Health trust in Top 100 for apprenticeships

Former Northumbria apprentice Will New, who now works as a community staff nurse in North Tyneside. Picture by Gavin Duthie.

Former Northumbria apprentice Will New, who now works as a community staff nurse in North Tyneside. Picture by Gavin Duthie.

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A health trust has been named the only NHS organisation recognised as one of the country’s top employers for apprentices.

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust has been named in the Centrica Top 100 Apprenticeship Employer list 2016, compiled annually by the National Apprenticeship Service.

The trust has taken on nearly 1,800 apprentices over the last 13 years, with many gaining employment with the trust.

Ann Stringer, executive director of human resources and organisational development, 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.”

One to benefit is community staff nurse Will New.

After graduating from Northumbria University 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.

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.”

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