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North West’s pioneering health apprenticeship program


The North West is pioneering a new health apprenticeship scheme to give young people the chance to work in an area of the health sector where there will be hundreds of new jobs.

The City of Liverpool College, working in partnership with the UK’s New National Skills Academy and the Skills Health Academy North West are running the “Health Informatics Cadet Apprenticeship.”

‘Health Informatics’ has been developed as a direct result of demand from the sector, with employers and decision-makers within the Business Division (a key part in a hospital’s framework) of some of the North West’s leading Trusts highlighting a real need for new and young ‘talent’ entering the workforce. It is predicted that Health Informatics will be a huge growth area for the NHS in the coming years.

Health Informatics is an emerging field in the UK, which involves managing electronic health data to ensure patients get the most appropriate care.

The apprenticeship scheme will give young people a stepping stone into a career in health technology, a growing sector in the UK.

Jacqui Griffith-Evans, at The City of Liverpool College said: “Health informatics is an expanding area which will create lots of job opportunities for local people who are interested in working in the technology and health sectors. The role can involve everything from developing new electronic health records to exploring patient data to identify trends in diseases and treatment. This new apprenticeship will give an access route to young people interested in pursuing a career in an emerging specialism.”

The first cohorts of “cadets” has recently completed their six week induction which covered both healthcare and ICT curriculum areas. The cadets are now in working placements within information management departments of NHS organisations across Cheshire and Merseyside for four days each week and spend one day in college.

Judith Jones, from the Skills for Health Academy North West, says: “We are delighted that young people in our region are being offered yet another great way of entering the workforce and to carve out a career within our world-renowned NHS. Apprenticeships are fast becoming a really practical and inspired way of vocational training across the UK and it is very exciting that we can pioneer these courses here, in the North West.”

Samantha Hodge (19), Health Informatics Cadet Apprentice at Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospital NHS trust Trust said: “I found the NSA Health Informatics Course and was intrigued by the prospect of working within such a large organisation. Healthcare is an industry where there is usually good employment and at the end of your apprenticeship you have a set of highly sought-after skills.

“One of the best outcomes in my “apprentice journey” is seeing my confidence increase day by day. I began my Cadet Apprenticeship as a shy person and am amazed at how, in a matter of four months, both myself, my co-ordinator and my work colleges have noticed the difference. Additionally, working and learning in a supportive and encouraging environment has been a real bonus.

“I would definitely recommend this Cadet Apprenticeship to anyone considering it.”

The college and Health Academy North West are working in partnership with Health Education North West, Information Skills Development, Health & Social Care Information Centre and local NHS Trusts.

Students on the apprenticeship scheme will gain a Level 2 Health Informatics extended Diploma qualification.

The apprentices will study their diploma at the college and be employed by the National Skills Academy Health’s Apprenticeship Training Agency throughout their apprenticeship.

 

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