Mental health trust showcases apprenticeship opportunities
- Credit: NSFT
The important role which apprentices play at Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) is being highlighted during a national awareness week designed to encourage more people to think about earning while they learn.
National Apprenticeship Week began on Monday and staff are celebrating the role apprentices play in helping NSFT deliver services to patients, while also showcasing the huge range of apprenticeship opportunities available at the trust.
It comes shortly after 16 of NSFT's existing staff began a shortened pathway nursing degree apprenticeship. The staff, who have already achieved foundation degrees, will spend the next two years studying for a higher apprenticeship at the University of Suffolk to earn a nursing degree – a course which normally takes four years to complete.
Kim Boggan, talent for care lead, said: 'We're delighted that 16 of our existing staff have now begun this higher apprenticeship, which will see them qualify as registered mental health nurses by 2020. It underlines our trust's commitment to developing our staff and supporting them as they learn new skills and further their careers.
'We look forward to working closely with the students over the coming two years to help them to develop the practical skills they will need for a long and successful career in nursing.'
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National Apprenticeship Week is a country-wide celebration of the positive impact which apprentices have in the workplace, and this year carries the theme 'apprenticeships work'.
On Wednesday and Thursday, trust staff and apprentices who already work for NSFT will attend a two-day event at the Norfolk Showground to promote apprenticeships to pupils who are preparing to leave school. The trust will also be taking its 16 newest recruits, who are completing apprenticeships in business and administration, pharmacy and IT, on a team-building day in the next few weeks.
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Jane Stringer, apprenticeship reforms implementation facilitator with NSFT, said: 'Apprenticeships give people a fantastic opportunity to earn a wage while studying for a recognised qualification. At the same time, they can also build up essential workplace experience and gain a real insight into working in their chosen career on a day-to-day basis.
'We have a long history of supporting apprentices at NSFT, and currently have more than 100 staff completing an apprentice programme.
'We would encourage anyone who is thinking about signing up for an apprenticeship to use this national awareness week as their springboard and get in touch with us to see how we could help.'
The majority of apprenticeships last 12 months, with successful candidates given time away from their work commitments to complete their studies.
Anyone interested in finding out more should visit nsft.uk/apprenticeships or contact Jane on 01603 421564.