NHS Offers New Training Opportunites for Young People

A number of new modern apprenticeships are being recruited by NHS Forth Valley in a bid to improve job prospects for young people between the ages of 16 and 24. The move supports a target by the Scottish Government to reduce levels of youth unemployment by 40% in 2021.

Currently 3.68% of the NHS Forth Valley workforce is aged between 16 and 24 and most are employed predominantly in nursing and midwifery and medical and dental services. However, only 0.11% of this group are in the age bracket 16-19.

Alison Richmond-Ferns, NHS Forth Valley’s Associate Director of HR, said: “Traditionally apprenticeships were closely associated with trade and technical posts. However the approach of working and learning at the same time is relevant to a wide range of areas, and in NHS Forth Valley modern apprenticeships could be offered in various departments including health records, finance, human resources, public health and planning.”

“Taking on modern apprenticeships within the NHS not only helps provide valuable work experience and training for local young people but also gives us the opportunity to recruit the workforce of the future. This is particularly important as around half of our existing employees are between 45 and 59 years old and with recent changes to the pension scheme it is also anticipated that some may retire earlier than originally planned.”

The new NHS Modern Apprentices will also work on the job towards an SVQ qualification which is provided by Forth Valley College. Many of the educational frameworks will be completed in the workplace on a full-time basis with assessors visiting on a monthly basis to review progress and the training plan throughout the one year scheme.

NHS Forth Valley is also supporting a new national initiative to provide two year training and work experience scheme for graduates who have a disability. This scheme is open to graduates of all ages who fit the criteria. The Professional Careers Programme is being coordinated through NHS Scotland and more than 100 application packs have been issued across Scotland.

The aim is to have the initial Modern Apprentice trainees in place by the end of September 2015 and NHS Forth Valley also hopes to offer a graduate a two-year placement as part of the new national training programme.

In addition, Serco, which provides a wide range of support services at Forth Valley Royal Hospital, is developing plans to offer work experience to local people with mental health problems to help improve their confidence and employment prospects as well as reducing loneliness and isolation. The company already works with Carrongrange School, a secondary school in Falkirk for pupils with moderate, severe and complex additional support needs, to offer work experience placements at the hospital to a number of 6th year pupils at the school. This has proved very successful in helping to improve the confidence of young people and one of the first pupils involved in the project is now working at Forth Valley Royal Hospital.

Anyone interested in applying for the Modern Apprenticeships should complete an application form which can be downloaded from https://jobs.scot.nhs.uk/ The closing date for applications is Friday 31st July at 12 noon.