Health Secretary Shona Robison today met a number of Modern Apprentices, including a former actor, at Glasgow Royal Infirmary (GRI).
The visit, part of Scottish Apprentice Week, saw Shona Robison meet Modern Apprentices (MAs) from a number of services before visiting the Burns and Plastic Surgery ward to meet senior ward staff and an apprentice healthcare support worker.
Anne MacPherson, the board’s director of Human Resources and Organisational Development, introduced the Health Secretary to four MAs from a variety of roles including an assistant technical officer from the Central Decontamination Unit, an apprentice ward clerk and Raymond Cracknell, an apprentice multi-skilled technician.
Raymond (26) is in the third year of his engineering apprenticeship. Before taking up his post at the GRI, he completed an NC and HNC in engineering systems with renewable energy and heard about the apprenticeship through one of his college lecturers.
The group then visited Ward 49, which specialises in burns and plastic surgery, to meet the lead nurse, senior charge nurse and apprentice healthcare support worker, Robbie Oman.
Prior to joining the board last July, Robbie (23) was an actor in a pantomime touring primary schools across the UK. However, he felt he was missing a role where he could make a difference and felt helping patients would be a rewarding career. He spotted the apprenticeship being advertised on Twitter and was excited at the thought of learning on the job in such a busy hospital.
The board is committed to increasing the number of people aged 16–24 years within the workforce by ensuring young people are aware of the range of opportunities available and how to access them.
Health Secretary Shona Robison said: “Apprenticeships are truly life changing opportunities and it’s been wonderful to meet some of the people who are at the heart of this hugely successful programme at Glasgow Royal Infirmary.
“These opportunities provide the chance, not only to work and earn, but also to achieve an industry recognised qualification to support future career ambitions. With NHS Scotland’s workforce at a record high, these apprenticeships are another way for employers to build on this with the right staff, with the right skills, in the right place, long into the future.
“I’m proud to say our continuing commitment to grow, widen and enhance the Scottish Apprenticeship family is now providing more opportunities than ever before.”
Anne MacPherson said: “As a board, we officially launched our MA programme five years ago with an intake of 50 trainees. Our most recent recruitment campaign late last year saw a further 60 new trainees join the programme, bringing the total of apprentices recruited in the last five years to 162.
“Today is about celebrating the achievements of our apprentices and recognising the hard work, commitment and the enthusiasm they bring to their training, development and duties.
We run the largest NHS MA programme in Scotland which offers opportunities to young people across hospital, community and corporate services.
“We currently have an 84% completion rate on the programme and I firmly believe that by investing time and training in our young people at this stage, we are building on an already highly skilled workforce.”