Apprenticeships at Southend Hospital
14 March 2016
National Apprenticeship Week takes place from the 14-18 March and Southend University Hospital is delivering a wide range of apprenticeship opportunities in partnership with local training provider, Vocational Training Services.
Eileen Gallagher is the hospital's talent for care coordinator,
which is part of a national plan to help bolster the healthcare
support workforce by developing those working across bands 1- 4
She said: "The trust has 36 staff engaged on a variety of
apprenticeships at intermediate, advanced and higher levels. The
programmes include business administration, adult health &
social care, clinical healthcare support, perioperative support and
children and young people workforce. There are over 200
apprenticeship frameworks available, many of which would be
suitable for clinical and non-clinical areas."
And this number is only set to expand under Government
directives but it is already something the trust is embracing with
a positive impact on the hospital and those undertaking
The hospital's apprenticeships are delivered through Vocational
Training Services (VTS), who are based in Westcliff. Gail Cooksey,
its managing director said: "The hospital is happy to both upskill
existing staff where appropriate and recruit brand new apprentices,
which can be an effective launchpad for an NHS career. It's our job
to support the learners and help them achieve."
When Jacob Edgington tells people he works in a nursery many
assume that he works as a gardener, instead he's busy growing minds
in the Ladybird Nursery, based at the hospital, as part of his
children and young people's workforce apprenticeship.
Jacob, 21, from Southend, said: "It's a bit of a surprise to
some people initially but then they get to see how good I am with
the kids. The children really love the beard and give it a tug now
"I love it here and wouldn't change a thing, I'm just really
proud that I've got this opportunity to make a really positive
impact on these children's lives."
That is loudly echoed by Lynda Bartholomew, manager of Ladybird
Nursery: "Our staff and children benefit from his energy and
enthusiasm, and from having a male role model in a sector which
traditionally has a mainly female workforce."
Jacob came to the trust for his apprenticeship but one person
who already works here but is advancing his career thanks to his
Level 3 apprenticeship in health and social care in 46-year old
healthcare assistant Bryan Record.
Bryan said: "Apprenticeships aren't just for young people and if
I'd not got this opportunity through my current hospital role I
would not have gone on further, I would have just stayed doing what
I was doing, it's as simple as that.
"It's great to know that the hospital is investing in both your
future as an employee and that of the hospital."
Conor Hall, 18, from Rayleigh found his apprenticeship role in
the finance department by looking at the NHS jobs website. He said:
"I could have gone to college or got a job; this is in the middle
and is the best of both worlds as I'm earning and learning at the
"I've only been here since December but really feel part of the
team, I've really grown in confidence and am doing everything from
financial accounts to bank statements. It feels like an 18 month
practical rather than just a work placement or learning from a
Abbey Haynes , like Conor, is also based at Britannia House,
she's doing an intermediate business and administration
The 16 year old from Rochford applied for over 100
apprenticeships, but her determination paid off last November when
she began her apprenticeship in the learning and development
She said: "I wanted to do an apprenticeship because of the
money, I could earn and learn at the same time. I've definitely
grown in confidence, when I first started I was so scared. I think
that was just the shock of the new."
After she completes the Level 2 apprenticeship, which is
equivalents to GCSE level, Abbey is keen to complete her level 3
qualification, equivalent to A-levels, after having got her first
foot on the apprenticeship ladder.
If you are interested in finding out more about apprenticeship
opportunities at Southend University Hospital please email Eileen
Image: l-r Eileen Gallagher - Southend Hospital's talent for
care coordinator, Derrick Stott - business development manager at
VTS and Gail Cooksey - managing director at VTS