tyneside caring for patients at home and in the community.

Will, 29, said: “Quite simply I would not be a nurse and doing a job that I love without the apprenticeship.

“It opened the door into nursing for me and it’s down to the trust and the support they’ve given me that I am where I am today.

“Apprenticeships are a great step up to your career, you get real hands-on experience and get paid while you learn.

“I find my job really rewarding and like the responsibility you have working directly with patients in their own homes and in community clinics and being able to trust your own clinical judgement, while having the support there should you need it.”

And Will got more than a rewarding career when he started work at Northumbria, he met fellow community staff nurse Rebecca Haves – the couple are due to marry in October 2018.

To view the full Centrica Top 100 Apprenticeship Employer List, visit www.gov.uk/government/news/national-apprenticeship-awards-2016-winners-announced


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