On Thursday 14th May Gillian Keegan, Minister for Apprenticeships and Skills held a virtual meeting with apprentices working on the front line at University College London Hospitals (UCLH) NHS Foundation Trust.
The meeting was chaired by Natalie Holbery, UCLH Head of Nurse Education and had a mix of clinical and non-clinical apprentices who working on and supporting the front line, they were:
- Magda Puscasu, Senior Healthcare Support Worker Apprentice
- Matthew Archer, Registered Nurse Apprentice
- Rosemary Fosah, Advanced Clinical Practitioner Apprentice
- Jamil Rahman, Business Administrator Apprentice
- Mahmood Kashwito, Business Administrator Apprentice
Gillian introduced herself and shared how she too was an apprentice – and is the only past degree apprentice in the House of Commons!
Gillian spoke with the five apprentices, they shared their apprenticeship stories, all of which were really inspiring.
Gillian asked the apprentices about how the pandemic may help in attracting and recruiting new apprentices into the NHS. Lucy Hunte, National Apprenticeship Manager at Health Education England advised that visits to the NHS Careers website increased by 47% between 16th March to 15th April, with a significant number of people browsing ‘how to become a nurse’, ‘how to become a paramedic’, ‘how to become a porter’ and ‘how to become a driver for 111’. This is truly a reflection of how people have been inspired by our NHS staff over the last few weeks.
UCLH apprentices are continuing with their apprenticeships and staying on programme at this unprecedented time. All learning has moved over to online/remote/virtual learning and UCLH are ensuring the apprentices are given enough time to continue their online studies. Their placements may look slightly different but are continuing. UCLH feel strongly about their apprentices completing their programmes on time, Natalie said “these apprentices are valued members of the team and some are our future registered workforce and we therefore need them to complete as planned, It looks a little different, but our apprentices are doing the job that they are employed to do and continuing with their studies, fully supported by the Trust.”
On Twitter Gillian said it is “Truly inspirational how they have thrown themselves into the fight against the coronavirus, whilst also continuing their studies”.
Meet the apprentices below