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16th January 2018

University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT) has launched two ground-breaking apprenticeship schemes for 2018, providing a jobs boost to the region. The schemes, both of which are among the first of their kind in the UK, will see those recruited to the roles combine vocational training with accredited qualifications, on a journey to full-time roles within the Trust. The Nurse Degree Apprenticeship, in partnership with University of Cumbria will offer individuals the opportunity to train as a registered adult nurse.

The first cohort of the Nurse Degree Apprenticeship scheme is currently open to existing members of staff at the Trust who wish to pursue a registered nurse qualification. In order to be eligible to apply, candidates must hold a permanent contract within UHMBT and have completed their six month probationary period.

The second apprenticeship scheme, the Healthcare Science Associate Apprenticeship, in partnership with Kendal College, enables learners to qualify as Healthcare Science Associate who will take up posts within UHMBT Pathology services.

Six existing UHMBT staff members have already been selected for the Healthcare Science Associate Apprenticeship, and will commence their training in January 2018.

Speaking about the two new apprenticeship schemes, Amanda O’Brien, Vocational Services Manager at UHMBT said: “We are delighted to be one of the first in the country to be offering these exciting apprenticeship opportunities. It’s great to see that we have six staff looking to upskill and commencing on their apprenticeship journey so soon into the New Year on the Healthcare Science Associate Apprenticeship. Similarly I look forward to seeing 25 recruits to the Nurse Degree Apprenticeship later in the year. I’d like to thank both the University of Cumbria and Kendal College for partnering with us on these schemes. These apprenticeships will play a vital role in helping us fill positions in hard to recruit to areas and continue our journey of ‘Growing Our Own to Provide Great Care.’”

Lynn Wyre, Deputy Chief Nurse at UHMBT said: “This is an extremely welcome development and provides opportunities for staff to progress their nurse training whilst remaining a member of our workforce. There is significant interest from staff for the programme, including form those who have successfully completed the Healthcare Support Worker apprentice programme.”

Lauren Mawson, Principal Lecturer in Nursing, Health & Professional Practice at University of Cumbria added: “This is an exciting opportunity to work in partnership with UHMBT in becoming an early adopter of the Registered Nurse Degree Apprenticeship Programme. The apprentices will receive the benefits of an employer supported vocational approach to learning as well as university higher education provision and support to achieve a BSc (Hons) Nursing qualification within 4 years.”

Kelli Horner, Workbased Learning and Corporate Client Manager at Kendal College said: “We are so excited about the launch of this programme. It has been 12 months since we first talked about the opportunity for Healthcare Science Apprenticeships and the new standard has been approved at the perfect time. Working so closely with the Vocational Services Manager and the Clinical Lead for Pathology has meant that we have developed the programme to meet their needs.”

Kimberley Griffiths, a Microbiology Lab Assistant at Furness General Hospital, will start studying on the Healthcare Science Associate Apprenticeship in January, and said: “It’s brilliant. Older students and mature students have families and other commitments, but this apprenticeship allows us to better ourselves, prepare for our future, without it affecting our family. For a long time I have wanted to progress in Microbiology and I have always struggled with the science area. So when this apprenticeship came about I saw it as an opportunity to help myself progress to the next band level, from band three to band four. We got our first assignment this week, and we have our first official day of college next week. I was a bit nervous as it is a long time since I studied, so I have to try and get myself into a routine, but I am really looking forward to it.”