Nurse praises the role of apprenticeship programme

Elliot Smart, one of the apprentices taken on by Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.
Elliot Smart, one of the apprentices taken on by Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.

A nurse has backed an apprenticeship programme after it helped him secure work at a health trust.

Elliot Smart, from Northumberland, is one of the many apprentices Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust has supported into employment.

The 23-year-old completed a healthcare apprenticeship in 2014, enabling him to gain the necessary qualifications to embark on an adult nursing degree with The Open University, which is being completely funded by the trust.

He said: “The help and support I have gained from being an apprentice all the way through to where I am today, as a nursing assistant with the trust at Wansbeck General Hospital and student nurse, has been second to none.

“The apprenticeship allowed me to gain valuable experience, such as care skills, while building my confidence and communication skills as part of a multi-disciplinary team and improve the care that I provide to patients.”

The trust has taken on more than 1,900 apprentices over the last 14 years, with many going on to gain employment with it. Ann Stringer, from the trust, said: “For more than a decade, apprenticeships have been a key part of our trust, helping us to develop as an organisation.”

The trust recruits apprentices throughout the year with the next posts due to be advertised on NHS Jobs in April.