A leading Midlands college has partnered with an NHS trust to launch a new apprenticeship that will play a vital role in tackling healthcare staff shortages across the area.
Royal Leamington Spa College, part of college group WCG, has joined together with South Warwickshire University NHS Foundation Trust to launch a new Level 2 Healthcare Support Worker apprenticeship.
The brand-new apprenticeship will see students gain hands-on experience in an NHS setting alongside study days, earning while they learn.
Those who successfully complete the apprenticeship, which is anticipated to last between 14 to 18 months, will be offered a full-time Band 2 clinical support worker position, and may also have the opportunity to progress to a Level 3 or higher programme. It could also act as a pathway into nursing for those who do not want to study at university.
The apprenticeship will play a vital role in tackling local NHS staff shortages, benefitting the wider community.
There will be a bi-monthly intake of candidates, with the first students starting in September.
The news comes as both the college and the Trust celebrates NHS 75 – the 75th anniversary of the National Health Service.
Mark Eden, Director of Work Based Learning at WCG, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for students with ambitions of a career within the healthcare sector to gain a broad range of hands-on experience within an NHS setting.
“We will be managing the apprenticeship while drawing on expertise within the NHS to support with delivery, and our staff will be on-site to provide that full wraparound support for students.
“There are a wide range of opportunities within the NHS, and this apprenticeship will not only enable students to move into an entry-level position, but also potentially progress into other roles.
“Nationally, the NHS have a phenomenal number of vacancies, and we want to make a difference to our wider community by supporting local people to fulfil roles in their local NHS trust.”
Leigh-Ann Johnston, Apprenticeships and Widening Participation Manager at South Warwickshire University NHS Foundation Trust, added: “We are extremely pleased to launch this partnership with Royal Leamington Spa College.
“The apprenticeship is a truly collaborative approach, with the college providing us with a huge amount of support for our students educationally, and us providing the settings to gain hands-on experience, all while benefitting the wider community.
“Those who successfully complete the apprenticeship can either remain in a Band 2 position or progress onto Level 3 and beyond.
“It could even be a pathway into nursing, acting as a starting point for people who do not want to study at university to become a fully-qualified nurse in six years, all while earning a wage throughout.
“We look forward to welcoming our first apprentices in September and working with the college to grow the programme.”
Further information about the apprenticeship is available by visiting wcg.ac.uk/apprenticeship