Meeting Apprentices at James Paget Hospital

On Friday I marked National Apprenticeship week which started yesterday with a visit to James Paget Hospital.  I met a number of apprentices and former apprentices and heard about the hospital’s expanding apprenticeship scheme.

While James Paget Hospital had, for some time, offered National Vocational Qualifications to existing members of staff, they saw that there was the possibility to hire 16-24 year olds as apprentices and give them training and work experience.  Having secured money from the Health Authority to start the scheme rolling, they have now made it self-sustaining and have taken on between 50 – 60 apprentices over the last two years.  Of these apprentices, 22 are now in full time employment at James Paget Hospital, including the Eastern Region Apprentice of the Year, Lily Middleton (pictured).  The hospital works with Great Yarmouth College, East Norfolk 6th Form College, West Suffolk College and City College to offer high quality apprenticeships to local young people.

This visit to James Paget Hospital was, as always, a fantastic experience.  Apprenticeships are an invaluable way of ensuring that young people have the skills and experience they need to secure employment.  Not only has James Paget Hospital’s apprenticeship scheme enabled young people to find work at the hospital, it has also helped young people to find work across the area, bringing skills and fresh perspective to our local economy.  National Apprenticeship Week is the perfect opportunity to say well done to James Paget Hospital – I look forward to seeing the scheme expand and thrive in the coming years.