Today Health Secretary Alex Neil visited Glasgow Royal Infirmary to meet with young people who have secured employment through the NHS Modern Apprentices scheme.
The Modern Apprentice Programme is part of a range of opportunities that offers to help young people secure worthwhile training and job opportunities within the NHS in Scotland.
Recent figures show that the number of people aged under 25 employed by the NHS in Scotland increased by 13.5 per cent between December 2012 and December 2013.
The rise means that around 6,700 NHS staff across Scotland are aged under 25.
Mr Neil met with NHSGGC’s Shauna Paterson, 17, who works as a Health Care Support Worker, and Nathan Ward, 20, a Nursing Assistant Apprentice.
Mr Neil said: “Employing young people represents an investment for the future of NHS Scotland, and it is important that we continue to create jobs and opportunities for young people.
“The cost of youth unemployment is significant and the NHS, alongside other public sector employers, is working hard to provide opportunities for young people to gain valuable employment experience.
“It is fantastic that NHS boards across Scotland are employing an increasing number of young people under 25, and I am keen for this upward trend to continue.
“I was delighted to meet with Shauna and Nathan today, and to find out more about how they are benefitting from the Modern Apprentices Programme in NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde.
“Supporting young people towards work through the funding of a variety of programmes is a key priority for this government, and while these figures are encouraging, I am keen for NHS boards to continue their work to create even more opportunities for young people.”
The number of people aged under 25 working within NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde has also increased significantly, by 19.2 per cent between January 2013 and January 2014.
Lyndsay Lauder, Head of Workforce Planning and Development for NHSGGC said: “NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde is absolutely committed to helping young people find employment through our Modern Apprenticeship Programme. We work with our partners in further education to ensure that young people are fully supported with both work-based experience and further learning.
“Each apprentice has a mentor in addition to their line manager who supports them during their time on the programme. We offer the programme in a range of different jobs across the health service and each Modern Apprentice has the opportunity to gain a formal qualification in addition to their valuable work experience.”
Father-of-one Nathan Ward, 20, from Greenock, started his post as a Nursing Assistant Apprentice on an emergency care and medical specialties ward at Glasgow Royal Infirmary in August 2013.
After leaving school at the age of sixteen with six standard grades, he had initially considered going into the army.
However, his application to the army was deferred and following this he started a business and administration course at college but was unable to complete the course when he fractured his elbow.
He then worked for six months in commission based sales but found himself unemployed again and after almost a year of unemployment Nathan took up his post at Glasgow Royal Infirmary in August 2013.
Through the scheme Nathan has also now started his SVQ in Health & Social Care.
Nathan said: “I applied to the Modern Apprenticeship Programme through Working Links. I am really enjoying learning about the practical aspects of my role and working each day with patients. I firmly believe this was a great opportunity and it's good being part of a new initiative because it means you can help to shape and improve the programme as you go along."
Shauna Paterson, 17, from Partick in Glasgow, left school in June 2013 aged 16 with seven standard grades, and successfully applied for the NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Modern Apprenticeship Programme, starting her post as a Health Care Support Worker in August 2013.
Through the programme Shauna has undertaken additional training including starting her SVQ in Health and Social Care.
Shauna said: “I was delighted to find out I had been accepted onto the Modern Apprenticeship Pprogramme with NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde. I’ve always had an interest in working in healthcare but the experience I have had so far has totally exceeded my expectations.
“I enjoy every part of my job and my confidence in using my own initiative has really increased. I am enjoying it so much I am even considering becoming a registered physiotherapist in the future.”
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