Health trust aiming to take on 50 apprentices

A MAJOR employer has launched a recruitment drive to take on 50 new apprentices in the next few weeks.

In one of the biggest ever intakes of apprentices by a NHS organisation, Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust has been meeting with potential staff as part of National Apprenticeship Week 2013.

The trust held a ‘meet the apprentice’ event on Wednesday to launch the recruitment drive, with aims of taking on 300 apprentices in the next two years to work in hospitals, community services and offices.

And the trust is also providing a programme to support young people not in education, employment or training, offering bespoke opportunities to work and gain experience.

Trust chief executive Jim Mackey said: “Young people have a great deal to offer the NHS and we are committed to opening up more opportunities for young people to join our apprenticeship schemes.

“Increasing access to work opportunities for young people is a real priority for us and becoming an apprentice is an excellent way of undertaking work-based learning, gaining hands on experience and working towards a formal qualification in a supportive learning environment.”

Wansbeck MP Ian Lavery has welcomed the news, saying: “This is not just really good news for the local community but also great news for our young people.”

“Well done Northumbria Healthcare.”

In the last ten years, more than 95 per cent of apprentices who successfully completed their apprenticeship programmes have secured employment with the trust.

Craig Bage, from Cramlington, completed a business administration apprenticeship at the trust, winning regional apprentice of the year in 2012 in the process.

The 20-year-old has now secured a job with the trust in the training department, working at Cobalt Business Park in North Tyneside.

Craig said: “Deciding to undertake an apprenticeship instead of university has been the best decision I have ever made.

“I’ve gained qualifications and am working towards my degree while gaining valuable experience working.

“The Trust and its training department have offered me so many opportunities for progression and I cannot thank them enough for their support.”