Health schemes get seal of approval

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A SHEFFIELD health trust has been recognised in two leading award schemes for its work in providing apprenticeships.

Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has been named one of the country’s top 100 apprenticeship employers by the National Apprenticeship Service and City & Guilds – the vocational education organisation – for its excellence in creating opportunities for apprentices.

The organisation’s efforts have enabled apprentices to acquire transferable vocational skills to help them to find work and to improve their numeracy and literacy skills. In addition, the Trust’s Learning and Development Department was highly commended in the Regional Final of the National Apprenticeships Awards 2011, in the Macro Employer category.

The awards recognise the achievements of the Trust’s Healthcare Academy – a partnership between the organisation and Sheffield College, for its efforts in providing apprenticeships and in delivering high quality training for support staff roles. The Academy focuses on providing training across a range of vocational areas including health, pharmacy, business administration and estates and child care. It is also currently extending the apprenticeship scheme to include pilot projects in laboratory science and catering.

The apprenticeships, usually lasting between 12 and 24 months, are primarily aimed at staff who are new to the trust, but they have also been offered to existing healthcare assistants over the past two years.