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New Apprentice Network brings our young apprentices together

16/10/2019
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Wednesday 16 October 2019 saw the launch of an innovative new network to bring together young apprentices aged 16 to 25 working within Oxford University Hospitals.

The early morning launch of the network took place in the George Pickering Education Centre at the John Radcliffe Hospital, where invited young apprentices had a chance to share breakfast with their peers, as well as the Chair and some of the Directors of the Trust.

The Trust has over 200 apprentices, and around 60 of these are young apprentices in the early stages of their career. An Ofsted inspection in 2019 praised how the Trust 'prioritises the recruitment of local young people and current and former apprentices act as advocates', and as a part of this approach, we were keen to set up a network for young apprentices, facilitated by the apprentices themselves.

We were delighted that Sophie Pomroy, a Level 3 Business Administration Apprentice, has led the launch of this network with a committee which includes apprentices, tutors and staff from the OUH Apprenticeship Team.

Sophie was inspired to get involved as a result of her own apprenticeship experience.

"I have been very lucky" says Sophie, "as I have moved around the Trust a bit and got to know a lot of people in a number of different teams. However, this is not the case for everyone, and I thought 'I can do something about this'."

The new network is for OUH apprentices aged 16 to 25, and will begin with a regular newsletter and quarterly events with sessions on workplace skills such as interview technique. It will also bring enrichment opportunities, such as shadowing and 'ambassador' roles, both inside and outside the Trust.

At the launch event, young apprentices had the opportunity to meet each other and chat to some of the Trust's Executive team, including Chair Prof Sir Jonathan Montgomery, CEO Dr Bruno Holthof, Chief Nursing Officer Sam Foster, Chief Assurance Officer Eileen Walsh and Interim Chief People Officer Jane Nicholson.

Young apprentice Aidan attended the event, and said of his apprenticeship experience: "It is a welcoming and warm environment: although there is no shortage of work to be done, it is easy to get settled in - everyone is really helpful."

Future social events are planned, beginning with an informal drop-in in the run-up to Christmas and a network meeting in February 2019. One young apprentice will visit another apprentice in Health Education England, and write about their experiences as a blog.

Our apprentices can also become ambassadors for Oxfordshire Learning and Enterprise Partnership (OxLEP) and join the national Young Apprentice Ambassador Network, to benefit from regional training and advocate opportunities.

If you are a young apprentice at OUH, and would like to join the committee and help run the network, please let us know.

Email: Apprentice.Network@ouh.nhs.uk

Find out more about becoming an apprentice: www.ouh.nhs.uk/apprenticeships

Pictured: from left, Claire wardle, Benjamin Cooper, Sophie Pomroy, Marie Huffey, Shilpa Bhatt and Elliot Dempsey

Search for #OUHAppNW on social media for more pictures from the day.

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