The Humber, Coast and Vale Health and Care Partnership has surpassed the Government’s target for recruiting apprentices in 2020 – which has led to the recruitment of an extra 110 trainee health and care professionals in our area.
The Government’s Apprenticeship Levy, which was first introduced in 2018, sets public sector organisations the target of employing 2.5% of their workforce in apprenticeship roles. In the Humber, Coast and Vale Health and Care Partnership area, 2.7% of the workforce is currently participating in apprenticeships.
The Partnership is supporting partner organisations to identify skills gaps, provide workforce planning and to utilise £2m of levy funds annually to invest in essential future health and care staffing for the region. It has effectively utilised and shared the levy funds which have proved to be a key enabler to helping staff to succeed in strengthening their career prospects.
So far funding has been secured for 110 apprentices, 10% of which are newly-created roles, and a further 100 Trainee Nursing Associates are due to begin training this year. Previous years’ funding has gone in part towards training 170 Nurse Associates, performing a vital role in bridging the gap as new members of the nursing team.
A system-wide process of levy transfer has been developed in Humber, Coast and Vale – enabling larger organisations to gift some of their levy to benefit smaller employing organisations, which in turn develops an approach that targets those areas of greatest need.
Jayne Adamson, People Lead, Humber, Coast and Vale Health and Care Partnership, said: “We have a collective drive and determination to invest in the next generation of caring professionals, working with our partners to meet the needs of our region’s primary care and health and social care organisations in the future. The numbers are a great achievement but we know there is more to do in partnership with our local employers and Health Education England to maximise use of this important resource to ensure the levy is retained and used in support of our health and care system.
“We continue to work with partners to understand and address skills shortages, attract new talent, support our most deprived communities to access careers in health and care, upskill existing staff, and retain the workforce. This means developing a whole range of apprenticeships including Health and Social Care, Nursing Associates, Business Administration, Senior Healthcare Support Workers, Healthcare Assistant Practitioner apprenticeships and many more.”
Emma McDonald, a Trainee Nursing Associate from a North Lincolnshire GP surgery who is in the second term of her second year of the apprenticeship, said: “The most rewarding part of this apprenticeship, has been gaining new knowledge through lectures and study. The course is well structured and has enabled me to look at things that I have knowledge of in much greater depth.
“I wanted to train as a Nursing Associate in order to expand my knowledge and enable me to do more things for the patients at my surgery. I would definitely recommend the apprenticeship to others. It opens so many doors. I think it is brilliant and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to anyone interested in taking up the role.”
The apprenticeship scheme provides practical experience through work-based training, lasting at least 12 months, and is available to anyone over the age of 16, allowing learners to demonstrate competencies, receive a salary, and gain a recognised qualification. The scheme also enables the Partnership to develop the existing workforce, providing opportunities for qualifications and alternative careers.
With thousands of young people in the region actively seeking employment, Humber, Coast and Vale Health and Care Partnership is now aiming to develop a pilot scheme to create opportunities, reflecting an appetite within the region to provide more support for traineeships. The Partnership is ambitious to build on its successes, invest more in apprenticeship schemes and meet the region’s workforce ambitions of the future.