Brilliant scheme up for brilliant award

3rd Jun 2016

It’s been another successful week here at Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust (SWBH) as we hear the brilliant news that our highly commended Live & Work Scheme has been shortlisted for the ENEI Award for Community Impact!

The Community Impact Award looks for organisations that have reached out to and engaged with minority or disadvantaged groups, and the Trust’ Live & Work Scheme is a vivid example of this. This scheme is a fantastic initiative that partners Sandwell & West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust with youth homelessness charity St Basils, and works to provide apprenticeship opportunities to young people. It also seeks to regenerate some of the derelict housing in the area, providing youths who were previously homeless or at risk of homelessness a safe place to live.

Apprenticeships are offered in a variety of fields, including Health & Social Care, Business Administration, and Healthcare Support Services. Functional Skill lessons in English, ICT, and Maths are also delivered. The aim is to teach the young apprentices transferable and universally useful skills in order to see them flourish and advance in their chosen field. Once the scheme has been completed, apprentices will be eligible to apply for permanent, paid work within the Trust.

As one of the largest employers in a socially deprived area, SWBH recognised the need to engage with people across the community. Not only does this scheme aid in bringing that sense of community back, it also paves the way to a future for many by creating opportunities and opening doors.

To date, 22 Apprentices from St Basils were recruited to SWBH across a range of healthcare disciplines. 2015-16 has seen a 100% Apprenticeship retention rate, and on top of that we were also commended with a visit from HRH Prince William in December 2015, who praised the hard work and dedication of all involved.

The Trust is also very proud to be recognised twice at regional level – February 2016 when The Project won the Partnership Award at the Sandwell & West Birmingham NHS Clinical Commissioning Group Equality Awards, as well as Apprenticeship Employer Innovation Partnership Award at the Health Education England (West Midlands) Apprenticeship Recognition Awards.

Maxine Griffiths, the Trust’s Workforce Development and Apprenticeship Co-ordinator, says: “The apprenticeship team is extremely proud of the Live and Work Project and how it is growing with success. The young people that the project supports are given the opportunity to train at the Trust as an apprentice and start a career pathway, as well as having somewhere safe and comfortable to live. These young people have the potential to become NHS stars of the future!”

It is not an easy road for many of the young apprentices, and many can find the step up into working life a difficult one. Yet many of them have gone on to express an interest in advancing further in their fields and a lot speak of being a lot happier, feeling like they belong, and that the scheme has had a significant impact on their self-confidence and belief.

Back to News Stories