Representing estates and facilities professionals operating within the  



Apprentices are the future of the workforce

This week is National Apprenticeship week and to celebrate this NHS Yorkshire and the Humber has been working with a number of NHS Trusts to develop some apprentice case studies.

“Putting the case studies together and talking to the apprentices has made me realise just what an asset these individuals are, and helped me to reflect on the fantastic opportunities for widening participation that offering NHS apprenticeship opportunities provides. The individuals themselves are an inspiration and our future workforce. We should not forget the hard work and support that Trust and provider colleagues put in to ensure that apprentices have a positive learning experience and are successful in completing their apprenticeships and seeing continued NHS Employment,” said Alison Ackew, Apprenticeship Lead at NHS Yorkshire and the Humber.

Gary Bettison, 20, is one such apprentice at the Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and is currently in his third year of a four year apprenticeship in Engineering Maintenance.

As an apprentice, Gary works Monday to Friday 7am – 3pm and attends Kirklees College in Huddersfield on a day release basis.

[quotetop=He commented:] I was surprised that as an apprentice I am treated as an employee just like everybody else in the Trust. Apart from not being required to do shifts, which I will be able to do when I qualify, I am not treated any differently from any other member of staff. [/quote]

Before joining the scheme, Gary worked in a bank for six months after leaving the sixth form. However, he soon realised that he wanted to follow a more hands-on and practical career path and was introduced to the apprenticeship scheme by his mother, who works in the hospital.

“I applied and got an interview. Leeds Trust holds open days for apprenticeships and I attended this. On the open day I was shown around the hospital plant rooms. Everyone who was interested in an engineering apprenticeship had to undertake an entry exam before being interviewed,” said Gary.

Commenting on the opportunities for progression, he continued: “Even though it is a four year apprenticeship, when I finish I will have the opportunity to further my development, for example study for an HNC, which will enable me to work as a Technician or Junior Engineer.”

The likelihood is that once he has completed the apprenticeship Gary will join the organisation as a fully qualified maintenance craftsman. Future progression would be via a degree, which enables an apprentice to become a fully qualified engineer.

All the best Gary!