Hospital trust and council kick-start aspiring nurses’ careers

20th Jan 2012

Picture from left: apprentices Kirsty Johnson, Mehvish Akhtar, Rachel Buckingham, Kelly Noble, Shona Durbin, Rebecca Harper, Lydia Douglas, Kirsty Rollings, and Daniel Clare.

Nine young people have started their careers in nursing, thanks to a partnership between Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Hospitals Trust and Sandwell Council.

The council’s Think Local Youth Employment Team and Future Skills Sandwell received over 100 applications for nine apprenticeships being offered by the Trust, aimed at 16 to 24-year-olds.

Following an induction, the trainees are employed at Sandwell and City hospitals and work towards an NVQ Level 2 in Health and Social Care.

Spending one day a week in the classroom, they work another four days on the wards, and the emphasis is on the apprentices’ approach and ability to communicate, rather than solely qualifications.

The apprentices have welcomed the opportunity to gain valuable experience on the wards.

“The apprenticeship is a great opportunity for young people to learn hands on in wards and work their way up,” explained trainee Mehvish Akhtar.

Fellow student Rebecca Harper said: ““This is something you have to be 100 per cent interested in.

“It’s a really good chance to work with everyone on the frontline and we’re very thankful for the opportunity.”

Lorna Kelly, Clinical Practice Lead Nurse, added that the Trust is looking forward to developing the trainees.

“We’re keen to support the apprentices while they train and in some respects we’re growing our own,” she said.

Councillor Mahboob Hussain, Council Cabinet Member for Improvement and Efficiency, said he hopes the Trust and the council will continue to work together to offer apprenticeships in the run up to the opening of a new hospital in 2016/17.

He explained: “Our Think Local team is also working with the Trust to ensure employment and training opportunities are identified during the construction of the new Midland Metropolitan Hospital planned for Grove Lane, Smethwick.”

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