Jobs boost for health sector apprentices

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Up to 50 new jobs will be created in north Lancashire and south Cumbria with the launch of a new apprentice scheme.

University Hospitals Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT) is launching a pilot apprentice programme in Lancaster and Barrow to create a nursing

workforce for the future.

It will take on up to 25 new healthcare support workers to train on the wards and departments at both Royal Lancaster Infirmary and Furness General Hospital, with a guaranteed job promised at the end of the training.

The recruits will study a Level Two apprenticeship in Healthcare with an option to progress into a career in healthcare or nursing.

They will be recruited based on their personalities and values to ensure they are the best fit for the job.

The initiative – called Growing our Own to Provide Great Care – is in partnership with Lancaster and Morecambe College and Furness College.

Sue Smith, executive chief nurse at University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Trust, said the care support worker role is critical to help the trust deliver high-quality care to meet patients’ needs.

She said: “We are investing in the training and education of staff to deliver the very best patient care.

“The apprentices will be recruited based on their personalities and values, which will ensure the Trust employs people who are compassionate and committed to caring.”

David Wilkinson, director of workforce and organisational development, said that in the past, there had been a heavy reliance on bank and agency staff, which led to a lack of continuity.

The first apprentices will spend one day a week at college, 25 hours working within the hospital, with additional study time required.

They will rotate around three different wards in Lancaster and Barrow and departments to gain a wide clinical perspective.

The programme will commence in September 2014.