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St Christopher’s Hospice hosts conference on apprenticeships

Author: Sally Garbett
08 January 2018

Sally Garbett, Vocational Programmes Manager at St Christopher’s Hospice in London, and lead of National Hospice Education Collaborative, writes about the upcoming conference on apprenticeships for nurses and healthcare assistants.

In 2014 we began providing you with information about apprenticeships and suggested they would become increasingly important for hospice workforce development. Registered Nurse and Nursing Associate Apprenticeships are now a reality and combine with Health Care Apprenticeships to provide funded progression for your support workforce into registered nurse roles through new career pathways.  NMC-Approved Apprenticeship Standards also widen recruitment opportunities for new staff with salaried jobs and fully funded degrees. The bursary may have gone, but these apprenticeships provide a paid job with a debt free route into the regulated workforce.

Daily contact with hospices has shown that securing excellent provision from quality providers remains a challenge across England so this event aims to show what good delivery looks like. On February 7 at Hospice UK, Health Education England, BPP University, The Open University and Lifetime Training will show delivery approaches and resources for the RN and Health Apprenticeships and answer your questions about models and funding.

Apprenticeships are not new of course (I have been working with them since 1995) but the most recent developments to content, delivery and funding are employer-led and based on workforce need. The range of careers in health via apprenticeships continues to grow - physiotherapists, social workers, advanced clinical practitioners and podiatrists can all qualify via apprenticeships and it is important hospices are able to include these funded career opportunities in their workforce planning and employment offer.

Our involvement in these vocational workforce reforms dates back to 2013 and the Cavendish Review (which is a mandatory component of many health apprenticeships). Participating in the Apprenticeship Trailblazer Groups that developed these standards has ensured they can meet the needs of our workforce so it makes sense to at least consider their inclusion in our workforce pathways. 

St Christopher’s was instrumental in securing the 18 month extension of the End of Life and Dementia qualifications that had been set to end in December 2017, and hospices nationally helped shape the content of the new End of Life Units that can support the apprentices’ learning. Hospices will want to look closely at the opportunities apprenticeships provide and can influence the agenda and content by being involved.

To book your place at this event, visit St Christopher’s. You can also join The National Hospice Education Collaborative and receive updates on apprenticeships and vocational education via this link.

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