From plumbing to electrical work, admin and business support to assisting with patient care, Modern Apprentices across NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde are part of the future of our healthcare workforce.
The latest group of Modern Apprentices have celebrated their graduation with a virtual event. The annual celebration marks the success of our young people who have completed their apprenticeships in the last year, and includes the NHSGGC Modern Apprentice of the Year Award sponsored by Unison and Unite the Union.
This year, there are 15 graduating trainees in total from the followings services: Medical Equipment Management, Sandyford Sexual Health Services, Estates, Medical Devices Unit, WestMARC Prosthetics Workshop and Procurement. This includes apprentices who have completed apprenticeships in engineering, plumbing, procurement, business administration and healthcare support. All now have gained full-time employment with NHSGGC.
Anne MacPherson, Director of Human Resources and Organisational Development at NHSGGC, said: “Modern apprenticeships are a key part of our strategy and commitment to support young people to start a career within the NHS, and for helping us to develop the knowledge and skills that we need to deliver a high standard of care to our patient population. It’s wonderful to be able to recognise the hard work and efforts of all of those who have gone through the four year programme.”
There were 12 nominations for the NHSGGC Modern Apprentice of the Year Award, the overall winner is John Hetherton. John, 21, is a multi-skilled engineering technician apprentice now based at the QEUH. He began his four year apprenticeship at Cowlairs Decontamination Unit, but was keen to move to sites with patients and has since worked in Gartnavel General, GRI and the QEUH, as well as the boiler houses at Yorkhill and Vale of Leven. John also got his NC, SVQ2, HNC and SVQ3 qualifications as part of his apprenticeship and is looking forward to taking the next steps in his career. Just before receiving the award, he was busy replacing electrics on the wards of the QEUH.
John, 21, from Glasgow, said: “I’m over the moon. It’s an amazing feeling to have my hard work recognised by my peers and my managers and most importantly, the patients. When I left school, I wanted to have a hands-on, practical role and I wanted to make money and the apprenticeship scheme was the best way of doing that. In the NHS you have so many opportunities and they put you through college and university – you’ll learn so much more in an apprenticeship than you would in a classroom.
“The best thing about this is coming into work with a smile on your face. The people here are amazing and during the last year we’ve all become part of one big NHS family as we’ve faced COVID. They are my best pals.”
John is hoping to have more on-the-job training and is applying for a university course to further his skills for a career in the NHS.
Our sponsors were delighted with the announcement of this year’s award winner, Frances Carmichael, Unison Assistant Branch Secretary said: “UNISON are proud to continue to sponsor these awards, which showcase the talent and commitment of our younger workforce. The skills they develop enhance and support their colleagues to deliver quality patient care. #One Team”. Esther O’Hara, Unite Branch Convenor added: “Every year the quality of the candidates is exceptional. Each was a credit to themselves, their departments and to NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde. Unite looks forward to continuing to support our exceptional apprentices in the years ahead, and to supporting the award scheme in 2022.”
The winner of the Wully Brodie Memorial Award for Estates Apprentices is Abbie Jamieson, multi-skilled electrical technician. As a child, Abbie started stripping down engines with her dad and got the engineering bug from that.
Abbie, 22, from Cardonald, said that being a woman in a traditionally male-dominated profession should not put anyone off from applying. Abbie, who is based in the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley, added: “When I started I was a bit nervous, but the guys welcomed me with open arms and I can do exactly the same as anyone else can. When I was young, me and my dad stripped down engines and I knew from then that I wanted to do a hands-on job.”
“I’m amazed that I won and it’s a real honour to win the award in Wully’s memory – he was a much loved member of the team.”
Abbie pictured with her award and her mum
Tom Steele, Director of Estates and Facilities, said: “Our latest cohort of apprentices have faced real challenges with college work moving online and assessments being a little more difficult than normal, but they have been outstanding. It’s been a year like no other, but all of our Modern Apprentices have worked incredibly hard to achieve their goals, their contributions to patient care and keeping colleagues safe have never been more important than during the pandemic. Well done to all of them, particularly our winners Abbie and John.”
There are 28 apprentices currently going through their courses and this year, NHSGGC is welcoming 20 new MAs on to the programme. The apprenticeship programme is hugely popular and each year, the programme attracts around 1,500 applications for the estates apprenticeships alone.