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The four apprentices are working towards a Level 2 or 3 Apprenticeship in Business Administration, completing assignments with the support of a local training provider.  During their one year programme, the apprentices are assigned to provide business support to a team such as clinical quality, human resources, training or specialist services, such as respiratory nursing.

Rachel Horrill (16) a former Denmark Road student, is the youngest apprentice on the scheme and is relishing her business and administration role: “I had considered A-levels, but decided that it wasn’t for me.  I love the idea of being able to earn some money as well as getting a qualification, and being trained in the work place has given me lots of confidence and experience that a qualification alone wouldn’t offer. I get to work with a wide range of people, and have particularly loved working on reception and being the front face of the organisation.”

Like Rachel, 19 year old Megan Winter opted for an apprenticeship rather than continuing her studies; “After studying A-Levels in geography, psychology, sociology and law, I wanted to move away from the classroom.  I applied for an apprenticeship with Gloucestershire Care Services as I knew that the NHS had a good reputation and is a great place to start a career.  My apprenticeship has been with the Clinical Quality and Development team; working with such a wide range of people, including nurses, administrators and trainers, has really opened my eyes to what the NHS can offer.”

With around two thousand eight hundred staff employed across eight community hospitals and a range of health and social care services, Gloucestershire Care Services is a key player in the local job market, as Tina Ricketts, Head of Employee Excellence, explained: “People don’t always realise the huge variety of jobs available within the NHS and so this apprenticeship scheme is an exciting opportunity to develop our home grown talent, and employ the next generation of skilled professionals to provide modern health and social care services to local people.”

Faye Beddow, Learning and Development Trainer at Gloucestershire Care Services added: “The reason so many young people are looking to apprenticeship schemes like this is that it gives them an opportunity to develop their skills in a work place setting, earning money while they learn. The apprentices are provided with training and support throughout the programme, including their on-going coursework and exams, and at the end of the scheme, apprentices will have gained a qualification as well as valuable experience in the workplace.”

The apprenticeship programme is expected to expand, which could offer further opportunities in health and social care support roles as well as in business administration.

Tina Ricketts commented: “We will be encouraging our apprentices to apply for internal vacancies, and giving them every opportunity to take the next step on their career within the NHS. We want to develop talent in all areas of the organisation, and increase the number of apprentices we employ across Gloucestershire Care Services.  It has been a really successful scheme so far, and the apprentices are all developing to become excellent ambassadors for their services.”

15 January 2013