There are currently over 200 apprentices who ‘earn while they learn’ across United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust (ULHT), Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (LPFT) and Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust (LCHS).
National Apprenticeship Week offers a chance to shine a light on the benefits of apprenticeships to new and existing staff and the wide-ranging development opportunities they can offer.
An ambitious challenge to sign up 100 staff onto the various different NHS apprenticeship study pathways has also been launched by the NHS Lincolnshire Talent Academy as part of the week-long celebrations.
The innovative #NHS100Challenge will run from Monday 4 March until Tuesday 11 June 2019 in a bid to boost the number of apprenticeships being taken up across the healthcare community in Lincolnshire.
A prime example of the variety of careers supported by the apprenticeship programme in the NHS is the role of trainee radiation engineer practitioner, currently being pursued by Chris Jobling at ULHT.
Part of Chris’ role is to make sure all the radiotherapy equipment is maintained and he says it’s a rewarding and often fascinating job.
“What I love about working for the NHS is that everyone is here because they want to help others, however they can,” he said.
“From directly caring for patients, to the background work that people often don’t tend to see, such as ensuring the equipment and machines are up to scratch.
“It shows that everyone has their place and each role is just as important as all the others.
“All of this alongside university work and assignments always makes for a very interesting day.”
Claire Flavell, Strategic Lead for the NHS Lincolnshire Talent Academy, said: “In view of the national shortage of staff in key roles across the NHS, we can no longer rely upon vacancies attracting qualified staff to the county.
“As a result, we have taken proactive steps to grow our own talent within Lincolnshire, using the apprenticeship programme to deliver our range of structured career development pathways that offer accredited training for our future workforce.
“We know we have a wealth of talented individuals within our current workforce and local communities for whom the apprenticeship route is perfect.
“With apprenticeships at their heart, our career pathways offer individuals of any age the unique opportunity to work, train and study towards a range of professional roles whilst employed locally.”
Tom Robinson, from Cherry Willingham near Lincoln, has been working as an apprentice with the estates and facilities team at Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust (LCHS) for the past six months.
His job involves helping to maintain buildings that are owned and leased by LCHS, in addition to dealing with daily invoices.
“I’m really enjoying my time with the team, the work is varied and I have been given the opportunity to become involved with a number of different projects”, said Tom.
“I look forward to continuing my apprenticeship with LCHS and would not hesitate in encouraging others to consider one with an NHS organisation.”
Elsewhere, Louise Nixon is currently working as a trainee nursing associate apprentice on LPFT’s adult mental health inpatient ward at the Peter Hodgkinson Centre at Lincoln County Hospital.
Her job involves supporting health care support workers, assisting with ward rounds and completing care plans.
“I always wanted to do nursing, so when I heard about the trainee nursing associate apprenticeship it seemed like a really good opportunity”, said Louise.
“I get to do a lot of exciting stuff and see different sectors within healthcare.”
To find out more about the various career paths available to explore across the NHS, visit the Talent Academy website – www.lincstalentacademy.org.uk or email [email protected]. You can also find them on Facebook and on Twitter and Instagram @LincsTALAC.