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Apprentices celebrated for National Apprenticeship Week

Apprentice at work

IM&T Apprentices

Pictured: IM&T Apprentices

If you complete an apprenticeship at University Hospitals Plymouth, there’s a 91% chance you will achieve a full time permanent job. In fact, some of our staff joined the Trust as apprentices decades ago.

There are 300 apprentices and 25 programmes running across several departments at the Trust. One route with a 100% success rate is the Healthcare Support Worker level 2 apprenticeship, which has trained 150 staff.

Lee Pester, Head of IM&T Business said “We’re absolutely passionate about supporting our apprentices at all levels. Apprenticeships are brilliant for the organisation and the trainees themselves. The organisation benefits from new perspectives and fresh ideas which encourages innovation, the apprentices fill important skills gaps meaning the organisation can meet its short and long term operational objectives effectively.

Apprentice Lucy Smith "Our apprenticeship programmes allow us to develop local talent, allowing people to have a fulfilling career in an organisation that delivers benefit to the wider community.”

Alongside the great success rates, one of the main reasons apprentices love here is the support they get.

Lucy Smith, 20, from Plympton, is a Business Administration apprentice for the Learning and Organisational Development Team.

She plays an active role in designing publications to promote apprenticeships and attends careers fairs to share her experiences with others.

She said: “The thing I like most about my role is the chance to work on projects, and I also run the social media for the team. I’ve been able to shadow colleagues in some really exciting and interesting parts of the hospital, but the best thing about working for the Trust is the support I’ve had from everyone.”

Charlotte Ashton, 20, got her role as an apprentice within the Health Roster Team following a job in retail.

She said: “I really liked the fact that although I’d never worked somewhere like this before, everyone was really welcoming when I first started. There’s always someone to ask for support.”

She loves the challenges of the job and runs daily reports about nurse staffing across the hospital. As part of her training she’s had the chance to shadow colleagues such as the Hepatology Consultants, the Sterilisation Disinfection Unit, and she even had a tour of the Mortuary.

Apprentice Charlotte AshtonShe added: “I definitely want to stay within the NHS when I finish my apprenticeship. My Mum worked here for 40 years so I think it’s in my blood.”

In nursing there are progression routes from the level 2 Healthcare Support Worker, right up to the level 6 Registered Nurse Degree Apprenticeship.

So, what makes a good apprentice? According to Lee, it’s about being open minded, keen, enthusiastic, and a willingness to bring along skills that you might have gained elsewhere.

All of our vacancies are advertised on NHS Jobs, use the search function at to find apprenticeship opportunities here.


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