UK Government


Press Release   •   Feb 25, 2010 10:30 GMT

The health sector has exceeded its aim to recruit 5,000 public sector apprentices, Health Secretary Andy Burnham announced today.

Last year both the NHS and social care services agreed to provide a major contribution to the Prime Minister’s commitment, made in February 2009, to increase the number of apprenticeships by 21,000 across the public sector.

Speaking before the NHS National Apprenticeship Conference at Westminister Hall, Andy Burnham said:

“I am delighted that we have hit the target to create an extra 5,000 apprentices.  Apprenticeships are an excellent way of giving young people the chance to learn life-changing skills and offer a genuine opportunity to train clinical staff.

“We must do all we can to provide high quality routes into jobs so that we can ensure we have a highly skilled and highly motivated NHS workforce for future generations.”

Minister for Further Education and Skills Kevin Brennan said:

“The NHS has shown fantastic support for Apprenticeships, and these figures are a timely reminder of the great success we have seen across the board.

“There is now an all-time high completion rate of 71%, with  a record 240,000 people starting an Apprenticeship in 2008/9. This is a real sign of confidence in our workforce and shows the great progress we are making on improving skills throughout the country.”

Jemima Tevendale, 22, from Kettering, was an NVQ2 apprentice in    business administration through Kettering Borough Training’s      Apprenticeship Scheme and now works full time at the Trust, and has recently completed her NVQ3.

Jemima said:

“Completing my NVQ with Kettering General Hospital gave me confidence in the workplace. I have become aware of the huge amount of effort it takes to run a hospital and I think it's a great place to work in.”

Current available NHS Strategic Health Authority figures show:

·        There is an even balance between clinical and non-clinical roles – just under 50% of apprentices engaged in the NHS are providing key clinical roles such as maternity support workers and clinical support roles.  The remainder are non-clinical roles such as estates and administration.

·        Around 50% of the apprentices are newly recruited staff.

The Department has also been working with Skills for Care and several local authorities in London to create around 1,300 new apprenticeships in social care this year. These schemes have been aimed at groups that have been traditionally hard to reach such as young people not in education, employment or training, lone parents and men.

Notes to editors

1.      For media enquires or for contact details of a wide range of case studies please contact the Department of Health Press Office on 0207 210 5221.

2.      On 23 February 2009 The Prime Minister committed the Government to 21,000 additional apprenticeships in 2009/10, broken down as follows:

- NHS and social care – 5,000
- Further education and universities – 2,500
- Local Government (CLG) – 7,500
- Schools and children’s services – 4,500
- MOD (civilian) – 1,000
- Other Departments (HO, DWP, etc) – 600

3.      An apprenticeship provides a mixture of employer based training and day release education with a local learning provider.  Apprenticeships are either employed or go on a placement with an employer.

4.      Figures for other parts of the sector are not yet available and the target period is yet to end. BIS will publish full figures in March.

5.      The NHS Apprenticeship Conference will focus on the mechanisms to support continued delivery of apprentices as a sustainable part of the NHS workforce. It is supporting the work of the National Apprenticeship Advisory Committee, which is Chaired by Ron Kerr, the Chief Executive of Guys and St.Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trusts.

6.  The figure for Apprenticeship starts in the health sector is based on self-reported management information, collected by the Strategic Health Authorities. Official figures for public sector Apprenticeship starts will be based on skills data collected centrally by the Department of Business Innovation and Skills, and are not yet available, as the target period is yet to end

7.      An estimated headline figure is expected to be published by BIS and DCSF (who lead this policy area) as soon as possible after the end of March 2010, most likely along side the first available Apprenticeships Statistical First Release.


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