NHS apprentices all raring to go

Nine apprentices have started their careers with the North East Ambulance Service.

The group, which consists of Carl Wilkinson, Iain Stewart, Joe Osborne, Alice Murray, Andrew Lillico, Amy Galley, Ryan Allinson, Sarah Holey and Caitlyn Shelsey, have all started Patient Transport Service apprenticeships through the Northern Skills Group.

They will spend a year as ambulance care assistants, delivering hospital transfers, discharges and palliative care transport.

The apprenticeships come as part of an investment in the next generation of ambulance staff.

Andrew Lamb is the education coordinator with the North East Ambulance Service.

He said: “This role is seen as a great entry point for a career in the NHS, and many former ambulance care assistants have gone on to secure permanent positions as ambulance care assistants, emergency care assistants or train to become paramedics.”

The trainees will spend the initial part of the programme at the NHS’ Lanchester Road Hospital training facility in County Durham. Here, they’ll learn first aid, ambulance service policy and driving skills, picking up a C1 qualification on their licence in the meantime.

Following this, they will spend a year on the job with a mentor to build up experience.

Since 2012, the North East Ambulance Service has trained 79 apprentices – 52 of whom are still working for the trust today.