The NHS Business Services Authority
(NHSBSA) has announced that it is ahead of schedule in its pledge to create 60 apprenticeships before March 2018, with seven jobs being created since the beginning of May. It has also confirmed that every apprentice employed will be paid almost £2.50 more per hour in their first 12 months than the national minimum wage for apprentices, drawing much interest from the region’s school leavers.
The announcement comes following the government’s confirmation that at least 2.3 percent of the workforce in public sector bodies in England will have to be apprentices during this parliament, in a move requiring that 200,000 more will have to be recruited by 2020. The 60 apprenticeships pledged by NHSBSA, will make up this 2.3 percent.
With two offices in Newcastle the NHSBSA employs over 1300 people in the region and the 60 apprentice places are planned across all areas of the organisation including HR, Property and Facilities, and Project Management.
Northern Skills Group, a member of North East Learning Providers (NELP), a confederation of training providers which deliver work based learning, will be delivering the apprenticeships on behalf of the NHSBSA. As the apprenticeship and training arm of Middlesbrough College, Northern Skills Group works with over 2000 businesses across the North East delivering over 100 types of apprenticeships.
Susie Lancaster, the NHSBSA’s lead on apprenticeships said: ‘Since January 2016 we have been looking at where we could provide apprenticeships in the NHSBSA, learning about the regulations and processes involved in taking on apprentices, and engaging with training providers to understand how they can help us to recruit and train apprentices.
“When someone starts on our apprenticeship scheme, they’ll benefit from a great experience of working for a large public sector organisation, learning new skills both on and off the job and our higher wage promise. In turn, apprentices will provide the NHSBSA with fresh ways of thinking, challenge current practices, and bring a wealth of knowledge around technology and social media capabilities. We want to attract the talent that we know the North East has to offer and we’re thrilled to be leading the way to meeting the Government’s apprenticeship target within the first year.”
Rachel Fieldhouse, business advisor at Northern Skills Group said: “The apprenticeship scheme offered by the NHSBSA will enhance social mobility, increase knowledge within NHSBSA and reduce youth unemployment by allowing people from a wide variety of backgrounds and education levels to undertake a qualification. We’re delighted that the NHSBSA has met the Government’s requirement head on and we’re looking forward to working closely with the organisation to help them achieve their apprenticeship goal.”
It is not only school leavers that will benefit from the attractive apprenticeships offered at NHSBSA. Current employees can also take up an apprenticeship as part of their continuing professional development.
Stephen Lough, accounting technician in strategic financial management at NHSBSA said: “I've found that my ATT Level three apprenticeship has been hugely beneficial so far. Being able to learn, alongside my current job role has been great and I am already seeing a positive impact being reflected in my work. My tutor is very approachable and engaging and I feel like I am making progress every week. I look forward to finishing my qualifications with Northern Skills Group.”
For further information about Northern Skills Group and the apprenticeships it offers please contact Rachel Fieldhouse, Business Advisor at Northern Skills Group