Kettering Hospital says an initiative to nurture its own talent by helping people with no background in health to gain experience – and then a job – has been a success so far.
The hospital’s Clinical Apprenticeship Scheme, which was launched in January, gives successful applicants the chance to work at the hospital for a year as apprentice healthcare assistants.
They receive training and National Vocational Qualifications and are integrated into the teams in the departments to which they are attached.
The 13 apprentices currently working at the hospital range from 16-year-old school leavers to a 34-year-old with a family who opted for a career change.
The hospital will receive a new intake quarterly, and people interested in applying to start the scheme in the summer are being urged to get in touch.
Head of nursing for practice development, Jacqueline Davis, who pushed for the introduction of the scheme in Kettering, said it would benefit both the hospital itself and the apprentices, whose passion for healthcare she also praised.
“We are setting up a real career structure,” she said.
“It’s helping people reach their potential. They are starting to learn from the get-go. The passion for care and to be part of the team is really clear.”
Some of those who have been on the initiative since the start of January have been speaking to the Telegraph.
Lauren McAulay, 19, from Corby, said the scheme allowed participants to be sure they want to carry through their ambition to work in the health service.
She said: “With this, you can see if it’s what you want to do.”
Jenna Gormley, 17, who is also from Corby and who is currently based in accident and emergency, said it was challenging but rewarding to work in a department where patients had a huge range of different illnesses and injuries.
She said she was glad to be on the scheme, adding: “None of us knew a way to get in (to working at the hospital) and this programme helped us.”
Gemma Bates, from Irchester, said she had been wanting to work in a hospital for a long time.
The 23-year-old, who works in the Skylark children’s ward, added: “I’ve wanted to work in the hospital, it’s something I’ve been wanting to do for a while.
“I liked the sound of the scheme and thought it would be a good opportunity.”
Anyone who is interested in applying has been asked to email the hospital’s clinical development facilitator Kris Nicol.