Youngest ever apprentice for NNUH

A pupil of Sprowston High School has become the first ever “schools apprentice” to work for Serco at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

Fifteen-year-old Adam Jones, from Sprowston, is working for one day a week at the hospital as part of a pilot project, learning a variety of building skills. He spends one day at City College Norwich and goes to school on the other three days of the week.

“We have an ongoing apprentice programme that has proved to be very successful,“ says Ian Cunningham, asset manager for Serco. “The hospital building is so technically complex that the skills required for maintenance are many and varied – we aim to show these young people sustainable skills so they can be considered for suitable jobs within the hospital in the future.

“It’s a two-way process because we are working with teachers and the wider community to demonstrate the range and scope of technical skills that are required to keep this hospital running smoothly.”

The head of Sprowston Community High School , Andrew John, commented; “It is really important for schools and the health service to work closely together and this is an excellent example of how links can be made. My thanks go to Mr John Reeve (Head of Vocational) for his determination to ensure partnerships like this actually happen.”

At NNUH, two apprentices are currently in employed full-time by Serco on a five year training programme and three more have now completed the programme. A further six have gone on to develop they careers over a number of years and are now working as senior technicians and managers for Serco, who provide maintenance, portering and catering services for the NNUH Foundation Trust.

The Trust has also just recruited its first cohort of seven business and admin apprentices, in conjunction with City College Norwich.

“This particular apprentice programme is designed to give young adults a taste of working in a business environment, in the future we will have apprentice schemes in a variety of our different healthcare settings,” says NNUH training manager Julia Watling.

“The apprentices will spend three days a week at college and one day working in departments at NNUH. There is no guarantee of a job at the end of the programme but the aim is to enable these young people to develop skills that will be useful to them in the working environment.”

Monday 8th of February 2010 10:00:47 AM