Truro and Penwith College’s partnership with Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust (RCHT) has seen hundreds of staff develop their skills and the introduction of Cornwall’s only nursing Apprenticeships, with benefits rippling across Cornwall’s NHS.
The partnership began with Business Administration Apprenticeships as RCHT sought to improve skills and offer rewarding career routes to staff in administration and clerical positions.
Increasing pressures of a national skills shortage and the costs of recruiting from overseas led RCHT and the College to explore nursing Apprenticeships.
The College worked in partnership with RCHT and the University of Greenwich to identify and design the right Apprenticeship programmes, before successfully receiving approval from the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).
The first Apprenticeship programmes; Senior Healthcare Support Worker (Level 3) and Nursing Associate (Level 5), began delivery in 2019. 2021 saw the addition of Level 6 Operation Department Practitioner and Registered Nurse Apprenticeships.
Nikki Pryke, Apprenticeship Lead at RCHT, commented: “The Apprenticeships allow staff to progress in their career, which makes jobs more appealing, helps with our skills shortages, supports changes in workforce structures and achieves higher skills sets across the organisation.
“The level of support from the College is brilliant; we have a close working relationship that is very much a partnership and the team embrace innovation, always looking for the next opportunity to address our organisational challenges and goals, while coming up with great solutions during the Covid-19 pandemic for example to ensure staff continued to receive their training.
“Tutors are industry experts, and in our case, training is delivered by qualified nurses with a range of backgrounds in the NHS. The training we are now offering has had a huge impact on the organisation, not to mention providing local people with the opportunity to study funded degree-level qualifications in Cornwall, alongside their current role, that they otherwise are unable to access from a financial and practical point of view.”