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Apprenticeships are a key way for people to learn on the job, both for new starters to the NHS and for existing members of staff, allowing learners the opportunity to gain a qualification and apply their learning while continuing to earn a salary.

Apprenticeships are a key government priority. Our Mandate from the government states "HEE will take the lead on supporting public sector apprenticeships in healthcare through the Trailblazer process, increasing the number of new apprenticeships in healthcare to 19,000 starts in 2016/17."

The National Skills Academy for Health is continuing to work with the Talent for Care team to increase apprenticeship opportunities and improve the quality of apprenticeships, building on the success of previous years. We're also working with UNISON to place Apprenticeship Project Workers in areas where apprenticeships are not so well established.

Work is ongoing to improve the way we collect data on apprenticeships and ensure that we can demonstrate not only the numbers, but the impact and the career progression for those who have successfully completed apprenticeships.

The NHS Employers website provides further information about apprenticeships and traineeships, and how they can be used to benefit your patients, your organisation and your community.

Some of the apprenticeship programmes we offer include health and social care, business administration, estates and facilities including mechanical and electrical engineering, dental and pharmacy services.

With a wide range of apprenticeships available, each hospital trust will work with you and offer support to ensure you are choosing the right apprenticeship, agree a training plan and do all that they can to support you throughout your learning.

Under the direction of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, apprenticeships are being reviewed and developed into new Apprenticeship Standards.

Health Education England and Skills for Health have successfully facilitated two employer-led steering groups to develop approved Apprenticeship Standards for Healthcare Support Workers (Level 2) and Assistant Practitioners (Level 4/5). The next phase is now underway to develop assessment and implementation plans.

There are plans to bring together further consortia of employers to develop Apprenticeship Standards in additional healthcare professions.

For queries relating to the Trailblazer Reviews, please contact Jane Hadfield: jane.hadfield@nbt.nhs.uk.

Working with the National Skills Academy for Health we have developed a new set of principles to ensure excellent practice in apprenticeship provision across UK health care organisations.

Download the Quality Principles for NHS Apprenticeships from the National Skills Academy for Health website.

Skills for Health have developed Healthcare Apprenticeship Standards Online (HASO), a tool to help health sector managers in England find a wide range of apprenticeships to train staff in clinical and non-clinical roles.

This toolkit has been developed with trust ambassadors, school teachers and careers advisors in mind, to support them in promoting apprentice opportunities in the NHS to students and young people across the north east of England.

A selection of apprentices talk about their experiences and future aspirations, the video illustrates the range of apprenticeships that are offered in the north east and north Cumbria, including examples from business administration, dental, pharmacy, estates, healthcare and transport services.

There are two workshop activities included in the apprenticeship presentation to encourage students and young people to think about the range of healthcare settings and to share a patient journey which aims to give an understanding of the type of roles within the NHS. To assist further, supporting notes are available to compliment the presentation slides.

We are supporting employers to increase their apprenticeship numbers through a number of means, including developing an employer toolkit to help employers understand the steps they need to take in setting up an apprenticeship scheme; supporting employers across our area to work together, including on joint apprenticeship programmes where appropriate; Sharing case information and examples of best practice through our network of apprenticeship leads; and investing workforce development funding to enable the expansion of apprenticeship capacity and to get new schemes up and running.

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