How to plan, recruit and develop healthcare apprentices

How to plan, recruit and develop healthcare apprentices

The NHS always needs to recruit and train high-quality staff – now, more than ever. To meet the workforce challenges facing healthcare services, the Government introduced the public sector apprenticeship target – a strategy to increase apprenticeship numbers across the NHS to 2.3% of the workforce. But other than meeting targets and quotas, apprenticeships are a fantastic option for healthcare providers.

Apprenticeships attract new people to healthcare as they learn on the job and are paid to train. Apprenticeships also broaden the scope of training and development for existing staff – allowing them to upskill and progress their career without taking time out of work.

Apprenticeships also provide a future pipeline for clinical and non-clinical roles, counteract an aging workforce and make hiring simpler and cheaper. Most NHS trusts already pay the apprenticeship levy and can use the funds to cover the cost of apprenticeship training.

There are apprenticeship qualifications available in a wide range of roles employed by the NHS – from business administration and IT to nursing and health and social care.

How to plan, recruit and develop apprentices

Step 1 – planning your apprenticeship strategy

This may sound like a daunting task for anyone who hasn’t employed apprentices before, but it mostly involves thinking different about your recruitment strategy. What skills gaps do you need to fill? What vacancies could be filled with apprenticeship roles? Do you have any staff members who are ready to progress? How much funding do you have to spend on apprenticeship training – including levy funds?

When you’ve answered these questions, you can start building an apprenticeship strategy.

Step 2 – partnering with a provider

Another great thing about apprenticeships is that you have the support of a training provider throughout the whole process. You’ll need to find a local training provider that offers the right apprenticeships. They will then help you with recruitment, training and ongoing support.

Step 3 – advertising your apprenticeship roles

Decide whether your apprenticeships are most suited to new recruits or existing staff. Then advertise the vacancy. Your training provider will help with advertising and shortlisting to ensure you have the right person for the role.

Step 4 – developing your apprentices

When your apprentice starts, you’ll need to support them throughout their qualification. You’ll need to help them settle into the workplace, assign them a mentor, plan their workload around their training goals, and provide feedback on their progress.

Your training provider will also be at hand to assess their development, provide support and complete workplace reviews. You’ll need to work with the training provider to make sure your apprentice has developed the knowledge, skills and behaviours they need to pass their end-point assessment (EPA).

Apprenticeships are a great way for healthcare services to develop the skills they need in house. They also give you the opportunity to invest your apprenticeship levy funds in effective training – and you’re supported by a training provider the whole time.

For more information about recruiting and developing apprentices, download your top tips for employing apprentices – packed full of practical advice from other NHS trusts.

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This article includes research and opinion sourced by OneFile at the time of publication. Things may have changed since then,
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