Get in as an apprentice, go far in the NHS

Thursday February 9, 2017

Nearly 100 apprentices are currently employed by Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, gaining invaluable workplace experience while also working towards new qualifications.

The acute trust, which runs Worthing Hospital, St Richard’s in Chichester and Southlands in Shoreham, is one of the area’s largest apprenticeship providers.

Ten new apprenticeship posts are live or about to go live on the national apprenticeship website – https://www.findapprenticeship.service.gov.uk/apprenticeshipsearch – search for Western Sussex Hospitals to step into a career with the NHS.

Western Sussex Hospitals offers a broad range of apprenticeship programmes, from healthcare and housekeeping to finance and catering.

Business administration is the most popular choice and opportunities are now available to join a range of hospital teams, including Information Technology, Education, and Theatres or clinical specialties such as Colorectal or Vascular.

Current vacancies also include three new General Assistant one year placements, which provide a new and unique experience within the hospital for those interested in a career in care.

Zach SteerBefore Christmas, 19 year-old Zach Steer from Bognor became one of the first in-take of ten General Assistant apprentices to join medical wards at St Richard’s Hospital, Chichester.

Zach previously worked in a care home but was unsure how to progress in his career. He said: “I know I want to work in care, but whether it’s nursing or more therapy-based is a decision I’m yet to make.

“So when I saw the General Apprentice position advertised I was really pleased because it offers a broad experience of healthcare and means I gain relevant qualifications at the same time as earning money. But more than that, I’m also really enjoying my new role in the hospital.”

Zach is gaining a Level 2 Certificate in Healthcare Support Services while also working as a valued member of the Boxgrove ward team at St Richard’s Hospital.

Ward sister, Shelly Harris, said: “Zach is a real asset to the team and everyone loves him. He meets and greets our patients, and supports us in variety of different ways.

“We have a training plan in place for him as well, and each week he also shadows an occupational therapist and spends quality time with one of our patients with dementia.”

Western Sussex Hospitals has an excellent reputation as a good employer and is one of only five acute trusts in the country to be rated “Outstanding” by the Care Quality Commission.

The trust has taken on more than 150 apprentices in recent years and has won multiple awards at the annual Health Education England, Kent Surrey and Sussex, Apprentice Awards.

For further information about starting your NHS career as an apprentice with Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, please visit www.westernsussexhospitals.nhs.uk/Apprenticeships

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