MORE than 40 new jobs have been created for young people through a successful partnership between the NHS and Derwentside College.
County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust, which consists of Darlington Hospital and University Hospital Durham, have recruited their first 40 apprentices after joining forces with Derwentside College, with a further 7 roles to be filled.
The new recruits are working in the areas of healthcare, business administration and ward housekeeping.
Mike Wright, Executive Director of Nursing for County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust, said: “These are the first apprenticeships we have ever had and they’ve proved to be a fantastic way to inject young blood into the Trust. Our staff have been very keen to introduce them into their departments.
“It’s brilliant that we can provide such significant and meaningful training opportunities for young people and to give them a real insight into working life whilst also helping to develop their skills.
“Derwentside College was instrumental in setting up the scheme for us and has been extremely supportive throughout the recruitment process from advertising the positions, shortlisting, interviewing and selecting the best candidates for the jobs available.
“This was a first for us and we’ve been so impressed with the apprentices we’ve recruited to date. As the quality of candidates has been so high, we anticipate recruiting even more apprentices in the future.”
Each apprentice will gain work experience, functional skills and a vocational level two qualification in year one with an opportunity to progress to an Advanced Apprenticeship in year two.
Susan Errington, Executive Director of Business Development for Derwentside College, said: “Derwentside College is passionate about supporting our learners to find jobs so we’re delighted that 40 young people have been able to take advantage of these newly created apprenticeship opportunities.
“We focus on encouraging learners to develop excellent personal and social skills to enhance their employability and for those already in work to enhance their existing skills and progress through learning. In the last year alone, together with our partners, we have worked with and supported more than 5000 learners in 30 different occupational areas.
“We’re also committed to developing outstanding partnerships with employers as this is key to helping adult learners’ upskill and progress in their careers as well as helping our learners attain employment. We’ve worked with more than 1000 employers in the last 12 months from across the north east region and beyond.
“Our partnership with County Durham and Darlington Foundation Trust is a perfect example of how we build strong, long-lasting relationships with employers to ensure they get the best, high quality apprentices and that our learners get the vital work experience they need.”
Amanda Form, Learning & Occupational Development Manager at Darlington Memorial Hospital, added: “We are also focusing on work-based learning with our existing staff members too, to demonstrate the opportunities available to staff to enhance their existing skills.
“We want to highlight that apprenticeships aren’t just for 16-24 year olds and we’re offering our employees the chance to update and broaden their learning in the areas of healthcare, business administration, IT, management and team leading.”