As the second largest employer in Portsmouth, and with youth unemployment locally on the increase, PHT took the decision in 2011 to actively promote Modern Apprenticeship (MAs) opportunities within the organisation.
Starting with a group intake of 18 MAs in Level 2 Business & Administration (B&A) in January of last year, PHT drew the attention of a number of local businesses eager to learn from our experiences. And with 70% of the intake having successfully secured permanent employment with us by the end of the 12 month placement, PHT are being repeatedly called upon to share our success stories with other organisations.
The Board gave its commitment to continue with the initiative, and maintain learning/employment opportunities for the young people of Portsmouth. This support has led to us now expanding our placement locations to include Pathology, Pharmacy, X-ray and Audiology, to name but a few.
In addition to our B&A MA recruitment, which there were 39 placements for 2012, we have also introduced opportunities for HCSWs, and Level 3 ICT. We are currently reviewing the suitability of a number of entry level posts within Clinical Support for conversion to the MA model also.
If you wish to learn more about how to apply for apprenticeships with organisations such as Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, go to the National Apprenticeship website for more details.
We have several apprentices currently working towards an NVQ Level 2 in Business Administration. Laura Chambers, Emily Wainwright and Leanne Mincher all joined PHT six months ago for the start of their apprenticeships.
Laura commented: “I had just finished college and all I wanted was the opportunity to get my foot in the door and start a career. I had never done business admin before, but I enjoy it and want to move into doing medical administration in the future.”
“I work in the patient experience team and am lucky enough to have been offered a permanent job at QA following my apprenticeship. Many people have the idea that apprentices are ‘stupid’ as they didn’t go to College or University, but this is not the case. Staff should look at apprentices as someone starting a new job,” says Leanne.
“I want to thank the hospital for giving us all a chance to work here. Not only does it help us learn life skills, but also gives more time back to the teams and clinical staff to do other work,” adds Emily.
We have several HCSW apprentices who work in various departments around the Trust. One such person is Louise Richardson who works in outpatients for the eye department.
“I have been an apprentice since February 2012 and I really enjoy the work I do being with the patients and making sure I have been a positive part of their day. I hope that I will have a career as a HCSW as I love helping people, and ideally this would be in the Eye Department as it is so specialised.
I think that the apprenticeship is a great idea for young people to get on the employment ladder. You get to meet great people and you have incentives along the way and hopefully a full time job at the end of the apprenticeship.”
“Feeling secure in employment is such a nice feeling and something that I’ve never had before, where before now I have completed trainee placement after trainee placement,” says Nicole.
“Having a regular, substantial pay check is wonderful,” laughs Nicole. “And I’ve put the money to good use in the three months that I have been permanent already by paying a house deposit enabling me to move out of my parent’s and stand on my own two feet, and throwing myself a huge 18th birthday party with a DJ, photo booth and those extra bits of detail that makes a difference to the party overall.”
Nicole says the doctors and haematology secretaries have been a great support throughout her time at PHT and she is looking forward to where her career progresses from here. “The good thing about working at Portsmouth Hospitals is its enormous size, and I’m sure there will be lots of opportunities for me and I’m excited for my future.”
If you would like more information regarding Apprenticeships at Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust please click here.