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Hospital's apprenticeship team surpasses government recruitment target
12 April 2018

Our hospital’s newly-formed apprenticeship team hit a century in its first year, exceeding an ambitious government recruitment target.

More than 100 colleagues have started a new role in the hospital or community since April 2017, when our team was set a target of recruiting 98 apprentices.

A total of 104 apprenticeships were created on adult wards as well as in areas such as outpatients, pharmacy and estates, while further training roles were created at Aldeburgh Community Hospital and the Care Co-ordination Centre at Sandy Hill Lane.

New recruits also came from within, with existing staff taking on clinical apprenticeships and health care assistants getting the chance to progress on to foundation degrees. Team leaders were also given the opportunity to gain crucial management skills.

This year, with a new government target set to be released shortly, the Ipswich team wants to recruit more school leavers.

Julie Tomlin, sister on Haughley Ward, said: “Every single apprenticeship programme I have experienced in the last two years has benefited the ward and individual respectively.   

“It can be physically and mentally demanding, but the vital experience working on a ward gives an apprentice a good insight, ahead of taking a permanent position.

“The same applies to my permanent unqualified staff, hoping to become registered nurses in the future, who see what they do on a daily basis. I know and they know they will make excellent RNs in the future.”

Education and training administrator, Shannon Mayhew, completed an apprenticeship at Ipswich hospital before taking on a permanent role, and said: “My apprenticeship at the hospital gave me the opportunity to gain valuable knowledge and experience which I am now able to demonstrate in my everyday work life.

“I cannot praise the hospital and my team of colleagues enough for the support and guidance I received during my qualification.”

Sue Pettitt, clinical education and workforce development lead, said: “The IHT board recognised the challenge ahead to ensure the best use of public funds in the apprenticeship levy. They supported the development of a team of experienced staff to recruit and guide apprentices at Ipswich hospital and in the community.

“It is because of this team we have been so successful in employing apprentices in a wide variety of roles within the organisation and meeting the public sector target.”

The hospital team developed their courses alongside the University of Suffolk, University of Essex and the University of East Anglia, as well as other external learning providers.