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Celebration and Graduation Awards kick start Apprenticeship Week

04/02/2020
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Oxford University Hospitals marked the start of National Apprenticeship Week, 3 - 9 February 2020, with a Celebration and Graduation Awards ceremony to celebrate the apprenticeship journey of around 100 of our staff.

The event, held in Tingewick Hall at the John Radcliffe Hospital, included talks by current apprentices and managers, certificate presentations, and the recognition of outstanding achievements in seven different categories.

The NHS is always in need of highly-skilled staff, and training people within our Trust by means of apprenticeships not only allows them to fulfil their own potential, but helps with our recruitment and retention too.

As of February 2020 we have 257 apprentices on a range of programmes - an increase on last year. Fifty OUH apprentices graduated in 2019, and 85 percent are still with us, or doing further training. This figure includes not only our young apprentices, but existing Trust staff members who have signed up to develop their careers.

In October 2019 an Apprentice Network was set up in the Trust, so that young apprentices could meet, get to know one another and share their experiences at talks and events.

OUH young apprentices also act as apprenticeship ambassadors, visiting schools and colleges to spread the word about the opportunities available for school leavers who may not feel that the university route is appropriate for them.

Zoe Horne, now a Nursing Associate Trainee, was one of the former apprentices who gave a presentation at the event.

"From doing this apprenticeship", Zoe says, "not only have I gained great colleagues and friends, but it has really built up my confidence, and provided me with a great gateway into the nursing career I'm working towards."

2019 was a busy year for the OUH Apprenticeship Team.

In March, the Team and two individual apprentices were finalists in the Oxfordshire Apprenticeship Awards.

In August, Ofsted praised the OUH Apprenticeship Team for the support provided to young people on apprenticeships in the Trust
and in November, Sophie Pomroy, an apprentice instrumental in setting up the new Network, won the Silver award in the Apprentice of the Year category of the Skills for Health Our Health Heroes Awards 2019.

This National Apprenticeship Week we have been sharing some short videos, made by our apprentices, to dispel some common myths about apprenticeships and the people who choose to do them. You will find these on Twitter @OUHospitals - search for #ApprenticeshipMythBusting.

Among the myths 'busted' is the idea that apprenticeships do not lead to full time work: it is worth noting, therefore, that David Walliker, Chief Digital and Partnership Officer at Oxford University Hospitals, started in the NHS as an apprentice 27 years ago!

Throughout the week groups of our apprentices will meet with members of the Board at 'Tea and Talk' events, where they will be able to ask questions on various topics and find out more about how our Trust is run.

There will also be drop-in sessions on three of our hospital sites where our existing staff will have the opportunity to meet the Apprenticeship Team and find out what opportunities are available to them.   

For more details about apprenticeships with Oxford University Hospitals please visit the Apprenticeships area of our website.

Pictured: Prof Sir Jonathan Montgomery, OUH Chair (left) and Dr Bruno Holthof, CEO (far right) with David Panes, Lecturer in Health and Social Care, Swindon College (second left) and three of our apprentices at the celebration event.

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