Two Gloucestershire NHS Trusts are reaping the benefits of training their managers and leaders using the Apprenticeship Levy.
Skills Training UK is upskilling 70 people in five co-horts, giving them skills they can apply in the workplace straight away and making a difference far beyond their own teams.
Rachel Bish, who leads on Apprenticeships for Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust reports that staff who have been through the programme are already seeing career progression.
She said: “It’s given them the skills and more importantly the confidence, to be able to go out and lead their teams effectively, so we are definitely seeing a return on investment.”
Understanding the NHS
Skills Training is already working with 45 NHS Trusts nationwide and our trainers will tailor the course content to the needs of each individual Trust.
Rachel explained: “Skills Training UK spent time understanding our values and really understanding our training priorities. They got right under the skin of the trust so they could make the training relevant and bespoke.
“What we wanted was someone who understood the sensitivities around the pressures which the NHS is under and as Skills Training UK have worked with a lot of other NHS Trusts, we feel that they have this and that they’ve displayed that understanding and that sensitivity with our staff.”
What we wanted was someone who understood the sensitivities around the pressures which the NHS is under and as Skills Training UK have worked with a lot of other NHS Trusts, we feel that they have this and that they’ve displayed that understanding and that sensitivity with our staff
Rachel Bish, Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust
For NHS staff in particular, the course delivery must be flexible enough and at the right pace so as not to overload staff with demanding jobs which might be on a shift pattern. Most sessions have been face-to-face with support from Skills Training UK’s on-demand learning platform and a regular one-to-one support.
Rachel said: “The apprenticeship programmes are a perfect fit because they are vocational and they run alongside the job, it allows the individual to carry on with their job role but also take on that training.”
Programmes for clinical and non-clinical teams are delivered in co-horts so staff from across the two trusts – Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust – have been able to build relationships and learn from one another. Among them are ward managers, nursing managers and back-office managers.
A thorough induction programme ensures apprentices know what to expect and their line managers and mentors know what to do to support them as they progress. And anyone who has needed a break due to pandemic pressure has been able to pause and join another co-hort to continue.
The programme has been running for two years and the fifth cohort of learners started in September last year (2021). All the learners who have completed their training to date have achieved distinction, which Rachel describes as “a really great accolade to Skills Training UK,” she added, “I think that evidences the preparation for the End Point Assessment and the support that’s given.”